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11 racial justice documentaries to further your education

2023-04-02 10:25:42

11 racial justice documentaries to further your education

As nationwide protests continue in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery, the Black Lives Matter movement remains as important as ever and an invaluable resource to those in and outside of the Black community.

11 racial justice documentaries to further your education(图1)

For non-Black people, this is a time to listen, learn, donate, and activate. One way to do that is by seeking out the many films and series about civil unrest and racial inequality. 2020's protests and curfews are not new; they are the latest boiling over of systemic issues that date back to this country's creation and beyond.

In order to make change, we must first understand how we got here. Here are 11 racial justice documentaries you can stream right now to learn more.

1. LA ’92(Opens in a new tab)

Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Martin’s 2017 documentary would be chilling enough without its 2020 context. It recounts the stories of Rodney King, who was brutally beaten by police officers, and Latasha Harlins, a teenager who was fatally shot in a convenience store. King’s attackers were found not guilty despite damning video evidence, and in the days after, fires, riots, and looting ravaged Los Angeles. The film frames the 1992 unrest with footage of the 1965 Watts riots, highlighting the disturbing parallels.

Where to watch: Netflix(Opens in a new tab)

2. 13th(Opens in a new tab)

Ava DuVernay's searing documentary traces the origins of the prison system to the institution of slavery, which remains legal in the United States as punishment for a crime. The 13th amendment led to slavery's modern manifestation, in which Black Americans are imprisoned disproportionately, often for minor offenses.

Where to watch: Netflix(Opens in a new tab) or YouTube(Opens in a new tab)

3. 3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets(Opens in a new tab)

Marc Silver’s 2015 documentary recounts the 2012 death of teenager Jordan Davis, who was shot multiple times in a parking lot while listening to music with friends. His attacker was found guilty of first-degree murder, but only after a mistrial and extensive media coverage, which the film follows along with Davis’ friends, family, and trial proceedings.

Where to watch: HBO(Opens in a new tab)

4. I Am Not Your Negro(Opens in a new tab)

From the civil rights movement to Black Lives Matter to representation in Hollywood, I Am Not Your Negro examines the modern Black experience in America through the last writings of James Baldwin and his correspondences with Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Medgar Evers.

Where to watch: Amazon(Opens in a new tab)

5. Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland(Opens in a new tab)

When 28-year-old Sandra Bland was arrested for a traffic violation and subsequently found hanged in her jail cell days later, a two-year legal ordeal began. Filmmakers Kate Davis and David Heilbroner document the family’s battle with law enforcement while sharing Bland’s own video blogs and history of activism. Though her death was ruled a suicide, it remains surrounded by questions and the undeniable fact that it can’t be undone.

Where to watch: HBO(Opens in a new tab)

6. Baltimore Rising(Opens in a new tab)

The Wire’s Sonja Sohn documents protests and unrest in Baltimore after Freddie Gray died due to injuries sustained after an arrest. While the six officers who arrested Gray await a verdict, the eyes of the nation fall on Baltimore, where lines of division become clearer than ever.

Where to watch: HBO(Opens in a new tab)

7. Whose Streets?(Opens in a new tab)

Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis direct this 2017 documentary about the death of Michael Brown and subsequent uprising in Ferguson, Missouri. The officer who shot Brown was not indicted, and eventually cleared of all charges and ruled to have been acting in self defense.

Where to watch: Hulu(Opens in a new tab)

8. True Justice: Bryan Stevenson's Fight for Equality(Opens in a new tab)

Director Peter Kunhardt spotlights Alabama attorney Bryan Stevenson (also the subject of Warner Bros.’ Just Mercy, streaming for free(Opens in a new tab) for the month of June), who has made it his life’s mission to highlight and combat racial inequality in the U.S. justice system. Stevenson regularly advocates for clients who are socially or economically disadvantaged or already unfairly affected by incarceration. In interviews, he himself outlines the United States’ history of racist legal inequality and his own efforts to challenge it.

