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Director: George Sarsekov

Producer: Sergey Sokov

Executive Producer: RTD

Writer: George Sarsekov

Genres: Documentary

Demographics: All audiences

Black Lives: Trap

Ruptly - Documentary Collection
Series x 10 / Episode 10 - 25:40

More than fifty years on from the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, 21st century African Americans continue to be forced to move through the world differently due to racial inequality. Too many are disproportionately affected by social problems from housing segregation to failing schools, crime and family breakdown; the American Dream always just out of reach. Some, like barber Shariff Griffin, continue to believe they can succeed if they try hard enough, while others are convinced the system will always be stacked against them.

In Black Lives: Trap, the documentary team travels to Washington D.C., the seat of American power, and the neighbouring Black-majority cities of Baltimore and Richmond, Virginia, to uncover first-hand the different perspectives at play on who, or what, is at the root of this oppression.

For some, the blame lies squarely with systemic racism and white supremacy. Pearl Jr., a documentary filmmaker, sides firmly with Black Lives Matter activists, pointing to tokenism as an insidious force that allows only a limited number of people of colour to rise while white people remain in control. “It's a white world!”, she says.

But not everyone sees the situation in such simple terms. Activist Imam Abdul Alim Musa claims the whole American order is rotten and is hurting white America too. While on the opposite end of the political spectrum, Dr Steve Parson, a Trump-supporting pastor from Virginia, has his own take on the struggle afflicting, taking the radical view that “racism exists – but racism really does not matter”.

So, will Black America ever truly be party to the American Dream, or was it only ever an illusion?

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