Whose Streets? Our Streets!

Teaching moments come unbidden. This one, in the form of a documentary of events that happened in August of 2014.  A documentary “For the people. By the people”.

 

PORTRAIT OF FERGUSON

 

 

In the recent aftermath of Charlottesville, I remarked to a friend of mine “This documentary is so powerful!”.  He replied, “Timely AF!” But first, a reminder.

“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.  

 

Second? Here is a little history lesson, in case anybody forgot what Ferguson, Missouri was all about on August 9, 2014.

Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed on Aug. 9, 2014, by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, in Ferguson, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis. The shooting prompted protests that roiled the area for weeks. On Nov. 24, the St. Louis County prosecutor announced that a grand jury decided not to indict Mr. Wilson. The announcement set off another wave of protests. In March, the Justice Department called on Ferguson to overhaul its criminal justice system, declaring that the city had engaged in constitutional violations. – NYT

 

The lesson many of us have been learning this August of 2017  is that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Even more to the point, if we don’t study our history, and teach it to our children, and don’t really dig deep into what happened at certain points along the way of this country, and really the world at large and what it all means, we consciously or unconsciously  continue on same rough paths of old. And often, not in a mutually beneficial way.

 

A few viewpoints along the way of Whose Streets follow. The trailer is below.

 

TENDERNESS LOVE AND BEAUTY IN THE MIDST OF RESISTANCE

It’s a documentary that is a study in contrasts. Between live footage of actual events and the days that followed, it’s contrasted by intimate views of  taking care of home-life and their children versus learning the work of resistance in the field.  This film opens the door into the everyday lives in Ferguson and challenges the idea of “normal”.  The idea is to question “normal and pay attention”.

 

FERGUSON INTERSECTS CHARLOTTSVILLE

The big takeaway in Whose Streets?  “We are raising a generation of activists. That is where change is gonna come.” “Becoming a lifestyle.. fighting for what we want.” “When cameras are gone the truth will be told.” declares this relentless story of Ferguson and its continuing aftermath. So, there are many heroes in this documentary. From the elder to the very young.

 

If there is anything to be learned of the last weeks of THIS mid-August, 2017, it’s that we MUST revisit and re-educate ourselves on our American history, from all sides. Who thought what and why. What were/are the arguments?  And what were/are the end results that bring us to this moment?  But that is really the final takeaway. Whose Streets? shines a bright light on a path that was taken on that August of 2014. It shows a road that can be travelled . Rolling Stone says this “may be the doc of the year”.

 

 

Told by the activists and leaders who live and breathe this movement for justice, Whose Streets? is an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising. When unarmed teenager Michael Brown is killed by police and left lying in the street for hours, it marks a breaking point for the residents of St. Louis, Missouri. Grief, long-standing racial tensions and renewed anger bring residents together to hold vigil and protest this latest tragedy. Empowered parents, artists, and teachers from around the country come together as freedom fighters. As the National Guard descends on Ferguson with military grade weaponry, these young community members become the torchbearers of a new resistance. Filmmakers Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis know this story because they are the story. Whose Streets? is a powerful battle cry from a generation fighting, not for their civil rights, but for the right to live.

 

 

 

 

What to do if HATE comes to your town? Check this. 

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A skipping stone from Portland, to Michigan, New York City, and back to Portland. It was theatre and dance worlds in Manhattan. And here in Portland, total immersion into the radio broadcasting world, more dance, theatre, art and endless music.

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