Where to watch: HBO(Opens in a new tab)

9. Time: The Kalief Browder Story(Opens in a new tab)

This six-episode docuseries recounts how 16-year-old Kalief Browder was accused of stealing a backpack, but went on to spend three years in prison because his family couldn’t afford his bail and the system had no place for him. Browder spent two of his three years in solitary confinement on Rikers Island without ever being convicted of a crime, and died by suicide two years after his release. Each episode focuses on a different aspect of the incarceration, from the system to the witness to Rikers itself to what life looked like for Browder after his release.

Where to watch: Netflix(Opens in a new tab)

10. Teach Us All(Opens in a new tab)

Decades after the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education, Sonia Lowman’s documentary covers how segregation, though illegal, persists in the American school system through demographic inequality, specifically in Little Rock, New York City, and Los Angeles.

Where to watch: Netflix(Opens in a new tab)

11. (Opens in a new tab)Strong Island(Opens in a new tab)

Strong Island is director Yance Ford's examination of his own family and the murder of his brother William. William Ford was unarmed when he was shot by a white employee at an auto shop and dead before even reaching a hospital. His shooter was not indicted, and Ford's film examines the family's ongoing pain over 20 years after justice failed William.

Where to watch: Netflix(Opens in a new tab)

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    Kamala Harris' face has gone on QUITE the journey.


    On Wednesday night, Senator Harris and Vice President Mike Pence met up at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City to go head to head in the first and only vice presidential debate of the 2020 election, and over the course of the evening Harris flipped through an entire Rolodex worth of facial expressions.

    While listening to Pence respond to questions about everything from the coronavirus and healthcare to climate change and Trump's income taxes, she couldn't help but react to statements she disagreed with...which were pretty much all of them.

    She pulled out the side-eye, the stern Momala face, the "I'm tired of men not letting women speak" gaze, and the "Oh sweetie, no" smirk. Occasionally Harris had to outright laugh at Pence's comments, and she certainly didn't shy away from confronting him whenever he tried to interrupt her.

    During the disastrous presidential debate on Sept. 29, Joe Biden let some remarkable facial expressions loose. But Harris definitely one-upped her running mate tonight. Pence and his red eye(Opens in a new tab) didn't stand a chance against Harris' looks.

    Pence, if you're reading this you might want to spend some time practicing facial expressions in front of the bathroom mirror when you get home so you don't look like an emotionless robot next time you're on stage.

  • You can celebrate Groundhog Day with a $80 Cameo from Punxsutawney Phil

    You can celebrate Groundhog Day with a $80 Cameo from Punxsutawney Phil

    Punxsutawney Phil isn't just looking for his shadow this Groundhog Day. He's looking to make some cold hard cash on Cameo(Opens in a new tab), too.


    Yes, the "World Famous Groundhog" who comes around every Feb. 2 to help predict whether we'll be moving onto spring or bracing for six more weeks of winter joined the growing list of animal creators on Cameo(Opens in a new tab), which means you can book your very own video...for a price. For those who aren't familiar with Cameo, it's a video-sharing platform that allows people to pay for customized videos from actors, musicians, athletes, political commentators, and of course, animals.

    Punxsutawney Phil is currently charging a whopping $80.00 per Cameo — $10.00 more than he was just a week ago. To put that price in perspective, Sopranos actor Ray Abruzzo, Bridgerton's Ruby Barker(Opens in a new tab), The Parent Trap's Elaine Hendrix(Opens in a new tab), and Friday Night Lights star Scott Porter(Opens in a new tab) — to name a few — are all charging less than the iconic rodent.

    In other words, this groundhog thinks he's the shit. And you know what? He's not wrong.

    Punxsutawney Phil is getting a head start on Groundhog Day celebrations. Credit: screenshot / cameo

    If you're thinking $80 is a great price for a personalized video of a talking groundhog, I regret to inform you that Punxsutawney Phil isn't the one speaking in his Cameos.

