Entertainment Weekly : 2020-07-01

Front Page : 11 : 11

Front Page

Frontline: A Class Divided Dear White People Code Switch Pass Over NPR AMAZON PRIME VIDEO PBS NETFLIX THANKS TO THE OPEN-ENDED YOU MAY HAVE SEEN A CLIP CAN WE TALK ABOUT WHITE- WHAT IS IT LIKE TO LIVE IN nature of a TV series, creator Justin Simien has been able to adapt his 2014 film of the same name and expand on the lives of Winchester University’s black students as they grapple with education disparitie­s, sexuality, white supremacy, and, yes, police violence. When officers are called to a campus event in a Barry Jenkins-directed season 1 episode, Reggie Green (Marque Richardson) is harassed and held at gunpoint. Luckily, he survives, but the trauma lingers. The fatal 2016 shooting of Philando Castile served as the catalyst for the episode, and the result is a smart testament to how quickly police interactio­ns become life-or-death moments for black Americans. The series, which will return for a fourth and final season, uses humor to inspire reflection, but that makes its brutally honest episodes hit even harder. making the rounds recently of an older, silver-haired white woman asking audience members to stand if they’d be happy to be treated like black people are in this country. Tellingly, not one person does. That woman is legendary antiracism educator Jane Elliott, who has been doing this work for more than 50 years. This classic 1985 episode chronicles her landmark “blue eyes/brown eyes” experiment in the late ’60s and early ’70s. At 53 minutes it is stuffed with stunning sequences as Elliott segregates both third graders and grown adults with strikingly similar results. While some of the language is naturally dated—particular­ly with regard to racial slurs—the doc is wildly, sadly revelatory in its timeliness. Pay close attention to the speed with which the “oppressed” group loses its temper. Let’s just say it’s considerab­ly fewer than 400 years. ness? That’s how NPR’s podcast, hosted by Gene Demby and Shereen Marisol Meraji, kicked things off in 2016. Since then, the series has provided nuanced conversati­ons about race, covering a wide variety of topics from casual racism to the impact of to pronouncin­g people’s names correctly. Demby and Meraji are joined by guests with relevant expertise, many of whom also enrich the show with lived experience. As for its commitment to covering police brutality, has consistent­ly tackled the topic, starting with an episode about Philando Castile two weeks after his death in July of 2016. constant fear for your life? That’s the primary concern of Antoinette Nwandu’s tragic and existentia­l 2017 play, inspired in part by the shooting of Trayvon Martin and in a vein reminiscen­t of Spike Lee’s filmed version of the 2018 Chicago production captures Danya Taymor’s staged vision, observing Kitch (Julian Parker, and Moses (Jon Michael Hill, two homeless black men who dream of rising up from their street corner to reach their full potential, a.k.a. “passing over.” Unfortunat­ely, distant gunshots, a “good” white person (Ryan Hallahan), and a racist cop (Blake DeLong) threaten those aspiration­s, souring what little hope the pair have of escaping the shadow of death. makes it clear that’s no way to live. Code Switch Waiting for Godot. Dora the Explorer Frontline The Chi) Elementary), Code Switch (Available at npr.org) —ALAMIN YOHANNES Pass Over FURTHER INFO Come Through (wnycstudio­s.org/podcasts/ come-through); Still Processing (nytimes.com/column/ still-processing-podcast) Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria LISTEN (Available on Amazon Prime Video) (Netflix) (Available at —CHANELLE JOHNSON —CA pbs.org) —SR FURTHER INFO FURTHER INFO Blackballe­d: The Black and White Politics of Race on America’s Campuses They Can’t Kill Us All READ READ READ FURTHER INFO Frontline: Policing the Police; The Talk: Race in America Lil’ Joints: 2 Fists Up by Wesley Lowery (Netflix); (Hulu); (Amazon WATCH WATCH American Son Whose Streets? Fruitvale Station by Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D. (both pbs.org); (Hulu/ Amazon Prime Video) by Lawrence Ross WATCH WATCH 1 Angry Black Man United Shades of America (Amazon Prime Video) With W. Kamau Bell Prime Video/iTunes) (CNN) JULY 2020 EW ● COM 9

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