By Vernon Nickerson
Full disclosure: I want the planet to watch this entire documentary from beginning to end as many times as needed so that no human being in America forgets. Specifically, we must never forget the history of our current pandemic of violence at the hands of people who, once upon a time, were universally believed to keep the peace, even when everything else was falling apart everywhere we looked. Producer AJ Ali and a powerful creative team have created a sobering and riveting snapshot of the apparent American genocide that launched Black Lives Matter and a host of related grassroots worldwide activism.
“Walking while Black L.O.V.E. Is The Answer” feels like watching a blockbuster piece of investigative journalism shining a bright light on America’s ongoing intimate relationship with slavery and winner-take-all capitalism. If their bright light can be imagined as the daylight of the moon on a crystal clear night, the “devil/demon/man( by any other term) that America is locked in an abusive tight embrace and dancing with is a direct result of the parallel demands of making profit whether or not humans live or die.
After over a year of unrelenting violence on all media platforms, Walking While Black’s opening scenes are America’s Hard to see/ MUST SEE TV. From 2016 to the present day 2021, An American* Horror Story continues to unfold. All that and we’re are 6 minutes and change into a riveting 90-minute drama – as- searing documentary. California Governor Gavin Newsom has a cameo, and his image alone is telling- one white advocate in a sea of brown, beige, and blue-black faces. Moving intentionally between narrative and current news clips my biggest takeaway: Exposure to continuous violence breeds a silent contempt and rage. “Walking While Black” is a documentary absolutely necessary and not yet enough. Solutions mindfully applied in a sustained effort over five-year increments can work. America and the world can not afford to not master peace and justice; by every communication method possible.
If not attended to, silent contempt for and rage about the perpetrators of what are consistently labeled accidental deaths can drive everyone to get numb and stay numb. That is where the film moves into a focus on the second half of its title: “L.O.V.E. is The Answer”. Rolling credits to “Walking While Black” an original song in the folk music genre (i.e., Country and Western music) by Dan Brown Jr was a very smart and meaningful move on the part of AJ Ali. I love it so much that “Walking while Black”, the film, closes with a public service message. I am happy to share it here. Text message ” LOVEAPP” to 95577 or visit TryLoveNow.com.
In order to never repeat our past or our current waking nightmares, we all must see and brainstorm solutions to the narrative exquisitely articulated by AJ Ali and his creative village. I encourage everyone to watch AND discuss “Walking While Black: L.O.V.E. is the Answer”, that was a 2017 Pan African Film Festival selection, with everyone you know.