Peabody and three time Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Laurens Grant (The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution) will debut her hour long documentary titled Stay Work: The Black Lives Matter Movement tonight on BET. This documentary will be a part of BET’s The Truth Series featuring original documentary films that showcase stories about the African American experience.
This powerful documentary examines the evolution of the Black Lives Matter movement from the inception of the hashtag campaign to the impact that the movement has had across the nation. Throughout this documentary, Grant interviews the movement’s co-founders Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors in addition to activists such as Deray McKesson, Michaela Angela Davis, Nelly, Wesley Lowery, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Johnetta Elzie, Brittany Packnett, Grey’s Anatomy actor and activist Jesse Williams who also serves as an executive producer of the film, and more.
“I’m personally inspired by the people that construct today’s movement and we so easily forget that movements are not magic, they are led by people, often making great sacrifice. I wanted to lift up not only their voices but their experiences, and catalog this place and time. The movement for Black lives is claiming its place in history by building the future it knows we damn well deserve. We can make progress with gratitude, all the while demanding more of ourselves and humanity.” – Jesse Williams, Executive Producer
The official synopsis of the film is below:
Dubbed the new “civil rights movement”, #BlackLivesMatter launched a transformative grassroots movement that moved from social media to the streets across America. As news and images of the senseless deaths of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Freddie Grey and others spread online, a new generation of civil rights activists came together demanding institutional change. From scheduled marches, to assembled sit-ins and to heated rallies across the country, protesters and communities pushed the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter into a worldwide rallying cry. This is the real story of brave young people who have found their voice to lead a powerful social movement. Now these activists face the daunting challenge of turning protest – into lasting change.
Filmmaker Laurens Grant’s politically conscious films have greatly impacted audiences across the country. She is responsible for the documentary Freedom Riders which premiered at Sundance and won 3 Primetime Emmys and a Peabody. She directed the first full-length documentary on the African-American sports icon, Jesse Owens, which won an Emmy for Outstanding Research, and she directed The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. Grant also co-produced two, 4-hour series for PBS, including the Emmy-winning Slavery and the Making of America: Seeds of Destruction, and Latin Music USA: The Chicano Wave.
“The Black Lives Matter movement is the most important development in black life in the last 40 years and the most important aspect of it is that it’s ordinary people fighting this fight. It is something that we have been responsible for getting out onto the streets and I think the movement is here to stay.” – Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Stay Woke: the Black Lives Matter Movement will air tonight at 9 p.m. tonight on BET.