Reggie Rock Bythewood
When the Academy asked me to compile my list of five films people should watch now, I thought quite a bit about my grandfather. As part of the Harlem Renaissance, he moved from South Carolina to Harlem. His perseverance over racism is an inspiration. However, he was battle-scarred. I have been battle-scarred as well but not as much as my grandfather and my father. As for my two teenage sons, I hope they will be less scarred than we were. Much love to artists who have used their craft to illuminate this pressing issue of racism. “We Shall Overcome Someday” is played out. Someday is now!
This Ryan Coogler film gives a glimpse into the life and tragic, unjust death of Oscar Grant by the hands of police. Disturbing but necessary to watch.
Four Little Girls
An amazing documentary by Spike Lee, which reveals how long and arduous the struggle for freedom and equality has been.
Ava DuVernay's great film on Dr. King and civil rights workers. It is not just their passion for justice that is revealed in this film, but their exemplary skills at organizing.
A Raisin in the Sun
Based on the play by Lorraine Hansberry. This 1961 classic highlights the challenges of integration and the elusive hope of a Black family in the sixties attempting to attain the American Dream.
Get on the Bus
I humbly submit a film I wrote as my fifth selection. Also directed by Spike Lee, this film reveals much of the passion myself and other Black men felt when we attended the Million Man March. The urgency of now is what we felt back then. It is the urgency of now that can make meaningful change today.