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As protests and rallies against racial injustice take hold of our country, public awareness of racial discrimination and inequality in America is increasing. Many people are looking for ways to learn about these issues. As an entrepreneur, it is imperative that you understand the context behind these hot spots and understand the importance of this moment in our history.
But where do you start to close your knowledge gaps and broaden your understanding of what's going on? Movies can help bring meaningful stories to life and provide an easy way to address these complicated issues.
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These films offer overall ideas with key messages such as the importance of diversity, tolerance and acceptance. They offer excellent starting points for further information and to gain a deeper understanding of these obstacles and problems.
The following titles deal with characters, situations and encounters that deal with prejudice and systemic racial problems and make them great conversation starters. To help you delve deeper into these issues, I have added additional resources that broaden your perspective and further inform your worldview.
This must-see film helped shape the conversation about the death penalty in the United States. The film highlights the racist bias that pervades our criminal justice system. Based on the bestseller by lawyer Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), and his real-life experience, this intense drama focuses on Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan), a defender who works against the unjust Appeal Sentenced to Walter McMillian, a black man who was sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit.
Deeper diving: Stevenson's book of the same name goes much deeper into his efforts to change criminal practices, especially for teenagers and children, and for people with mental health problems. If you are in the Montgomery, Ala. Region, the Legacy Museum and EJI's National Monument for Peace and Justice offer visceral and effective presentations of the history of slavery and racism in America, including African-American enslavement, racist lynching, Segregation and racial prejudice.
Though called a youth film, it offers one of the most authentic depictions of police brutality in pop culture. Like the award-winning book on which it is based, this drama is about a black teenager named Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), who is witness to the police's fatal shooting of a close friend, open and powerful about race and racism. The film shows how she deals with the difficulties of being a black teenager in a predominantly white area and with the feeling of belonging to one world while living in another. How she works for justice is inspiring.
Deeper Diving: A character in the film comments that "White want diversity, but not too much diversity", which touches a subtle tendency to live in very diverse communities or communities that oppose organizations' efforts to promote diversity. However, there are many studies that show what positive effects diversity will have on your office and corporate environment.
This film focuses on the indescribable true story of the black women who played an important role in NASA's development of the United States space program. The film shows three brilliant women who worked at NASA in the 1950s and 60s and offers a realistic insight into the racist tensions of the civil rights era. It also contains many positive messages about integrity, endurance, teamwork and communication.
Deeper dive: The film is a fictional interpretation of the book of the same name, which is definitely worth reading. There are also many other resources that highlight these women and their accomplishments. Read these articles from NPR and the New York Times.
This highly acclaimed drama follows the Youngers, a black family living together in an apartment in Chicago. After a death in the family, they get a considerable amount of money and have to decide how to use it. Walter Lee (Sidney Poitier) wants to make a business investment, while his mother Lena (Claudia McNeil) intends to buy a house they can all live in – two different views of the American dream. This was one of the first films to really show how everyday racism affects black families who are just trying to get through. The story of the film still resonates with many today.
Deeper dive: A raisin in the sun not only explores the tension between white and black society; It also examines the burden within the black community of responding to an oppressive white community. Black communities are still facing economic disparities, as this newspaper article reports. The Brooking Institution has resources to help you better understand how racial and regional inequalities affect economic opportunities.
This is a genre-defining film in the truest sense of the word. The film tells the story of the young black teenager Tre (Cuba Gooding Jr.), who grew up in a difficult neighborhood in Los Angeles from the mid-1980s to the early 90s. The legendary rapper Ice Cube made his acting debut in the film and played one of the three main characters involved in the drama of the streets. Boyz also made John Singleton the first African American to be nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards.
Deeper dive: The film's stunning display of how to grow up in downtown Los Angeles raises questions about the impact of growing up in economically difficult areas that the Economic Policy Institute has examined. To learn more about the backstory and genesis of Boyz n the Hood, which Singleton directed at the age of just 23, check out the documentary Friendly Fire: Making a Urban Legend.
This Oscar-nominated historical film shows a significant time in Dr. Martin Luther King's life when he planned and directed the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., To secure equal voting rights for African-Americans. The first attempt at this march resulted in brutal police violence against peaceful demonstrators. This event, known as Bloody Sunday, caused anger nationwide and caused President Lyndon B. Johnson to push Congress voting law.
Deep dive: As recent events have shown, many Americans are still fighting racism. This film reminds us of how far we have come as a nation and how far we still have to go. The Hutchins Center for African and African American Research recently launched a free online curriculum to bring the voting movement to life.
This film confronts several issues at the same time – police violence, gentrification, re-entry after imprisonment and, as the name suggests, implicit bias (blindspotting is when a situation can be interpreted in two ways, but your limited perception means that you only see one interpretation ). . These are tough, serious topics, but since the film often takes a comedic approach, it's one of the more accessible films for viewers.
The film was written, produced and starred by Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal. It shows Collin, played by Diggs, a black probation officer who witnesses a white policeman shooting a black civilian. The complications of racism, relationships, and urban gentrification in Oakland take place in Collins' interactions with his rash and ruthless white best friend Miles, played by Casal.
Deeper diving: In many ways, the film prompts the audience to examine their own blind spots. It is a call to action that we become more aware of all of our implicit prejudices. Harvard developed this online test to help you examine your own implicit prejudices.
Loving is a biographical film about Richard and Mildred Loving, a couple who was arrested in 1958 for interracial marriage. The Supreme Court case was a landmark decision that led to the end of laws that prohibit interracial marriage, and this film shows the powerful effects of standing and fighting for what you believe in.
Deeper dive: As relationships between races increase, most Americans say that general race relationships in the United States are poor and worsening. And although interracial dating is no longer as taboo as it used to be, many younger people in the black community have been warned that this could put you in an at risk position.
Jordan Peele's directorial debut turns white supremacy into a horror film. The premise of the film is what happens when a black man visits his white girlfriend's seemingly liberal parents, even though they have a very twisted basic motive. The film is the personification of the feeling "I wish people loved black people as much as they love black culture."
Deeper diving: Get Out deals with a more subtle form of covert racism and discrimination that is often hidden in the structure of our society and hides behind the facade of politeness. Combating this means learning to become an anti-racist and is the subject of a bestselling book by Ibram X. Kendi.
This film tells the true story of Oscar Grant III (Michael B. Jordan), a young man who was killed by a police officer in Oakland, California in 2009. It begins with the actual footage of Grant and his friends arrested by BART The Police, who oversee the Bay Area public transport system and flashback the last day in Grant's life. It provides an insight into a real example of racial discrimination in law enforcement.
Deeper dive: The film shows how lack of opportunities, routine detention and racism devalue the lives of young black men in America. Some studies have shown that an increasing connection between the police and young black men could reduce violent encounters.
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