Oprah Winfrey Talks About Lessons Eric Garner and Michael Brown’s Protesters Can Learn from the Movie ‘Selma’
In the wake of several protects in U.S. cities following police brutality and the failure of the Grand Jury to indict the Police Officers in the heart of Michael Brown and Eric Garner’s killings, the upcoming Christmas-day release of the movie ‘Selma’, could not just have come at a right time, as it clearly shows that a number of issues portrayed in the movie are still very relevant in today’s America.
In the movie ‘Selma’, the efforts made by Martin Luther King, whose role was played by David Oyelowo, and other civil rights leaders to engage in a peaceful march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama was narrated. The movie also highlighted the effort made by the group which led to the eventual passing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, a landmark piece of federal regulations in the United States which took away legal barriers at the state and local levels that prohibited African Americans from exercising their right to vote according to the 15th Amendment Constitution of the United States. .
Oprah Winfrey who produced and also starred in the movie said “Films with a historical bent have, I think, an obligation to allow people to see the essence of the truth.”
The overall message of the movie according to Winfrey is that “It allows people to see that there was a strategy, there was a clear intention, and there was leadership. And that people weren’t just out there willy-nilly on those Freedom Rides. They weren’t just out there marching in the streets, throwing things, and venting their anger. That there was controlled, rigorous discipline.”
On how the core message of the movie relates to those protesting the deaths of Garner and Brown: “I think it’s wonderful what we’re seeing in terms of peaceful demonstrations,” she said, but “I think what those peaceful demonstrations need is leadership and intention. Like, we’re demonstrating to get what? These are our demands for what? I haven’t seen, now, a clear leader emerging.”
And finally, regarding what can come out of the widespread “I Can’t Breathe” movement, she said “Just like in Selma, once it was just about voting rights, it was a black problem. And then after Bloody Sunday, it became America’s problem. The same thing happened in our county with Eric Garner. And everyone saw on film what happened to Mr. Garner. There were people of all races who said, ‘This is wrong. We have to do something about this.'”
Check out below some of the pictures from the premiere of ‘Selma‘ in New York which was held over the weekend and some on-screen shots from the movie.