    Your video will feature "the Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of all Prognosticators, and the only true weather predicting groundhog," however, Punxsutawney Phil will be accompanied by his handler and Inner Circle member(Opens in a new tab) A.J. Dereume (aka the Rainmaker) who delivers your personalized message. Phil just sort of sits there, looking cute and cozy as hell.

    For those who aren't familiar with the Cameo process, when you book a video you'll be asked to include some details so the creator can deliver a recipient-specific message. The personalized video will be sent to contact you provide within a week of placing the order, and if for some reason the request can't be fulfilled you'll be notified and refunded.

    According to Punxsutawney Phil's page, the account typically responds in 15 hours and has already received eight glowing 5-star reviews from satisfied fans.

    A look at what Phil and AJ have to offer. Credit: screenshot / cameo

    You can check out sample videos on the page to get an idea of what you'll be receiving, and there's also an option to "Chat" with Punxsutawney Phil for $0.99 if that's a little more in your price range. (Though I'm not really sure what "chatting" with a groundhog entails. Maybe he'll sit on the keyboard or something.)

    Cameos have really taken off in quarantine and make perfect birthday(Opens in a new tab) and Christmas gifts, so why not go all out for Groundhog Day, too?

    If you know someone who's a "Phil Fanatic," has a Feb. 2 birthday, or is just really going to miss their IRL Groundhog Day celebration this year, this Cameo is a delightful, expensive, absolutely ridiculous gesture.

  • Will Ferrell is also deleting Facebook


    Will Ferrell is also deleting Facebook

    Very soon, you won't find Will Ferrell on Facebook.

    The comedian declared on Tuesday he would be deleting his account within 72 hours, following revelations of Cambridge Analytica's misuse of personal data from the social network's users.

    SEE ALSO: Forget data. Free labor is Facebook's lifeblood

    In a Facebook post(opens in a new tab), Ferrell wrote that he "always had an aversion to social media," but used it to promote projects from himself and colleagues. The data scandal, it would appear, was the final straw.

    "I know I am not alone when I say that I was very disturbed to hear about Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of millions of Facebook users’ information in order to undermine our democracy and infringe on our citizens' privacy," he wrote.

    "I was further appalled to learn that Facebook's reaction to such a violation was to suspend the account of the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower."

    Ferrell added he could "no longer in good conscience, use the services of a company that allowed the spread of propaganda and directly aimed it at those most vulnerable."

    Ferrell's departure from the social network comes after Elon Musk deleted the Facebook pages for SpaceX and Tesla, later declaring on Twitter(opens in a new tab) he did so not out of political motivation, but rather the platform made him nervous.

    Superstar Cher has also said she's deleted her Facebook account, saying although the platform has helped her with her charity work, "There are things more 'important' than 💰💰." Cher's official page is still active on the social network, but perhaps she's referring to her own personal account.

    Who's next?

  • KFCs Virtual Influencer Colonel is pretty damn hot

    KFCs Virtual Influencer Colonel is pretty damn hot


    We've been through a lot of iterations of the KFC Colonel (Opens in a new tab)over the years, but the latest version might be the weirdest.

    Instead of hiring a famous celebrity to play the Colonel, the chain created a computer-generated "Instagram influencer" Colonel, which the company has labeled a "Virtual Influencer Colonel.(Opens in a new tab)"

    Say what you will about KFC, fried chicken, or Instagram influencers, you have the admit that the new Colonel is at least a little bit attractive. I'm basically a lesbian separatist, and I can say that.

    Virtual Influencer Colonel" could totally sell me on corporate mass-produced chicken. He's just that urbane and sophisticated.

    View this post on Instagram



    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    SEE ALSO: KFC's fried chicken-scented sunscreen sounds truly terrible

    "Virtual Influencer Colonel" has all the stereotypical hallmarks of a handsome metrosexual man: high cheekbones, Warby Parker-style glasses, a smug smile, absolutely phenomenal skin, perfect posture, and salt and pepper hair.

    And a bunch of people on Twitter agree that the new Colonel is at least kinda hot.

