BET’S AWARD-WINNING THE TRUTH SERIES RETURNS WITH THE PREMIERE OF AN ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY ON THE RISE OF THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT
STAY WOKE: THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT PREMIERES THURSDAY, MAY 26 AT 9 PM ET/PT ON BET
The ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY IS PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY
acclaimed filmmaker Laurens Grant
NEW YORK, NY – May 16, 2016. Dubbed the new “civil rights movement”, #BlackLivesMatter launched a transformative grassroots movement that moved from social media to the streets across America. As news and images of the senseless deaths of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Freddie Grey and others spread online, a new generation of civil rights activists came together demanding institutional change. From scheduled marches, to assembled sit-ins and to heated rallies across the country, protesters and communities pushed the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter into a worldwide rallying cry. This is the real story of brave young people who have found their voice to lead a powerful social movement. Now these activists face the daunting challenge of turning protest - into lasting change. Directed and produced by Laurens Grant (Black Panthers - Vanguard of the Revolution) and executive produced by actor/activist Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy) the BET original documentary Stay WOke: THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT,” will have its broadcast premiere on Thursday, May 26 at 9 PM ET/PT.
“While there is no easy answer on how to address or solve the systemic issues of race and justice across our nation, we have a commitment to bringing these conversations and stories of social change to light through platforms like our ‘Truth Series’. BET is determined to encourage meaningful dialogue that galvanizes change.” said Stephen Hill, President of Programming, BET Networks.
Directed by Peabody and three time Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Laurens Grant, “Stay WOke: THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT,” chronicles the evolution of the Black Lives Matter movement through the first person accounts of local activists, protesters, scholars, journalists and celebrities including Jesse Williams, Nelly, Deray McKesson, Michaela Angela Davis, Wesley Lowery, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Johnetta Elzie, Brittany Packnett and others.
KEEANGA-YAMAHTTA TAYLOR on the Black Lives Matter movement:
“The Black Lives Matter movement is the most important development in black life in the last 40 years and the most important aspect of it is that it’s ordinary people fighting this fight. It is something that we have been responsible for getting out onto the streets and I think the movement is here to stay.”
ALICIA GARZA on where the inspiration to #BlackLivesMatter came from:
“Many people were trying to make sense of what happened, but I felt like the ways that people were trying to make sense of what happened and what we needed to be doing about it were actually destructive… and so I wrote a letter to black people on Facebook saying that there was nothing wrong with us and we deserved dignity and respect.”
MICHAELA ANGELA DAVIS on the death of Trayvon Martin:
“Trayvon Martin was that tragedy that broke us open. He was our Emmett Till but there was no one around with a Twitter account around Emmett Till to tell what really happened, right, but there is now.”
JESSE WILLIAMS on the creation of #BlackLivesMatter:
“The moment was electric. Black Lives Matter was a brilliantly framed set of marching orders-slash-slogan-slash-plea. Young black people, they are plugged in and they’re moving.”
DERAY MCKESSON on running for Mayor of Baltimore:
“So I am running for Mayor in Baltimore because we need to implement changes on the inside. It’s about concrete things that can happen at the policy level to structurally end police violence.”
“Stay WOke: THE MOVEMENT FOR BLACK LIVES,” is executive produced by Jesse Williams and produced & directed by Laurens Grant.
Launched in July 2015, BET’s The Truth Series features original documentary films, directed by award-winning filmmakers that showcase stories about the African-American experience. The 2015 BET Truth Series documentary film ALI: The People’s Champ was recently honored with the 2015 NAACP Image Award for best documentary and Katrina 10 Years Later: Through Hell and High Water was awarded the 2016 NAMIC Vision Award for best documentary film.
Log on to the New BET.com for exclusive digital video content and join the conversation on social media by logging on to BET’s multiple social media platforms by using hashtag: #StayWokeBET; and following us @BETNews.
(Photo: Michael Tran/FilmMagic)