Jay Z and Harvey Weinstein to Bring Trayvon Martin’s Story to Film and TV

From: Colorlines

Written By: Sameer Rao

In the article “Jay Z and Harvey Weinstein to Bring Trayvon Martin’s Story to Film and TV,” culture reporter/blogger Sameer Rao highlights Jay Z Carter’s collaboration with producer Harvey Weinstein to create a narrative film and docuseries on the 2012 murder that lit the fuse of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Rao explains:

“…Jay Z and The Weinstein Company won a bidding war for the rights to two books about Martin: Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin and Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It.”

L to R: Jay Z, Harvey Weinstein and Trayvon Martin. Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images; Colorlines Screenshot from Facebook

He continues:

“…the books will be adapted into a six-part documentary series produced by Jay Z. The Weinstein Company will co-develop the narrative feature film. These still-untitled projects are part of Jay Z’s two-year production deal with The Weinstein Company.”

Read about how another tragedy inspired Dr. James Cameron’s memoir here.

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Campus Racism Protests Didn’t Come Out Of Nowhere, And They Aren’t Going Away Quickly

Mizzou seems to have catalyzed years of tension over inequality and race.

Read more Breaking News here.

Hillary Clinton Meets With Mothers Of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Michael Brown And Tamir Rice

“It doesn’t matter what color we are, I felt that she really understand where we are coming from,” Rice’s mother said.

The Huffington Post

Hillary Clinton held a private meeting in Chicago on Monday with the families of prominent victims of recent gun violence.

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks in Atlanta. (Photo Credit: David Goldman)

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks in Atlanta. (Photo Credit: David Goldman)

The mothers of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Michael Brown and Tamir Rice were all present at the meeting with the former secretary of state.

The women discussed racial inequality, criminal justice reform, and gun control…

“She is a mother and she is a woman and I felt she understood where we were coming from,” said Samaria Rice… “It doesn’t matter what color we are, I felt that she really understand where we are coming from.”

Rice’s son, Tamir, was the 12-year-old Ohio boy fatally shot by police last year for wielding what later turned out to be a BB gun. Brown, 18, was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson last year in Ferguson, Missouri.. In 2012, Martin, 17, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman…for appearing “suspicious.” Davis, also 17, was shot and killed after an argument…with Florida resident Michael David Dunn…

Clinton has been vocally supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement for racial justice, which gained prominence following Martin’s death.

“We all have a responsibility to face these hard truths about race and justice honestly and directly,” she said in a July speech.

When Clinton met with Black Lives Matter activists during a campaign stop in August, she offered tips on how to best get their message across.

Her outreach efforts have paid off. The former first lady and New York senator is leading with black voters in recent 2016 Democratic polls.

 

Read the full article here.

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Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Reflects On The Origins Of The Movement

From Oscar Grant to Trayvon Martin to Ferguson, the movement has steadily grown in prominence over the past two years.

By , The Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — In July 2013, Opal Tometi walked out of a New York movie theater. She had just finished watching Fruitvale Station, a film documenting the lead-up to Oscar Grant’s death at the hands of a police officer in 2009. …

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: (L-R) Black Lives Matter Co-Founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi at the The New York Women's Foundation. May 2015. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for The New York Women's Foundation)

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 14: (L-R) Black Lives Matter Co-Founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi at the The New York Women’s Foundation. May 2015. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for The New York Women’s Foundation)

That is when she discovered that George Zimmerman, who had been charged in the murder of 18-year-old Trayvon Martin, had been acquitted. “I remember sitting on the street corner and getting a slew of text messages, tweets [from] folks who were frantic,” Tometi, who went on to co-found Black Lives Matter, said Wednesday…. 

“I remember in that moment, just sitting with the fact that everybody knew what took place,” Tometi continued. “And despite all the knowledge, despite the testimonies, despite all of that, Trayvon Martin was put on trial for his own death … I was struck with the fact that my younger brother — who was 14 at the time — could have been Trayvon.”

After hearing the news, Tometi was inspired to build a movement to prevent this from happening again. She read a Facebook post by Alicia Garza arguing that the anger people felt was justified and that “black lives matter.” Inspired by Garza’s post, Patrisse Cullors put a hashtag on that crucial phrase and began posting it on social media….

“Beyond just our walls, we need this to actually be very public,” Tometi recalled telling the other two, who would become her co-founders. “We need to have other people interact with this message and also share the work that they’re doing to ensure black lives matter. And how can we, as a collective … make sure that we are coordinated and uplifting a message that will ensure that all of our black lives would matter?”

Using a controversial tactic , the Black Lives Matter movement disrupted the speech of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in August 2015. (Photo: Alex Garland)

Using a controversial tactic , the Black Lives Matter movement disrupted the speech of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in August 2015. (Photo: Alex Garland)

“We created #BlackLivesMatter. We created a platform,” she continued. “We used our social media presence online in order to forward a conversation about what is taking place in black communities … This was actually a racial justice project for black people.”

