Be Free: Black Lives Matter

EPFC | November 15th, 2016

guest curator: David Zlutnick

This month’s theme is “Documenting the Movements,” featuring short video covering contemporary struggles for social justice. With the election of Donald Trump this is proving to be a more fitting theme than I initially imagined – or hoped it ever would be. While failing to secure the popular vote, the President-elect managed to win the electoral college, ushering in a frightening new age in American politics. And let’s be quite clear: it is a politics that champions authoritarianism, white supremacy, and patriarchy. It is one that threatens to cause immense damage to communities of color, women, LGBTQ+, immigrants, Muslims, and countless others. And so it is a time when strong movements for justice are needed more than ever – ones that are intersectional, based in a politics of solidarity, are participatory and include more of us than ever. Clarifying the moment, some of this has already been seen in the unprecedented protests that have been taking place since election night.

It was already my intention for this week’s video to be focused on the Black Lives Matter movement, a choice that is now even more appropriate. In the coming days/weeks/months/years there will be protests and organized resistance across the country. Much of that seems possible largely because of the imaginative and powerful forces of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has taken this country by storm and forced a conversation on race and power that is needed now more than ever. In recognition of that, this week’s selection is Be Free: Black Lives Matter by Ralston Smith (

Two years ago this month it was announced that police officer Darren Wilson would not face charges for killing Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. In Washington DC, like dozens of cities across the US, people poured into the streets expressing their rage and despair. Filmmaker Ralston Smith was there and documented the protest, capturing the sites and sounds in a raw and emotional video that calls on all of us to scream “Black Lives Matter.”

Watch Be Free: Black Lives Matter here:

See you in the streets.