So I finally went to see Fruitvale Station two weeks after its premier. Yeah I’ve kicked myself in the butt a few times because that is so unlike me. As a movie fanatic and avid supporter of black film I normally run down to the theatre during box office weekend to ensure that my dollars count. But emotionally I wasn’t ready to see it.
Why? In light of the Trayvon Martin injustice and seeing the camera footage of Oscar Grant’s murder a few years back, I’m still angry that such injustices are still occurring today. And to tell you the truth, as an African American woman I am truly terrified to birth a son into a society that is cruel and remains unparalleled when it comes to equality and justice.
I was taken aback when young twenty six year old Ryan Coogler decided to make his first feature film a biopic of Oscar Grant III. And he did an amazing job with the direction that he took. With a cast starring Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer and Melonie Diaz; he was able to capture an emotional resonance as he walked through Oscar Grants last hours alive.
Not to mention Jordan’s poignant performance humanized Grant’s misunderstood character, making Fruitvale Station the most unparalleled biopic of all times. The film allowed us to see into a day of Grant’s life and his character – a convicted felon, a son, a father and a boyfriend facing the ills and pressures of trying to live a normal life.
There was no sugar coating his character… There was no painting a picture of him as an angel… We were given the good, the bad, and the ugly told by people who knew him best.
In addition to Grant’s character we were also introduced to the women in his life. Wanda – a caring mother whom was there to comfort him, but also showed him tough love. A mother who wanted nothing more than for her son to understand and take responsibility for his actions so that he could become a better role model for his daughter. Tatiana – a daughter who’s innocence allows her to love her father unconditionally. In her eyes her father can do no wrong, he’s her knight in shining armor. Sophina – a girlfriend, who’s pissed that her boyfriend has cheated on her, lied to her about his job and is still selling drugs. But she’s also a girlfriend who wants to make it work for the sake of their daughter and her love for him.
Their story was one that I could easily relate to as I grew up approximately three hundred and seventy miles south of Heyward in Los Angeles, a similar neighborhood with similar issues. A number of Oscar Grants existed in my community and as I think about the women in their lives I can’t begin to fathom he pain, the anger, and the injustices that they’ve had to endure. There’s a sadness that brings tears to my eyes because the violence and injustices haven’t subdued against our sons, fathers, brothers, and boyfriends.
My only question as I consider bringing a child into this world is; will it ever change, will there ever be a paralleled justice?
Regal Resource: Fruitvale Station Fights for Justice
I Want to Hear From You:
- What did you think of the film?
- Why didn’t you see the film?
- Do you think there will ever be paralleled justice?