The movement gained significant traction after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. …Asked about the group’s goals, philosophies and tactics — mainly activists disrupting speeches by presidential hopefuls — Tometi said Black Lives Matter is open to a variety of strategies for addressing systemic racism, and doesn’t claim that one tactic is more effective than another.

“You have a duty in this moment in history to take action and stand on the side of people who have been oppressed for generations … Whatever means you need to take, we believe that folks should do that,” she said…Tometi also addressed the allegation that Black Lives Matter is provoking violence. …“When we say black lives matter, we’re not saying that any other life doesn’t matter.

 

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A White Artist Wrote ‘Black Lives Matter’ 2,000 Times. But His Mural Almost Said ‘All Lives Matter.’

By Kate Abbey-Lambertz, Huffington Post

The mural commissioned by Detroit’s N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art. Huffington Post

The mural commissioned by Detroit’s N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art. (Huffington Post)

Artist Renda Writer wrote “Black Lives Matter” about 2,000 times last week on a wall in Detroit, the white text in his handwriting appearing both tiny, streaming over the black background, and huge, shouting its message to anyone who walks by.

Writer, a white painter and poet from Miami, was commissioned by Detroit’s N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art to create the mural. He worked on the piece for about 80 hours and finished earlier this week.

Gallery owner George N’Namdi said he wanted to spark dialogue and pay homage to the Black Lives Matter movement, which formed in response to police shootings of young black men and addresses racial inequality more broadly. But initially, he and the artist discussed incorporating the phrase “Lives Matter” or “All Lives Matter.”

Though the obvious meaning of “all lives matter” doesn’t contradict the assertion that black lives matter, some say changing the focus to “all lives” undermines the BLM movement and ignores its message that society doesn’t value black and white lives equally.

Artist and poet, Writer, with N'Nandi Gallery owner George N'Nandi. (N'nandi Center for Contemporary Art)

Artist and poet, Writer, with N’Nandi Gallery owner George N’Nandi. (N’nandi Center for Contemporary Art)

“All Lives Matter” has been used to criticize the movement’s tactics, appearing in Twitter fights, political speeches and more destructive scenarios. In July, a mural in Ottawa, Canada dedicated to a black woman who died in police custody was defaced, with the words “All Lives Matter” spray painted over her face. A Maryland church’s Black Lives Matter sign was vandalized twice this summer, with someone cutting out the first word.

“‘All Lives Matter’ really is a way of co-opting the Black Lives Matter movement,” N’Namdi told The Huffington Post. N’Namdi, who is black, ultimately decided that if Renda Writer included the words “All Lives Matter,” it would take away from the mural’s message.

“It really dawned on me, we’re talking about a movement here, we’re not talking about just a slogan,” N’Namdi continued. “We’re talking about something we’re trying to change, and once you start diluting the movement and making it ‘All Lives Matter’ … What issue is ‘All Lives Matter’ confronting? None.”

“I think ‘Black Lives Matter’ is a message of love,” he [Writer] said. “This particular race needs a little more attention, a little more love.”

Read the full article here.

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George Zimmerman: Violent Past and Future

By Associated Press, HuffingtonPost.com

George Zimmerman was arrested in Seminole County, Fla., at about 1:30 p.m. Monday and charged with assault, after a dispute at his girlfriend’s home, the Associated Press reports. The arrest occurred shortly after a domestic disturbance involving Zimmerman’s girlfriend. (. . .) TMZ reports that the girlfriend says she is pregnant. images-5

George Zimmerman was charged Monday with assault after deputies were called to the home where he lived with his girlfriend, who claimed he pointed a shotgun at her during an argument, authorities said. Zimmerman pushed the woman out of the house and barricaded the door with furniture, Chief Deputy Dennis Lemma said at a news conference hours after the arrest. The girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, provided deputies with a key to the home and they were able to push the door that had been barricaded. Lemma says Zimmerman was compliant when deputies came to the house.

“The easiest way to describe it is rather passive. He’s had the opportunity to encounter this before,” he said. Zimmerman was charged with aggravated assault with a weapon, battery and criminal mischief.

“Just when you thought you heard the last of George Zimmerman,” said neighbor Catherine Cantrell.(. . .)

Zimmerman has had other brushes with the law since his acquittal (in the Trayvon Martin case). Zimmerman and his estranged wife were involved in a domestic dispute in September just days after Shellie Zimmerman filed divorce papers, but police later said no charges were filed against either of them because of a lack of evidence.imgres-4

Zimmerman has also been pulled over three times for traffic stops since his acquittal. He was ticketed for doing 60 mph in a 45 mph zone in Lake Mary in September and was given a warning by a state trooper along Interstate 95 for having a tag cover and windows that were too darkly tinted. He was also stopped near Dallas in July and was given a warning for speeding.

