On July 8, Sinclair hosted a virtual discussion of the film “Fruitvale Station” in light of the events pertaining to racial inequality that has happened throughout America. Ten people showed up for the viewing, and afterward, a discussion was held.
Based on a true story, the film “Fruitvale Station” is about an African American male by the name of Oscar Grant who is trying to live a better life as he previously served time in jail.
Oscar and his family, his girlfriend, Sophina, and 4-year-old daughter, Tatiana, were out celebrating the New Year, which would be Oscar’s last day of his life. Sophina and Oscar go out into the city when the ball drops, leaving young Tatiana with Sophina’s family.
They took the train to the inner city of Oakland, CA and were on their way home when a situation on the train occurred with one of Oscar’s former inmates. Eventually, the police become involved and Oscar becomes a victim of police brutality.
This discussion held after the viewing proved that racial inequality is not just an issue in our country, but there are other issues represented in the film, such as how previous inmates have difficulties in finding employment.
“It’s very frustrating (to try to find a job) and that’s why people often resort to crime,” said Emmanuel Banda, Academic Advisor, who was present in the Zoom meeting.
“Seeing the movie made me feel like I met Oscar,” De’Shawna Yamini, Coordinator of Student Enrichment said.
“I liked how they showed his heart,” said Teresa Parker, manager of academic advising.
“Fruitvale Station” is an example of what is going on in the world and how people are fighting for police reform. According to mappingpoliceviolence.org, Black people are three times more likely to be killed by police than white people, and in 2019, there were only 27 days where police did not kill someone.
“We have a problem in this country,” said David Clark, chairperson of the Dietetics/Nutrition Department. “I don’t want this explosion of awareness to become a memory. As a white male, I will no longer stand and let this pass.”
The participants in the discussion advocated for police reform in our country today and for greater tolerance towards diversity.
“There are great police officers,” said Yamini, “but the bad, evil ones need to be held accountable for their actions.”
“Fruitvale Station” represents a current American issue, police brutality, and how diversity should be valued. Police brutality is a real issue in America and the film provides insight into what it feels like to lose a loved one to police brutality.
The impact of the actual Oscar’s death resulted in the formation of the Oscar Grant Foundation, determined to help bridge the gap of distrust between people who live in low-income communities and law enforcement.
The “Fruitvale Station” film discussion held on campus shows how passionate Sinclair is about diversity and how people with diverse backgrounds can have the opportunity to be able to succeed.