    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    "Virtual Influencer Colonel," please tell me how I should live.

  • Tradwives claim feminism ruined everything. Theyre wrong — capitalism did.

    Tradwives claim feminism ruined everything. Theyre wrong — capitalism did.

    In a viral TikTok, user Jennifer Mock (@jlmock4.0) performs as a 1950s woman meeting a 2022 woman.


    "So I get to work outside the home?" the 1950s woman — Mock, donned in an apron — asks the modern woman.

    "Totally, you can just sit in a cubicle all day while you stare at a computer screen chugging coffee," says the modern woman, Mock in a purple wig. "So liberating."

    Mock goes on to bash other aspects of modern life, like the birth control pill and dating apps. The video(Opens in a new tab) part of a wider trend of TikTok tradfems and tradwives, groups of people who are against modern feminism and for a Christian, "traditional" view of womanhood. These people, many of them women online, denounce feminism in turn for the "more fulfilling" life of submitting to a man(Opens in a new tab). It goes without saying that people longing for the 1950s are, by and large, white.

    While, outwardly, these people are anti-feminists, it's clear that tradfems and tradwives are actually raging against capitalism. They say that feminism is what ruined women's lives, that the fact that we have to work to survive is somehow at the fault of women gaining rights. 

    They're wrong.

    Feminism isn't the reason women work in cubicles then go home to do their "second shift" — all the invisible labor at home, like cleaning and making doctors' appointments. Feminism isn't the reason that women can't afford to stay at home, why many people can't even afford children(Opens in a new tab) to caretake for or homes(Opens in a new tab) to homemake in at all. That's capitalism.

    Feminism also isn't the reason women are still disproportionately saddled with childcare duties, why they took on as much as three times additional childcare hours during the pandemic than men.

    Feminism also isn't the reason women are still disproportionately saddled with childcare duties, why they took on as much as three times additional childcare hours(Opens in a new tab) during the pandemic than men. That's patriarchy, babes — not feminism.

    This clip of Mock, who didn't respond to Mashable's request for comment, also went viral on Twitter when it was posted by media personality Brittany Martinez, who also goes by her maiden name Hugoboom depending on the social platform. It's no surprise that Martinez posted this; she's the editor-in-chief of Evie Magazine(Opens in a new tab), a conservative women's magazine.

    Both Martinez(Opens in a new tab) and Evie as a whole claim that feminism is a "scam"(Opens in a new tab) made by "our overlords" in order to…tax women's income. An article on Evie's website says that feminism is a psyop in order for women to pay more taxes to the government(Opens in a new tab) — claims that are only sourced by other Evie articles. Nowhere does it mention decades-long wage stagnation(Opens in a new tab) and increasing income inequality(Opens in a new tab). Martinez hasn't responded to Mashable's request for comment.

    Disillusionment after girlboss-era feminism is understandable. "Hustling" to be the "SHE-E-O" won't bring you fulfillment, as many of us learned in the past few years. But that's not because girlboss feminism is feminism; it's because it's capitalist. We were so conditioned since birth to want a career, a "dream job," that we believed that's what we really wanted. Just like how women before us were conditioned to want to be a housewife; the reality, however, wasn't like the picturesque, vintage ads you may see on TikTok.  

    SEE ALSO: 'Beige flags' are the TikTok dating trend that could ruin your love life

    Shattering the tradwife fantasy

    Life for actual 1950s housewives was lonely and boring — if you were "lucky." Others suffered abuse; domestic violence was considered a "private family matter"(Opens in a new tab) until the women's liberation movement of the 1960s and '70s. Marital rape was only outlawed(Opens in a new tab) in all 50 states in 1993, and still today between 10 and 14 percent of women are raped by their husbands, according to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence.

    When states adopted no-fault divorce(Opens in a new tab), female suicide rate dropped a staggering 20 percent. Rates of domestic violence and spousal murder also dropped.

