"Calm Reflection" or Justice?

Figueroa, Meleiza
Date Written:  2013-09-01
Publisher:  Against the Current
Year Published:  2013
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20059

Afterthoughts on Justice and racism after the movie Fruitvale Station.

THE FRIDAY NIGHT before George Zimmerman was acquitted, some friends and I went to see the movie "Fruitvale Station." "Fruitvale Station," if you don’t already know, is an amazing film that chronicles the last day in the life of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Black man from Oakland, CA -- a bit of a screwup like a lot of guys are at that age, but at heart a devoted son and father -- who was handcuffed and fatally shot in the back by a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer on New Years’ Day 2009.

As the credits rolled on the film, and my friends and I sat there, stunned, crying and heartbroken, I tried, through all the visceral pain and anger, to process what I had just seen.

What struck me most about Ryan Coogler's remarkable film was the everydayness of it all. Throughout the film, Michael B. Jordan's portrayal of Oscar Grant reminded me of so many people I have known in my life; neighbors, friends, past lovers of all colors. Grant's last day could have been any given day in Oakland; kids, hipsters, blunts, Farmer Joe's market, the making and breaking of heartfelt promises, the familiar squeal of the BART train as it pulls into a station.

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