Harry Belafonte, Celebs Star in Compelling PSA
Their eyes stare directly in the camera and refuse to look away or even blink. As their hands are planted firmly against a wall, audio plays reminding us of the various unjustified shootings of unarmed Black men at the hands of police officers.
We hear the 911 call from George Zimmerman before he attacked and murdered 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. It’s an exchange that still stabs the heart.
A female voiceover expresses, “We’re being hunted everyday. It’s a silent war against African Americans.” And it brings you close to tears.
What we’re seeing and hearing is, Against The Wall, a four-minute short film created by directing duo, Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz along with Sankofa, a social justice organization co-founded by Harry Belafonte and his daughter, Gina.
The stark black and white visual is a call to further address and encourage conversation around police brutality in the U.S and its seemingly centered target – the Black community.
Featuring prominent figures in the areas of art, entertainment and activism, such as Michael B. Jordan, Van Jones, Marc Lamont Hill, Michael K. Williams, Danny Glover, Sydney G. James, Mysonne and Sophia Dawson, the standing message is: “BLACK IS NOT A WEAPON.”
The PSA comes just weeks after Mr. Belanfonte and Sankofa hosted the “Many Rivers To Cross Festival” in Georgia, which sought to bring together activists and artists from all around the world to connect and collaborate on solutions to the issues of mass incarceration, social injustice and police relations.
Continuing with that mission in the vain of Against The Wall, Mr. Belafonte stated, “By using faces of those we recognize –familiar faces — we look to re-sensitize the community to really see the problem. We are shining a light and calling out to all to take a look, listen, and feel within your heart to take action.”
He adds, “As artists, we have an opportunity to educate and stimulate thoughts and ideas to shift narratives and not only show life as it is, but as it could be.”