Middlebury Showing Up for Racial Justice showed the film “Whose Streets?” at the Marquis Theater on Wednesday, February 7, at 4 and 7 pm. This documentary depicts the unrest and activism in Ferguson, Missouri, in the wake of the police shooting of Michael Brown.
This was the third in the Seeing Color/Seeking Justice Racial Identities Film Series, which aims to educate Addison County residents about the struggles of communities of color in the United States.
SURJ activists believe that the fact that Vermont is one of the whitest states may be the best reason ever to show films that highlight the lived experiences of people of color.
“Even here in liberal, progressive Vermont, we are constantly reminded of the reality of white supremacy. A recent example of this took place at an exhibition game at the University of Vermont, when several Black members of the St. Michael’s basketball team took a knee during the national anthem. The mostly white audience jeered and booed loudly, seemingly not understanding why an athlete would use this moment to draw attention to racial injustice,” said SURJ organizer Joanna Colwell. “The truth is that we have all absorbed racist messages and bigotry through textbooks, the media, and the world around us. If we are white our task is to listen to the grievances of communities of color, to open our minds and hearts, and to refuse to stop learning.”
Nationwide, many racial justice activists think that the recent use of foul language by the President of the United States to describe the country of origin of many American families, shows the extent to which racism permeates and infects the soul of our country.
“At this moment in history, when more and more Americans are waking up to the painful truth of racism, it is more important than ever to get out of our bubble and learn as much as we can,” said Kathy Comstock, another SURJ organizer, who has helped to plan the film series. “This Racial Justice Film Series perfectly fits our organization’s dual mission. We work to educate the community about the harm caused by white supremacy, AND to raise funds for anti-racist organizations in Vermont.”
Suggested donation to see the film is $10. Funds raised will benefit Black Lives Matter Vermont and Middlebury SURJ. Screenings will take place at 4 and 7 pm, on Wednesday, February 7. The Marquis Theater is located at 65 Main Street in downtown Middlebury. Food and beverages are available for sale in the cafe area between screenings.