The Talk - Race In America
Monday, Feb. 28, 2022 at Noon on KPBS 2 / On Demand
—Film Tackles the Issue of Young People of Color and Their Uneasy Encounters With Law Enforcement—
“The Talk – Race In America” is a two-hour documentary about the increasingly common conversation taking place in homes and communities across the country between parents of color and their children, especially sons, about how to behave if they are ever stopped by the police.
In many homes, “the talk,” as it is called, usually contains phrases like this:
If you are stopped by the police, always answer “yes sir, no sir”; never talk back; don’t make any sudden movements; don’t put your hands in your pockets; obey all commands; if you think you are falsely accused, save it for the police station. I would rather pick you up at the station than the morgue…
The film will present six personal stories to illustrate the issue from multiple points of view: parent, child, the police and the community. Filmed across the country, in communities including Long Beach, California; Oakland, California; St. Louis, Missouri; Richland County, South Carolina; Memphis, Tennessee; and Cleveland, Ohio, the stories will include interviews with academics, police force members, community activists and family members.
Among those profiled are:
Activist and founder of The Ethics Project, Dr. Christi Griffin, who, after living through the traumatic events of Ferguson, created “Parent 2 Parent,” a series of conversations with black parents talking with white parents about “the talk” with their black sons
Samaria Rice, mother of Tamir Rice, who was a 12-year-old boy killed by the Cleveland police while playing with a toy gun in a local park
Reverend Catherine Brown, who was assaulted by Chicago Police in front of her children in her own car
Trevena Garel, retired sergeant, New York City Police Department (NYPD), who has investigated allegations of misconduct involving both uniformed and/or civilian members of the NYPD
Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President and retired officer, New York City Police Department (NYPD)
The Ramirez family, whose 28-year-old son, Oscar, was shot and killed by a Los Angeles County sheriff in Paramount, California, a community southeast of Los Angeles
Members of the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, who share the protocols for using lethal force and describe the danger from a police officer’s point of view
In addition, sharing their own stories are:
Nas, musician/activist ("Illmatic," "Life Is Good," "Untitled")
Rosie Perez, actor/director, activist ("Do the Right Thing," "White Men Can’t Jump," "Fearless," "Pineapple Express")
John Singleton, director/screenwriter/producer ("Boyz N the Hood," "2 Fast 2 Furious," "Baby Boy," "Poetic Justice," "Hustle and Flow")
Charles Blow, New York Times columnist
This program originally aired in 2017.
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This film is available to stream on demand.
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Join The Conversation:
Each story is produced by a different filmmaker to ensure that diverse perspectives are presented. The project’s director and supervising producer, filmmaker Sam Pollard, an Academy Award-nominee and multiple Emmy Award-winner, and Academy Award-nominee Julie Anderson, closely oversaw the producers and managed the overall creative look, storytelling and structure.
Geeta Gandbhir, Shola Lynch, One9, Erik Parker, Llewellyn M. Smith and Jennifer Maytorena Taylor are the segment producers. Sandie Pedlow is executive producer for Latino Public Broadcasting. Sam Pollard is the director and supervising producer. Julie Anderson is the producer and executive producer. Stephen Segaller is the executive-in-charge.