On Wednesday, I attended a screening of a forthcoming Spike TV docu-series, “TIME: The Kalief Browder Story” at the Sundance Film Festival. Browder, a former Bronx resident, was sent to Rikers Island prison in 2010 without a trial at age 16 following allegations over a stolen backpack. His fought by prison guards and inmates as well as countless days in solitary confinement. The case was eventually dismissed and Browder was released from prison in June 2013. He committed suicide in 2015.
Artist and Activist Shawn Carter, JayZ, brought this story to Spike TV. He asked us all to "take a breath" after we watched the docuseries. I appreciated this so much. Carter also let us know that Kalief was a prophet. He was a special young man. I agree.
I was left with many feelings after viewing the series. One, I was so happy that a network was paying attention to a young black man in this way. Second, It made me reflect on my own life and my time in the classrooms. We have to figure out the systemic racism that happens in this country and we have to do it now to ensure that our youth can live a good long life.
We can do something NOW. Once you watch the trailer and review Kalief's story, can you email me any community groups, schools, colleges, youth facilities, churches that this film can go to. Lets flood the US with the story of youth that are prophets but getting caught up in the prison systems. We can make a difference. Right now! We have the power.
Email me at SOULPRODUCTIONSATL@gmail.com with your thoughts.
More reading on Kalief's story: