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Shockwaves have been felt around the world following the murder of George Floyd. As the Black Lives Matter movement continues, it is important that people (especially white people) educate themselves on the issues of systematic anti-Black racism. Below are six powerful films and documentaries you can educate yourself with on Netflix right now. And don’t forget to donate, too—here’s a quick list of local organizations supporting Black Canadians:
Black Lives Matter Vancouver
Hogan’s Alley Society
BC Black History
Federation of Black Canadians
Black Health Alliance
COVID-19 Black Vancouver Community Support
Black Youth Helpline
13th is a must-watch 2017 Academy Award nominated feature documentary by Ava Duvernay. The film follows scholars, activists and politicians as they analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom.
Flint Town is an eight-episode docuseries that takes an intimate look at the state of policing in America through the lens of the Flint Police Department in Flint, Michigan, as the community struggles with crumbling infrastructure – violence, crime, poverty and financially strapped public services. This series follows the town of Flint from 2015-2017 in the aftermath of the coverup of the Flint Water Crisis, leading to a massive distrust in law enforcement officials.
Strong Island is another Oscar-nominated documentary by filmmaker Yance Ford which chronicles the arc of his family across history and how their lives were shaped by the enduring shadow of racism in America. The film explores the murder of Ford’s brother who was killed by a 19-year-old white car mechanic, and the apathetic investigation that followed.
This Netflix mini-series by esteemed director Ava Duvernay, who also created 13th, follows the true story of five boys who would come to be known as ‘The Central Park Five,’ and how they became wrongful suspects in the brutal beating and rape of a white female jogger in Central Park, NYC. When They See Us examines the role the boys’ races played in their wrongful incarcerations and challenges viewers to reconsider what it means to find justice in America.
Based on the acclaimed Broadway play, American Son navigates the story of the unique dynamic of an estranged interracial couple raising a mixed-race son in America. Time passes and tensions mount as Kerry Washington’s character sits anxiously in a police station lobby awaiting the news of her missing teenage son.
Before the show begins it presents a quote from Ta-Nehisi Coates: “Race is the child of racism, not the father.”
Dear White People is a comedy drama series which follows a group of Black college students as they navigate the daily slights and slippery politics of life at a mostly white Ivy League school that is not nearly as ‘post-racial’ as it thinks.
And don’t forget to stream this video in the background all day long.