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Reality Check: Trayvon Martin Inspires!

March 24, 2012 12:32 PM
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Trayvon Martin

As we watch the rising coverage of the tragic murder of young Trayvon Martin, what better way for you as an artist to express your outrage, than to bring to life projects that build on this reality, to illuminate the masses. So, get up off that couch and get busy!

Is there a Black filmmaker out there gathering footage to make a documentary? Hope so. Cause you know someone else will – and they’ll get awards and recognition right, left and center.

You open with that clip of the President saying “my son would look like Trayvon” and you go from there.

Note that this took place in a solid middle-class enclave, not the hood. So start writing those scripts set in picturesque communities, where hard-working Black folks live with the hope that their young sons can survive in relative safety. If they’re lucky.

The irony that Trayvon does in fact look like a young Obama should not be lost in the barrage of facts. Hoodie notwithstanding, this young man was not a gangsta – although they may try to paint him as a thug before this is all over. Let him serve as a model for some of the characters you feature in your scripts – nice-looking, clean-cut, with nary a criminal streak. Just another teenager with a girlfriend and his dreams.

And have you seen the young sistah who is the family’s attorney? Direct, intelligent, succinct and super-model fine! Step up your narrative prowess and people your films, TV scripts and webseries with that kind of decency. Give the gold-diggers and whores as lead characters a rest.

Most impressive is the great dignity displayed by Trayvon’s family, in the midst of their grieving. We see a mother and a father – a very handsome couple – together, as a unit, speaking eloquently about the facts as they know it. Gently but insistently asking for justice. No big bawling, no falling on the floor – their well-groomed, finely articulated presence speaks volumes.

Run, write and film that!

Cause tomorrow it could be you.

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  • Carol Speed | April 6, 2012 2:18 PMReply

    When President John Charles Fremont and the original Black Repblicans were assassinated in Washington, D.C. after President Fremont won his second term, Abraham Lincoln, who never won an election, was placed in President Fremont's second term, the genocide in America truly started. Trayvon Martin is just part of the genocide of black people in the Americas.

  • Yoshi | March 25, 2012 8:58 PMReply

    I can't get passed the classism and Talented Tenth tone of this article. Trayvon's murder would be deserving of artistic tributes whether his family was middle class or if they were on welfare. "American Violet" is a great example of such a tribute regardless of the protagonist's class status.

    I also agree with Boomslang. It's way too early to even begin trying to write a story based upon Trayvon's murder. It takes time and serious reflection to create a story able to maintain the weight of such an event. "Beloved" wasn't written overnight as soon as Toni Morrison learned about slavery.

  • jb | March 26, 2012 10:20 AM


  • VLAD | March 25, 2012 12:55 PMReply

    Hey Guys, I have been moved to see how we have nationally responded to the 'Travon Martin' Tragedy and tonight I would like to continue the national discussion as my episode of 'The Good Wife' tackles the same issue when someone from our community have been wrongfully murdered. Tune in at 9pm on CBS tonight and watch a preview video for episode below! Thank You God for letting me be a part of a socially relevant episode!

  • onyx | March 25, 2012 10:22 AMReply

    My initial reaction was to look at how literature, movies and real life events intersect to continue pushing the stereotype of the black male as someone to be feared, even by black females.

  • BIGBLACK | March 24, 2012 10:37 PMReply

    BIGBLACK is already on it. I am 60% into a new screenplay, action-drama, based on the senseless killing of Trayvon. Stay tuned. Stay tuned.

  • JMac | March 25, 2012 1:26 PM

    Well, if the officers being killed all had a part in the coverup and they are killed off for still refusing to give up the guilty party - yet they [unknowingly] each give a clue as to the identity - I could dig it. Press could paint the killings as the work of a serial killer but there was actually method to the madness. Sort of like The Crow except justice for black boy instead of white girl. Nothing wrong with revenge flicks if done right - making sure people who are killed all deserved it. Now whether it'd ever become a movie....

  • onyx | March 25, 2012 10:32 AM

    "He identifies himself as the serial killer and promises to continue to kill white police officers in his home town until his brother's killer is delivered to him for his justice."

