Written by Glow | Trailer embedded
It is not ideal to be colorblind. With color comes culture. Each ethnicity that exists globally contributes to the many flavors in Earth’s stew. Each perspective grants a voice within the continuous conversation revolving around humanity. The more these conversations occur, the more understanding is found. As we navigate through global systems of oppression, it is imperative that we seek understanding from one another.
Until we all are free, none of us are.
Within the Black Community, conversations revolving around race and systematic oppression occur frequently. Many aspects of black people’s identities are linked to racism in America. Since the founding of the country, blacks have always been considered less. This ideology still permeates every layer of America’s structure. Presently, conversations revolving around police brutality serve as evidence of the unequal distribution of power and influence. Since slave catchers turned into policemen, black people have suffered at the hands of the law. Black suffering has become the law. Members and allies of the black community have long since known these truths. However, many Americans have not acknowledged the reality: “Racism is as American as apple pie”. The first viral proof of police brutality surfaced after the beating of Rodney King was recorded by a neighbor. This video divided the city of Los Angeles and the nation. We are still divided in many ways, specifically on the ramifications—and even existence of—racism.
With the release of LA92, Directors TJ McKay Martin and Dan Lindsey are continuing the dialogue revolving around police brutality and race relations in America. While neither director identifies as activists, Martin acknowledges that this work is a form of activism. Using only archival footage, the directors crafted a humanizing depiction of the events leading up to and following the Rodney King beating. By including the perspectives of the Korean Americans who lived near and owned businesses in South Central LA, Martin and Lindsey erased barriers and promoted inclusivity. Black American history is American history. Every form of oppression that exists has a ripple effect. Each community is made better by caring for the happenings that occur in the communities that surround us. Their artistry crafts a story that observes humanity without politicizing the work. Instead, the documentary follow the structure and movements of a symphony. “If we can look at our work, we are humanizing the people. We tried to not create caricatures of them,” Martin explained. “It’s like a mirror. Look at us. And now how do we engage from there?”