Starting a Movement (03:27)
Activist and theater artist Patrisse Cullors rehearses a play giving black Seattle residents a voice. After George Zimmerman's acquittal for murdering Trayvon Martin, she founded BLM with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi in 2013. Her hashtag #BlackLivesMatter went viral.
Activism through Art (04:37)
Cullors is developing a theater piece to challenge the narrative that black people cannot tell their stories; KT was tried as an adult at 15 with an all-white jury. Cullors wants to build community, inspire humanity, and call audiences to action.
Michael Brown and Ferguson (03:00)
Marcel Baugh shares his experience with police brutality and racial profiling. Darren Wilson testifies he was scared for his life, although he had the gun. His non-indictment sparks global protests; the movement blossoms.
Police Response to Ferguson Protests (02:15)
The black community holds a vigil in response to Brown's death, which was repressed. Cullors explains law enforcement armament under the 1033 Program. She believes using military force causes, rather than de-escalates, violence.
Ignoring the Root Cause of Black Outrage (03:43)
Jah-vi Cotten-Cohia shares being harassed by police while on felony probation. Cullors discusses how steadily degrading social conditions are sidelined in favor of media sensationalism; Brown's family was forced to watch him die from behind yellow tape.
Police Harassment (03:15)
Hodan Hassan recalls being humiliated by a TSA agent. Seattle law enforcement takes a more insidious approach to racial profiling. She does not feel completely safe in her community.
Exposing Injustice through Social Media (02:19)
Since Ferguson, the black community has been able to document and share police brutality incidents to a wider audience. On Facebook livestream, Philando Castile's girlfriend films a police officer shooting him.
Amplifying Experiences of Injustice (02:55)
Cullors expresses rage and grief through art. She wants black people's stories to start a broader conversation about addressing poverty and violence prevention, rather than placing more resources into law enforcement.
Endangered Black Men (03:11)
View footage of officers placing Eric Garner in a chokehold; he says he cannot breathe. Baugh says he is considered a threat in Seattle, due to racial profiling—despite progressive ideals of equality. He fears a police confrontation.
Challenging White Liberal Supremacy (03:35)
BLM activist Marissa Jenae Johnson interrupts a Bernie Sanders rally in Seattle to send a message to the Democratic Party about starting a conversation around law enforcement violence. Cullors says racism exists in predominantly white populations everywhere.
All Black Lives Matter (03:47)
Cullors coaches participants in singing "Young, Gifted and Black." She discusses how queer black women have developed a decentralized movement for everyone—regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or social status.
#BlackLivesMatter Day (02:04)
High school students and their families attend an assembly to inspire grassroots activism. Cullors discusses why the movement must include the entire black community.
Social Movement Infighting (02:33)
The old civil rights movement is bound by patriarchy; black women did most of the work. Some people criticize Cullors as "co-opting" the Ferguson Movement for queer people.
Collective Resistance (03:06)
View footage of demonstrations in European cities. Cullors reflects on the importance of a decentralized movement. Participants arrive for opening night of her theater piece; Cotten-Cohia is anxious to share his story.
Rebuilding the Black Community (02:03)
Cullors hopes to develop black leadership through her theater works. She is inspired by love for her people, and rage toward the state and white supremacy.
Credits: Black Lives Matter (00:34)
Credits: Black Lives Matter
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