    Forgive me, but wouldn't this be "overkill" since you're already stating in your blurb that people are protesting the "senseless killing" of Tyrone? I'm sure you're going to tie this all together, but in its current form it simply reads as reactionary. If the script were flipped, how outraged would we be to see something like this made into a film if Tyrone had been Timothy and white? Not trying to cause any drama here, I liked your first part but you lost me with the end result of Martin's quest for vengeance, when I think he, like others is looking for justice. You have something that could be powerful and action packed but also resonate emotionally, say for example the pleas of other mothers who ask Martin to investigate why their sons have died in virtually the same manner. This is just my opinion, and I wish you the best with it.

  • BIGBLACK | March 25, 2012 1:43 AM

    Thanks NEZIAH. Here's a brief synopsis of my script:

    28 year old Navy Seal Martin Jackson is in Afghanistan celebrating another successful mission with his comrades when he receives a call from his commanding officer that his mother is on a private line. Martin is devastated to learn that his only sibling, his 18 year old brother Tyrone, who was just accepted to Harvard, and poised to become the first in his family to attend college, was murdered. When Martin returns home to South Florida, he finds that his brother's killing is all over the news, people are protesting the senseless killing, yelling racism, drawing similarities to Emit Till's murder over 50 years ago. But even with all the press, the noise, and passionate pleas from he and his family, the police refuse to arrest Tyrone's killer who remains in hiding as a free man. Martin disappears for a few weeks, goes AWOL, no one can find him. Some time later an unknown serial killer begins killing white police officers in that town and hanging there bodies from trees and traffic lights. Through a series of YouTube videos, Martin re-surfaces. He identifies himself as the serial killer and promises to continue to kill white police officers in his home town until his brother's killer is delivered to him for his justice.

    I don't have a title or know how this ends as yet. I'm leaning to GOD BLESS AMERICA. Stay tuned….

  • Neziah | March 24, 2012 10:45 PM

    *Claps* I wish you nothing but success.

  • Simone | March 24, 2012 7:35 PMReply

    Raph Ellison 60 year ago, wrote invisible man, and he explained the difficult to be a black man in the world, the book called the evil by his mane. Mr Ellison book express very well what was happened to Trayvon, I advice people to read the book, invisible man, people refuse to see him and consider him like man. Please justice for Trayvon. quote taken from invisible man "I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids -- and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me. Like the bodiless heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by mirrors of hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination -- indeed, everything and anything except me. Nor is my invisibility exactly a matter of a bio-chemical accident to my epidermis. That invisibility to which I refer occurs because of a peculiar disposition of the eyes of those with whom I come in contact. A matter of the construction of their inner eyes, those eyes with which they look through their physical eyes upon reality." I think Invisible man could be adapted to become a movie.

  • urbanauteur | March 26, 2012 5:55 PM

    @SIMONE, u on point, if i did it, i'll go post mod on their ass and reference off beat novelists-Percival Everett(I AM NOT SIDNEY POITIER), cLARENCE mAJOR(mY AMPUTATIONS),DR.BOYCE WATKINS(WHAT IF GEORGE BUSH WAS A BLACKMAN?) then proceed with a cinematic hodgepodge of french new wave(godard,assayas,carax) & cinema novo(vincent arana, alex de la ilgesia).

  • Neziah | March 24, 2012 10:45 PM

    Great book! The movie "Chameleon Street" is possibly as close as we'll get to a movie adaption of "Invisible Man". That film had quite a few scenes eerily similar to the ones in that book.

  • Kim | March 24, 2012 3:48 PMReply

    well put

  • Ghost | March 24, 2012 2:00 PMReply

    Well BET has already started with a special on this set for Monday. And you already know some white filmmaker has already started his research. I wouldn't put it pass Lifetime, Degrassi, Glee, CSI, Law & Order or some TNT show to already have a "ripped from the headlines" story set up for this.

  • Boomslang | March 24, 2012 1:55 PMReply

    Not sure whether we need a scripted docu about this just yet if at all . Black filmakers need fresh idea and concepts. The boy has not been buried yet. This is a disgrace. And Trayvon looks like Obama ? um.. really ? . That's like saying Oprah looks like Halle Berry .

  • Akimbo | March 25, 2012 7:21 AM

    I think the writer is mistaken; while he does not look like a younger Obama he does look very much like he could be Sasha's brother.

  • Kia | March 24, 2012 2:11 PM

    @Boomslang I believe you missed the point of the post. What the writer has stated is a truth. People of color are the only ones who can change "our" image.

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