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Ferguson Rises | Independent Lens

Rafael Roy
Michael Brown Sr. holds a painting of Jr. donated by an artist

Mon. Nov. 8 at 10 p.m. on WKAR-HD 23.1 & STREAMING | Ferguson Rises shines a spotlight on this small town that inspired a new global civil rights movement and chronicles a father’s journey as he grapples with the pain of losing a son.

Before the explosive global uprising condemning the murder of George Floyd, there was a small town in Missouri that rose up in protest after the August 9, 2014 killing of Black teenager Michael Brown Jr. by a white police officer.

It was this small town and its people that propelled Black Lives Matter to international prominence.

Filmmaker Mobolaji Olambiwonnu’s Ferguson Rises explores the depths of the aftermath and protests following Michael Brown Jr.’s killing through a wide range of community members: from Black and white residents to police officers, to business owners and those who chose to say "enough is enough" by taking to the streets for a record 400 days straight.

This varied chorus of perspectives is interwoven with an intimate portrayal of a Black father’s grief and resilience that bears witness to the human capacity to find purpose within pain.

“With Ferguson Rises, I have tried to convey several things: the reality of what happened that day in Ferguson and what happens to Black people on a continual basis; the generally unrecognized human suffering; the rarely seen vulnerability and the strength of Black fathers and Black men in this country; the common humanity that we all share; and the reframing of our suffering into hope, togetherness and action,” said Olambiwonnu.

Watch the special at video.wkar.org during or after the premiere date.

Independent Lens is America’s home for independent documentary film, airing Monday nights on PBS member stations and available to stream on the PBS Video App.

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