Do Black Lives Matter in America?

American Black Journal - BridgeDetroit (logos) Do Black Lives Matter in America?

In an ongoing collaboration, American Black Journal and BridgeDetroit present a series of reports on issues threatening the lives of people of color and the groups advocating to protect them.

American Black Journal, the longtime voice for the African American community on Detroit Public TV, is partnering with the innovative, community-based news organization, BridgeDetroit, to produce a three-episode series of special reports focusing on the Black Lives Matter movement.

Hosts Stephen Henderson and Orlando Bailey dig deeper into the urgent and prevalent issues and injustices endangering the lives of people of color. They talk with the individuals on the frontline of fighting systemic racism, advocating for police reform, promoting diversity in media coverage and advancing community safety. Our combined reporting staffs search for viable solutions as we tackle the question of what it really means to value Black life in America.

The three episodes will premiere during the regular time slots of “American Black Journal” at 9:30 Sunday morning on Sept. 20 and 27 and Oct. 4. They will be repeated the following Wednesday evenings at 7:30 p.m. In addition, they can be viewed on-demand.  

Here is a rundown of the three special reports:

Black Lives Matter – The Movement and the Message, Sept. 20

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The first program focuses on the true messages of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and protests. What is BLM specifically asking for from law enforcement and local and state government?  What specific reform and policy changes is the organization advocating and what would that change look like?  What does Black Lives Matter really mean? We look at the other groups that have organized protests, along with their platforms and interactions with police.

Black Lives Matter – Is the Media Getting It Right?  Sept. 27

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We examine media coverage of BLM protests and the public’s perceptions of what’s happening versus the facts. What is it like to be a journalist of color covering Black Lives Matter protests?  What stories do they feel are missed when white journalists do the reporting? How do Black journalists separate their personal perspectives and activities from their reporting responsibilities? What happens when the journalists become part of the story – for example, getting arrested?

Does Policing Equal Community Safety? Oct. 4

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Detroit Police Chief James Craig touts the city as a model of good police-community relationships, which he says resulted in less violence and damage during the BLM protests than in other cities. We study that relationship from the viewpoint of the police and the community. We talk about law enforcement technology ─ is surveillance being confused with safety? When police show up after a crime is committed; should members of the community feel safe?  And if the community feels safe, is it because of activists or the police?

These special reports include multiple interviews with people making the news and people covering it, activists and authorities, to give viewers a clear and comprehensive understanding of the vital issues that have captured the attention of the public in a way unparalleled since the civil rights and street rebellions of the ‘60s.

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An archive of oral history interviews with Japanese internment camp survivors has inspired Detroit Asian American artists collective IS/LAND to create “Invisible Embrace,” a performance that provides audiences a space and experience to share, learn and reflect on the experiences of Japanese internment camp survivors. One Detroit Arts & Culture producer Sarah Smith talks with IS/LAND’s Amber Kao.

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National Programming

FRONTLINE: Policing the Police 2020

PBS NewsHour Presents - Race Matters: America in Crisis

The Talk - Race in America


FRONTLINE: Policing the Police

The FRONTLINE Dispatch: Race, Police and the Pandemic

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