Since the Ferguson, Mo., uprising in 2014 kick-started the Black Lives Matter movement, there have been numerous films about the criminal-justice system.
Not many, however, have taken a street-level view.
And even fewer have gotten the kind of grass-roots, where-it-all-began screening that “Whose Streets?” did over the weekend.
“If we keep the integrity of what we’re doing and tell the truth … that’s how we’re going to tell this story,” said director Damon Davis, a St. Louis native who made the documentary with Sabaah Folayan. “At end of day we really just need to think about which side we’re on.”
Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an international activist movement, originating in the African-American community, that campaigns against violence toward black people. BLM regularly organizes protests around the deaths of black people in killings by law enforcement officers, and broader issues of racial profiling, police brutality, and racial inequality in the United States criminal justice system.
In 2013, the movement began with the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media, after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African-American teen Trayvon Martin. Black Lives Matter became nationally recognized for its street demonstrations following the 2014 deaths of two African Americans: Michael Brown, resulting in protests and unrest in Ferguson, and Eric Garner in New York City.
Since the Ferguson protests, participants in the movement have demonstrated against the deaths of numerous other African Americans by police actions or while in police custody, including those of Tamir Rice, Eric Harris, Walter Scott, Jonathan Ferrell, Sandra Bland, Samuel DuBose and Freddie Gray. In the Summer of 2015, Black Lives Matter began to publicly challenge politicians—including politicians in the 2016 United States presidential election—to state their positions on BLM issues. The overall Black Lives Matter movement, however, is a decentralized network and has no formal hierarchy or structure. (Wikipedia).