Black celebrities star in a distressing new short film titled “Against The Wall.”
“There’s a real suspicious guy. This guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something.”
While George Zimmerman utters those words in a sampling of his emergency call prior to murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, talented actor Micahel B. Jordan stares into the camera with his hands raised and pressed against the wall. The dispatcher then asks, “Ok, and this guy – is he white, Black or Hispanic?”
Zimmerman then gives a swift response in the voiceover saying, “He’s a Black male.”
The writing above narrates the first scene of the short film Against The Wall, which sheds a light on the cases of police brutality and violence meted out on Black people in America.
Against the Wall, a sobering PSA short film released on Wednesday, seeks to tackle police brutality and racial… https://t.co/x1EO06PWk2
— Sankofa.org (@sankofadotorg) October 12, 2016
The short film has a rich cast of Black celebrities like Michael K. Williams, Van Jones, Jordan and Sophia Dawson. These stars stand against the wall with their hands raised imitating the position cops usually tell many to assume before an arrest. As they all stare daringly into the camera, recordings of 911 transmissions detailing the deaths of Black unarmed people play in the background.
“We thought it would prove powerful to place these celebrated people in the same positions that too many within the black community face — being forced against the wall, hands up, on the ground and eventually shot dead by police. You can see and feel the same pain, bewilderment, fear, humiliation in the faces of these celebrated people, as you could imagine would have been on the faces of the victims themselves,” said Co-director Gerard Bush.
— Vibe Magazine (@VibeMagazine) October 12, 2016
Founder of Sankofa, Harry Belafonte believes that making use of the power of celebrity in an attempt to change our society is very important, due to the fact that the country is becoming “desensitized” to police brutality and violence.
“By using the faces of those we recognize — familiar faces — we look to re-sensitize the community to really see the problem. We are shining a light and calling out to all to take a look, listen and feel within your heart to take action. As artists, we have an opportunity to educate and stimulate thoughts and ideas to shift narratives and not only show life as it is, but as it could be,” Belafonte said in a statement.
The touching video comes at a time when police violence is becoming a new norm in our society. Several videos of police brutality on Black people have been circulating the internet for years; perhaps it made people accustomed to them. As for the authorities, they’d prefer to see people living with their eyes closed. Thanks to the producers and directors of this movie for creating awareness and reminding us of the names and stories of the ones, whom we should all stand for.