I was blessed to attend the Oakland premiere of Fruitvale Station and as a person who does most of my work around race and specifically how Black men are portrayed in the mainstream media. This movie is a Game Changer! If the jury of the Zimmerman trial saw this film, George Zimmerman would immediately be found guilty.
What’s so great about the movie is the masterful way in which writer/director Ryan Coogler and actor Michael B. Jordan, both of whom should as least be nominated for Oscars, show Oscar Grant as a complete human being. He wasn’t perfect by any means, but he was a good person with a huge heart, and definitely did not deserve to die like he did.
Even though I wrote a song about Oscar Grant, and his murder by BART Police Office Johannes Mehserle, I feel like I didn’t know him as a person nor his spirit, until I saw this film. Ryan Coogler, Michael B. Jordan, and Producer Forest Whitaker essentially immortalize Oscar Grant, creating a living memorial of the last 24 hours of his life. Although I had never met Oscar Grant personally, after watching Fruitvale Station, I feel like I did.
The humanizing of Oscar Grant makes the ending of the film that much more powerful and heart wrenching. No longer is he just some nameless/faceless “criminal” who was justifiably killed by the police. Anybody who watches this movie, regardless of age or race, will relate either to Oscar Grant or his mother, beautifully portrayed by Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, in some way. The movie leaves no doubt that Oscar Grant’s death was completely wrong and unjustified.
I encourage everyone to do what you can to get the word out about Fruitvale Station! Go to FruitvaleFilm.com and commit to using whatever resources you can to help promote it. If we can just get people to the theater, I believe this movie will absolutely change people’s perception of being a young Black man in America. It’s that powerful.