Why You Should See The “Whose Streets” Documentary

Yesterday I had the opportunity to screen the documentary, “Whose Streets” in Atlanta. I first heard about this film through a group I recently joined called Southerners On New Ground or SONG.  “Whose Streets” is a documentary about the protest movement that sparked after the murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. They followed several protesters and how they navigated through the aftermath.

Here is the preview below:

The film used cell phone footage which made you feel that you were right there with characters of the film.  They follow them through a range of obstacles which included:  taking care of their family, being trapped on the streets at night behind police barricades, non-violent actions, city council meetings with the Mayor.  It was fascinating to see everyday day people organizing and coming together to address the issues of police brutality in the United States. Juxtaposed with that footage, they showed the mainstream coverage as well as actions by some of the supporters of the police officer who murdered Mike Brown. Knowing the outcome of that (Darren Wilson went free), it was certainly hard to watch.

I was in Germany at the time, seething about what was going on in the States. I had my own issues because this was the beginning of the end for me in Berlin, and I was simply trying to figure out how to get back home. There were protests in Berlin. Around the city, there was art that sprang up and it was beautiful to feel the solidarity from African descended people around the world. It inspired me to come back home and get involved wherever I can.

"whose streets" art

Copyright: James Shields

One of the main characters in “Whose Streets” was Brittany Ferrell,  a nursing student at the time who they follow as she goes from protesting to organizing her own actions, to her eventual arrest and release.  She and her wife become deeply involved and take their children to participate. It was so beautiful to see her raising her daughter to be aware of the system around her and see her mother working to change it. I got the feels there I have to say myself. Below is a video of her concerning the film:

I urge you to see this film. The mainstream news often does not tell you the real story of these events, and this film provides an inside look to those who were on the ground. They are screening the film in Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta. You can go here for more information.  I was treated to a Q&A after the film with organizers from SONG and Black Lives Matter Atlanta after the film. Folks loved the film “Whose Streets”, and the theatre was packed. Hope you see the film!