“Black Lives Matter”, it’s a civil rights movement triggered a year ago after the death of Michael Brown; an unarmed black teen killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.
His death sparked riots across the United States and became a national catalyst for millions of Americans to begin talking about race, racism and policing. We take a look back to see where the country stands now and the legacy left behind by the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. This week on Full Frame: the modern Civil Rights movement.
‘Common’: The Civil Rights movement in the United States
Critically acclaimed U.S. hip-hop artist, actor and civil rights activist ‘Common’ wants to use the spotlight of fame to create change….beyond simply making music. And he does it, by getting involved in his community.
A Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe winning artist, Common also started the non-profit group “Common Ground Foundation” with the goal of exposing underserved, inner-city youth to new opportunities using creative arts as the catalyst.
Growing up on the south side of Chicago and raised by a single mother, Common calls himself a Good Samaritan; saying if he sees people in need, he can’t just leave them behind.
This year Common portrayed civil rights activist James Bevel in the film, “Selma”.
The film tells the story of the historic 1965 civil rights marches from Selma, Alabama to the state capital of Montgomery where African Americans demanded their right to register to vote.
It’s remembered as a turning point in the 1960’s U.S. Civil Rights Movement.
It’s a role Common says has changed his life and a movie with a message that is still relevant 50 years later. The film offers the story of everyday Americans willing to make sacrifices for progress and change – something that Common and his peers on the forefront of the modern Civil Rights movement say is still very much needed today.
Follow Common on Twitter: @Common
Daughter of Civil Rights movement: Donzaleigh Abernathy
Donzaleigh Abernathy grew up on the front lines of the civil rights marches and boycotts that forever changed American history. Her father was the late Dr. Ralph David Abernathy, the best friend and colleague of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The two men were so close that Donzaleigh and her siblings grew up calling King “uncle”. And it was Dr. Abernathy who introduced King before his very last public speech, the night before his assassination.
Both men were co-founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a civil rights organization which Abernathy continued after King’s death.
Fifty years later, the issue of racial equality, both in the United States and abroad, still lingers…proving the fight for civil rights seems more crucial now than ever.
Connect with Donzaleigh on Facebook
The role media plays in race relations
Historically in the United States and other Western cultures, Caucasians have been associated with privilege while other races have been associated with inferiority and labeled as “others” within society.
The media plays an influential role in shaping how society thinks about and the interactions between races in our everyday lives.
From television and radio to movies and social media, Americans are bombarded with messages about race. Is it hurting or helping? We hear from African American studies scholar Dr. Darnell Hunt, UCLA professor and author of several books. And we speak with social psychologist Dr. Ana-Christina Ramon, assistant director and associate researcher of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. The two co-authored the 2015 Hollywood Diversity Report.
Check out this week’s episode of Full Frame, as Mike Walter discovers more about diversity and the role media plays in society.
Follow Dr. Darnell Hunt on Twitter: @darnell_hunt
Follow UCLA Bunche Center on Twitter: @BuncheUCLA
Humanizing Homelessness: Anonymous graffiti artist paints homeless
Homelessness is a problem around the globe. Multiple international human rights conventions recognize that access to adequate shelter is a basic human right.
Yet, in 2014, more than 600,000 people were homeless in the United States alone. Despite the numbers, these people are often forgotten within society and viewed as nonexistent.
Now, one man hopes to humanize the homeless by using art. Skid Robot is a graffiti artist in Los Angeles who seeks out people living on the streets to incorporate into his work.
While he remains anonymous, the artist brings food and clothing to the people he meets. Then, paints their hopes and dreams in graffiti scenes surrounding them.
Skid Robot’s ultimate goal is to inspire compassion and perhaps motivate others to help those who are often forgotten.
Join us for this week’s Full Frame Close Up, as we draw attention to the issue of homelessness and see how one man is trying to make a difference.
Follow Skid Robot on Instagram: @skidrobot
Tune into Full Frame on CCTV America at 7:00 pm ET on August 8, 2015. Or watch the live stream of the program here.