Figure1: Protests on the street
Today’sera torture that is being wreaked on millennial black individualsevokes not only recollections of the past tragedies like Malcolm X,but also outrage similar to what was witnessed in the 60s. TheAfrican Americans, for a long time, have been sick and tired of thediscrimination and social injustice showed to them in the UnitedStates. The birth of the movement led to therelease of the documentary, “StayWoke: The Movement,”that is aimed at asserting that African Americans are citizens too,thus their rights need to be respected. The movement has assisted in solving the social issuesaffecting the black by raining awareness across the nation eventhough a number of Americans do not agree with the idea ofindividuals simply rioting and being harsh to the police because, atthe end of the day, they are in charge of our safety.
Thedocumentary, BlackLivesMatter begins in Baltimore, one of the U.S.States that has been overburdened by insufficient opportunities andsupport for the poor in raising awareness to the whole nation. Inthat, more than one-third of the African Americans male living in theregion, at one time, will spend their lives in the penal system. Thepoorest neighborhoods in the city are depicted to be in despair asthey are seen depending entirely on volunteer community organizationsto create for them an enhanced reality in those parts of theirbeloved city. The documentary shows the way thousands of homes arebeing shuttered and itemized as uninhabitable while people continueto live in the streets. Most of the residents in the area perceivethe law enforcement agencies as oppressive rather than a supportiveunit of the society as Faulkstates “black people have been living in this culture forcenturies” (TopDocumentary).The documentary served as a reminder for the entire nation,especially the African American community, of the plight that hasseized on of their largest cities. In that, the detaining andbrutalizing of Gray in 2015 by the law enforcers in plain view, whichlater led to his death as he suffered spinal cord injuries, served asa reminder for the society of what was going on in their backyard.Moreover, Zimmerman had been charged with the shooting of Martin ashe walked home from the gas station, even though he was not armed, anincident that led to a public outcry (Camp, and Heatherton 22). Thedocumentary served as an avenue for examining this epidemic beginningfrom its roots, thus depicting a corrupt system that declines toimplement internal corrective measures without motivation. Thecorrupt and racist institution has even been acknowledged by othercops as Wood Jr.states “You cannot participate in a system that has structural andinstitutionalized racism and keeps our fellow humans down” (TopDocumentary).This motivation is being seen in the form of the Movement in addition to other Americans who feel they need to turntheir grief into positive action in their respective societies.
Theterms Blacks lives matters, as various people would assume, does notmean that not all lives matter considering that it emphasizes on thelives of everyone within the society. Those terms imply that, justlike any other person within the society, the blacks are alsocitizens who deserve to be respected in terms of their rights.Everyone within the society, irrespective of their color matters, asthey need to be respected, but blacks are the one’s receiving thegreatest injustices in view of what is going on in the society.Therefore, the focus should be on the African Americans who are beingsubjected to the social injustices in the society, even though thelives of all people matter. According to statistics, almost one-thirdof Baltimore residents spend some time in police cells, a city thatis dominated by black. The shooting of Martin by Zimmerman who laterwalked scot free is a clear indication that something in the societymust be wrong. In a normal social setting, individuals are supposedto be arrested and later questioned if suspected to be engaging incrime, but that was not the case in Zimmerman story. Additionally,the brutal beating of Gray by the police in broad daylight by thepolice to the extent that he succumbed to death shows that the systemis rotten and needs to be corrected. When more than two incidencesregarding police brutality towards the blacks are captured, itsignifies that the law enforcement hold justice on the blacks as asecondary aspect instead of treating them equally like others (Taylor42). In all these incidences of social injustices, there is no oneinvolving the other races in the United States that has captured theattention of the citizens on a national level. Therefore, despite thelives of everyone being of value, the injustices towards the AfricanAmericans need to be addressed to ensure they are valued the same wayas other within the United States. To ensure that everyone is ware ofsuch practices, the documentary has highlighted some of the mostconspicuous within the society.
Despitethe wonderful role of the documentary, which is the sensitization ofthe public on the social injustices towards the African Americanswithin the society, it also advocates riots as the main method thatcan lead to reforms within the law enforcement that other do notagree with. Different opinions have also emerged in regard to theactivities of the movement that steered the shooting of thedocumentary considering that other people feel it results inincreased violence. In that, such movements need to find amicableways of presenting their grievances especially those related policebrutality as Dr.Melinda Abdullah states, “people say we shouldn`t focus on thepolice brutality so much, we should focus on other things” (TopDocumentary).The documentary portrays the entire police system as a rotten part ofthe society that needs to be reformed, as a picture that may end upincreasing the hostility between the African-Americans and thepolice. Moreover, the young people in the society are being incitedto rise up against these practices of social injustices, which maylead to increased violence (Edwards and Harris 44). The rightplatform to address the issue and instil reforms in the police sectorshould be sought in a peaceful manner. However, the documentaryBlackLivesMatter served its purpose by asserting that the blacks arealso citizens who deserve justice, but the rising movement should usepeaceful ways other than violence to address their grievances.
Inconclusion, the documentary main purpose was to get the point ofpolice brutality towards the African Americans across, as it depictsthe nature of the society using incidences of discrimination.However, some people believe the documentary asserts that the livesof other individuals in the society do not matter, which is notcorrect because every life matters. Those alleging that all livesmatter should bear in mind that the cases of discrimination involvingthe blacks are the ones on the rise, yet other races continue to leadnormal lives.
Camp,Jordan T, and Christina Heatherton. Policingthe Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to ., 2016. Print.
Edwards,Sue B, and Duchess Harris. BlackLives Matter., 2016. Internet resource.
Taylor,Keeanga-Yamahtta. From#blacklivesmatter to Black Liberation., 2016. Internet resource.
TopDocumentary. TOP DOCUMENTARY FILMS., n.d. Retrieved fromhttp://topdocumentaryfilms.com/black-lives-matter/ [Accessed17/11/2016].