In 2005, Zimmerman had to take anger management courses after he was accused of attacking an undercover officer who was trying to arrest Zimmerman’s friend. Later that year, Zimmerman’s former fiancee filed for a restraining order against him, alleging domestic violence. Zimmerman responded by requesting a restraining order against her. Both requests were granted. No criminal charges were filed.

Read more about Zimmerman.

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A Disrespectful Halloween Costume is Causing Social Media Controversy

By Lily Worneh, TheGrio.com

An incendiary photo was posted to Facebook this Friday featuring two young Florida men dressed as George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, complete with blackface, a blood-stained hoodie and a shirt that reads, “Neighborhood Watch.” The image was reportedly uploaded by Caitlin Cimeno from Martha’s Vineyard who captioned the photo: “Happy Halloween from Zimmerman and Trayvon,” followed by a smiley face emoticon. Cimeno is pictured in the photo, posing in the middle between Greg Cimeno, 22, who dressed as Zimmerman, and William Filene, 25, who posed as Martin.

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In the photo, Greg Cimeno, of Cape Coral, Fl., points his hand like a gun and directs it at Filene’s head.

Meanwhile, Filene, who is white, painted his face black and is seen wearing a gray hoodie, which is marked by a single gunshot wound in the chest and surrounded by fake blood. (. . .)

Greg Cimeno reportedly wrote a comment below the photo saying, “Anything for the laugh,” which prompted one of Caitlin’s friends to write, “Not too funny.” In response, Greg said: “Not too funny. It’s f**king hilarious!!!” The photo also drew criticism from others who commented on the photo: “Anything for a laugh? so a kid gets murdered and its funny some people are beyond disgusting,” one person wrote.

Some took to Twitter to voice their disagreement over the photo: “That Trayvon Martin Halloween costume was just straight disrespect! There is NO EXCUSE for that,” one person said. “To take Trayvon Martin’s death and make a mockery out of it with a Halloween costume is sickening,” another tweeted.

To read the full article, click here.

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Sanford decision to move Trayvon Martin memorial causes uproar in black community

From the grio.com

Trayvon Martin memorial

Trayvon Martin memorial

The decision to move a memorial to slain Miami teen Trayvon Martin was accompanied by a brief statement emailed to the media Monday.

“In an effort to protect and preserve the remaining Trayvon Martin curbside memorial items, and after communicating with representatives of Trayvon Martin’s family,” the statement read, “Sanford City Manager, Norton Bonaparte announced that the curbside memorial site items placed outside the entrance of the Retreat at Twin Lakes Subdivision in Sanford have been taken to the Sanford Museum as of 2:30 pm today by city staff. All the items retrieved have been carefully handled and inventoried.”

However, representatives for Martin’s family, and leaders of Sanford’s African-American community, say key parts of that statement are not true.

Natalie Jackson, an attorney for Martin’s parents, say the family was not consulted. And Francis Oliver, who runs the black history museum in Sanford’s Goldsboro neighborhood, says the city initially asked to move the memorial there — even though Martin was killed in a mixed-race neighborhood in the city, across from an elementary school.

According to Oliver, the Retreat at Twin Lakes homeowner’s association had been pushing to have the makeshift memorial, comprised of a cross, surrounded by cards, stuffed animals and flowers moved, almost from the moment she and other members of Sanford’s black community began to erect it. “They have been calling the city, they have been calling lawyers and different people,” Oliver told TheGrio.

Read more of the story here.

Artist creates Zimmerman portrait with 12,000 Skittles

Neighborhood Watch Skittles Portrait

Neighborhood Watch Skittles Portrait

The most crucial facts remain in dispute about what happened on Feb. 26, the night George Zimmerman killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. But one detail is clear: Martin had been on a trip to the store to buy Skittles when the incident took place.

The popular candy has become a symbol of Martin’s innocence (if you believe in it) or his youth (no matter what you think about the facts).

And they make an appropriate medium for Denver artist Andy Bell’s portrait of George Zimmerman, now hanging in RedLine Gallery downtown. Bell’s piece, “Fear Itself,” transforms Zimmerman’s much-seen mug shot into a 36″ by 48″ artwork. The portrait consists of 12,250 Skittles glued to plywood and covered with varnish.

Read more about the artwork here.

Justice for Trayvon

America has heard the calls for justice from a Florida family.

A boy’s blood had been spilled on a rain-soaked patch of grass behind a row of mustard-colored condominiums by a man who had pursued him against the advice of 911 dispatchers. That man carried a 9-millimeter handgun. The boy carried a bag of candy.

Yet it seems, largely on the weight of his own word, the man who killed the boy was allowed to walk out of the police station that night without even a charge.

The boy’s body was taken to the medical examiner’s office and kept in a morgue. The man who killed him was able to return home.

The dead boy was Trayvon Martin. The man who killed him was George Zimmerman. The bullet that passed between them silenced a child but ignited a nation.

Read more of the story here.