Time to Make That Change

A student-made video encouraging young African Americans to stop fighting one another and unite for social change.

00:00Copy video clip URL Color bars.

01:09Copy video clip URL A group of African American kids at the corner of Emmett Till Road (W. 71st Street) tell the story of how Till was murdered in 1955 from a racially-motivated act. They ask why it had to take the death of Till to bring blacks together in the Civil Rights movement?

01:45Copy video clip URL B-roll of Civil Rights footage. A voice over talks about the movement. “Our goal was justice for all people of all ages. For the children, this meant equality in education… After all the struggle, the pain, and the lives that were taken to give us what we call ‘equal education,’ is it really equal?”

02:40Copy video clip URL Man-on-street style interviews with people saying no, it’s not equal. One girl says, “Even though we are desegregated, we still have the same problems that were there before.” Another girl says that the school system isn’t providing for student’s basic needs. “We need schools that are putting something in their head. Just because they’re sitting next to white people doesn’t make them any more intelligent.” A woman says that since we don’t learn about everyday history and the history of blacks, there is no passion for it in the students.

03:25Copy video clip URL A man says overall there are problems not being addressed: security and funding to make the schools more conducive to learning. A woman notes there’s no money for public schools since the white students moved out to the suburbs. She also suggests that teachers are not committed to molding young people. There’s lack of structure in the homes and a lack of responsibility, she says.

04:40Copy video clip URL A man says without an education you’re not able to compete in society. He also says it’s criminal to give up what we’ve struggled so hard to obtain in terms of Civil Rights. He thinks we can stop the drop out rate by making programs culture specific so students can relate to the subject matter. He thinks people dropout because they’ve lost confidence in the system or personal problems, or fear of¬†threats from violence in the schools.

05:48Copy video clip URL A narrator says drug and gang violence destroy our people. “Why are we killing our own black brothers and sisters?” The video cuts to a promotion video warning of self-destruction if blacks keep killing blacks.

06:34Copy video clip URL Man-on-street style interviews with teens saying they think it’s sad that blacks are killing blacks. “I think they’re killing each other because they’re frustrated. They think there’s no hope for them out here.” A boy says he believes that whites are bringing in drugs and making them fight over it and kill each other. People become violent because of greed, he says. Another boy says that the media focuses on gang violence, but we should instead focus on the real problems: there are jobs and public aid being taken away from black people, and people are just fed up with it. He says it’s time to stop blaming each other and fight the system that is holding them all back. “I don’t think [the violence] is going to stop, but I think us black people need to get together as one, like they did back in the day.” A woman says, “We need to become more close knit… Now we’ve grown apart from each other. We use to care about one another.”

09:22Copy video clip URL A young teen addresses the camera saying that this tape was made as a cry for help, a cry for all African Americans to love and stop killing one another. “Our ancestors fought hard for us to have equal rights. Let’s not take that for granted. It took the death of young Emmett Till to bring blacks together in the past. We don’t need any more death. It’s time to unite. It’s time to make that change.”

09:49Copy video clip URL End credit roll.

10:38Copy video clip URL END



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