    Women in the mid-century dealt with the "problem that has no name"(Opens in a new tab) — anxiety, depression, boredom, and sometimes psychosis associated with being a housewife — with sedatives. In 1960, five years after the tranquilizer Miltown(Opens in a new tab) was introduced to Americans, women were twice as likely as men to be prescribed "mother's little helper."

    Not only did ads and media push this drug onto women in order to better care for their husbands — so did doctors. As Heather Radke wrote in Topic(Opens in a new tab), "In a 1956 article in Cosmopolitan, one doctor reported that after taking the drug, 'frigid women who abhorred marital relations reported they responded more readily to their husbands’ advances.'" 

    Those who weren't advertised to take tranquilizers were advertised to drink(Opens in a new tab). (Funny, that you don't see those ads on tradwife fantasy TikTok.)

    Women aren't "natural" caretakers

    One of the other arguments of the tradfem set is that women are "meant" to be homemakers and mothers. Take another Evie article that states that women are the "heart" of the household and men are the "head,"(Opens in a new tab) that women are "emotional" and can multitask, thus are better suited for housework.

    The reality is, the maternal instinct is a myth(Opens in a new tab). This centuries-old idea reemerged after World War II when the "nuclear family" was the ideal, but it's inconsistent with neuroscience. There aren't inherent differences in gender(Opens in a new tab) that make women better suited for this labor. Studies show that it's the amount of time spent bonding and caretaking for a child(Opens in a new tab), not the gender of the parent, that determines one's closeness with them.

    What there is, however, is societal expectations instilled since birth that women should want to be mothers and take care of the house. Indeed, some men perpetuate this myth and weaponize incompetence(Opens in a new tab) in order to get out of housework they absolutely can do. 

    When you peel back the layers of tradwife arguments, you see the cracks. Take Mock's TikTok as an example: The 1950s wife wants to know if she has a butler or a robot who cleans for her. It's not that she just wants to leave the house; she also wants help with the housework. What if her husband helped her? What if a husband and wife were a true team and divided labor equally? That's…that's feminism.

    Capitalism in casual sex

    Mock's TikTok goes onto another topic that tradfems rail against: hookup culture. "You can have sex with whoever, whenever you want," says the 2022 woman.

    "That sounds kind of gross actually," the 1950s woman replies.

    "The answer to dissatisfying casual sex isn't reverting back to the pre-pill 1950s."

    Casual sex can indeed be unsatisfying, but that's not because of feminism. Hookup culture has been fueled by dating apps, and those are the result of our on-demand capitalist culture. Just like we have Seamless and Netflix, it makes sense that we'd want dates or sex in an instant like we want food or entertainment. 

    The answer to dissatisfying casual sex isn't reverting back to the pre-pill 1950s; it's comprehensive sex education. Among the slew of benefits, comp sex education delays sexual initiation(Opens in a new tab) (one's "first time"), leads to fewer sexual partners, and fosters healthy relationships. 

    Further, anyone who tells you the youngins these days just can't stop fucking doesn't know what they're talking about. Study after study show that we're having less sex, including young people.  

    Anti-pill exaggerations

    Arguments against the birth control pill, which enabled women to have sex without worrying about pregnancy, are another cornerstone of tradfeminism. The birth control pill is far from perfect, but it's disingenuous to claim, as Evie Magazine does, that "the pill is destroying our bodies."(Opens in a new tab) Some people on the pill do have side effects, but others have none at all. 

    Evie Magazine and its editor-in-chief Martinez have a stake in being anti-pill. Martinez just partnered with Peter Thiel(Opens in a new tab) to start 28, a "cycle-based wellness company." The announcement(Opens in a new tab) for 28 says that those taking the pill and with irregular cycle can use 28 without explanation as to how, and without acknowledging how the birth control pill can benefit some people. 

    Martinez isn't the face of the anti-feminism movement, but she's emerging as a vocal proponent. Martinez prides herself as an entrepreneur, calling herself a "2x founder" on her social media. She is allowed to flourish as such, to work outside the home.

    I wonder why.

