The worst nightmare of any parent is the thought of losing their child. But, for Sybrina Fulton, this wasn’t just a nightmare, it was her reality. In 2012, her unarmed 17-year-old son, Trayvon Martin, was shot and killed by 28-year-old George Zimmerman. Zimmerman wasn’t arrested for the shooting until two entire months later, and he was still acquitted a little over a year later by using Florida’s “Stand Your Ground,” law as his defense.
'When They See Us," has been the topic of nearly everyone’s conversation over the course of the last two weeks. The Netflix miniseries directed by Ava Duvernay touched on so many important subtopics, it’ll make your head spin. I know that not everyone has had the chance to see it, and some have even chosen not to because of how difficult it is to process the emotions that will be triggered. The story is about five teenage African American and Hispanic boys who were sent to prison after being wrongfully accused and ultimately convicted for a rape and sexual assault of a white woman that they did not commit. As a journalist, one thing that was troubling to watch was the media’s biased coverage of the events. While that part of the series was just a mere subplot, I couldn’t help but think how unfortunate it was that there was really no fair representation of those young men in the media. That probably wouldn’t have been the case had the North Star been around to speak truth to power. Giving the young men a fair representation in the media, rather than prematurely concluding that they were guilty.
So far 2018 has been an amazing year for Black cinema. No two portrayals are the same and there is a little something for everyone. While there is still progress to be made these films are refreshing to see. Long before its release, I had been hearing talks of a film adaption of Angie Thomas’ debut novel “The Hate U Give.” The bidding war for the rights was being discussed, reactions to the cast, and even talks of colorism all shrouded the film before it even hit theaters. One of the running themes or emotions I felt while watching this film was the honesty of it all. As a Black woman watching this film I felt seen and I knew so many others would too.
“Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Sam DuBose, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and Terence Crutcher are just some of the names on a long list of unarmed black boys and men who were killed by police officers in recent years.