Documentary Legend Stanley Nelson Is ‘Very Proud’ of His Daughter’s Arrest at George Floyd Protests

Politics 2020/6/5

Documentary Legend Stanley Nelson Is ‘Very Proud’ of His Daughter’s Arrest at George Floyd Protests

Larry Busacca/Getty

Filmmaker Stanley Nelson has directed several of the most essential documentaries about the history of Black activism, freedom work, and culture in the United States, including Marcus Garvey: Look For Me in the Whirlwind, The Murder of Emmett Till, a 2009 series about immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border, Freedom Riders, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, and most recently Vick for ESPN’s 30 for 30 series

Naturally, as a result of his decades of work, he has a lot to say about the torrent of events currently taking place in the United States, from the coronavirus pandemic, to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, to the violent reign of President Donald Trump. And it’s the latter that Nelson believes undergirds the protests taking place in major cities and towns across the country. 

According to Nelson, it’s essential to remember that not only has anti-Black brutality by the state existed since the U.S. was formed, but Donald Trump and the current Republican Party have resurfaced a special kind of brutality and neglect at a national level. The director believes that Floyd’s killing—not even the most recent in a series of police killings of unarmed Black Americans—has finally popped the lid off and stirred Americans, especially young ones, to more cohesive and collective action. I spoke to Nelson about his thoughts about the protests, the pandemic, and the future of policing in the United States. 

Both within the space of this pandemic and protests against George Floyd’s murd

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