  • Coca-Cola is releasing a new flavor, and people are nervous

    Coca-Cola is releasing a new flavor, and people are nervous


    When you're feeling risky, but not too risky, Coca-Cola's got you covered.

    The brilliant minds that brought us New Coke are back at it again with a flavor concoction that is sure to win hearts, minds, tastebuds, dollars, and possibly doctor visits. Say hello to Orange Vanilla, which a press release(Opens in a new tab) tells us is the first new iteration on that classic Coke flavor in over a decade.

    SEE ALSO: Coca-Cola is considering marijuana-infused drinks

    The flavor blast from your Creamsicle past will be available in the U.S. starting Feb. 25, but that Orange Vanilla is, at this moment, kept out of reach by Time's evil grasp hasn't stopped soda fans from speculating on the sheer possibilities offered by the new flavor.


    Yum. Credit: coca-cola

    And while some are keeping an open mind, others... well, not so much.

    Irrational exuberance aside, one does perhaps wonder why now and why Orange Vanilla? Thankfully, Coca-Cola brand director Kate Carpenter filled us all in.

    “We wanted to bring back positive memories of carefree summer days,” she is quoted in the aforementioned press release as explaining. “That’s why we leaned into the orange-vanilla flavor combination – which is reminiscent of the creamy orange popsicles we grew up loving, but in a classically Coke way.”

    Ah yes, now does seem like the right time to wax nostalgic about carefree summer days. Coca-Cola, you know us better than we know ourselves. I'm still not drinking this Orange Vanilla nonsense, though.


  • Ryan Reynolds just tweeted 12 words to describe his gin, and theyre ridiculously perfect


    Ryan Reynolds just tweeted 12 words to describe his gin, and theyre ridiculously perfect

    If the whole acting thing doesn't work out, Ryan Reynolds definitely has a backup career as either a) a social media manager or b) a poet. The guy just has a phenomenal way with words.

    SEE ALSO: Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds lost all chill when they heard their daughter's voice at Taylor Swift concert

    This time, fresh of the back of a horrendous drinking game with Jimmy Fallon, he took to Twitter to talk about his company Aviation Gin.

    Soon, other members of the brand were getting involved.

    The company's brand manager got involved...

    As did the finance manager...

    It didn't stop there, though. Ever the professional, Ryan Reynolds then did his best to answer this question from a potential customer.

    "If heaven and laughter made a baby while watching Titanic. But wetter."

    Looks like we have to add "advertising' to Reynolds' never-ending list of talents, too.

    What a man.

  • How to get the trickster voice on TikTok

    How to get the trickster voice on TikTok

    So you want to use the trickster voice effect on TikTok? But maybe you've never used it or it's not showing up for you. Here's the good news: We can probably fix that.


    First things first. The first thing to try is to just...pull up your effects as you create a TikTok. And look for it there. But if you're reading this post that means you probably don't have it available. Here are some ways to troubleshoot.

    Now first, let's say you want to use the trickster voice as a text-to-speech narrator. It's pretty simple. All you have to do is create a TikTok, then write out text using the normal text tool. Click the little face speaking, then scroll over to the trickster voice effect. It looks like this.

    There's the text to voice icon. Credit: Screenshot: TikTok
    There's the trickster voice effect icon. Credit: Screenshot: TikTok

    Now lots of folks have posted online saying they haven't access to trickster and other voice effects. If you find yourself in that boat, the internet has come up with some solutions to fix it.

    User samxnthx_(Opens in a new tab) walked people through the process of fixing the issue(Opens in a new tab) if they have an iPhone. They said to go to settings on your phone, go to storage, scroll down, then offload TikTok. Now a key point: Save any drafts of TikToks you want to post before this because it will delete your drafts. They said to wait about a half hour, download TikTok again, log in, and you should be all set with voice effects. Basically, this seems to be a hard reset to get the latest voice effects.

    If you're having issues with the effect on Android, unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a good fix yet. But just hold out and usually these things get fixed with time.