Ava DuVernay is one of the most respected voices of her generation, and now she's using it to reassure us all about the outcome of the upcoming election.
The filmmaker sat down with BET.com's Clay Cane at the EncourageHERS luncheon celebrating the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., last week, where she was the event's honoree. She talked Trump vs. Clinton and what it means for Black Americans. Her answer may surprise you!
"Our history is one of survival so we're going to be OK, truly. I believe that regardless," she said. "We have had more adversarial times than most and we're here and we're standing and we're proud and we're shining. So I don't have a fear."
But, that's not to say the election isn't a cause for concern. "Now do I have a dread of what that looks like and how life would be harder if it goes in one direction, a more challenging one? Yes," she said. "But in terms of our survival, it is innate. It's ongoing. It is organic to us and it will always be."
Ava goes on to say she's Team Hillary — sort of. "I think in terms of the kind of lack of excitement around the Democratic candidate, it's a real thing and it's based in fact and it's based in the past and the legacy that's been there," she explains. "I think if more people know about all the facts and all of the moving pieces you start to get jarred out of any complacency that one might have about Clinton, because the alternatives are dire and Clinton is a viable option and lively alternative that we have to embrace as forward-thinking people. Not to make it sound like drudgery but, look, this is what is before us and we have work to do."
In addition to Ava, Marriott International’s EncouragHERS Luncheon celebrated women of character, courage and commitment. The event was hosted by Common, who also interviewed the filmmaker in front of a live audience. Vocal powerhouse Jazmine Sullivan was the musical guest. BET's Chairman and CEO Debra Lee, EnVogue and Cathy Hughes were also in attendance. The event marked the grand opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture.
Get the scoop on DuVernay's groundbreaking documentary mini-series The 13th, coming soon to Netflix, with BET Breaks, above.