Marcus Garvey is an interesting and divisive figure in civil rights history. Influenced by the writings of Booker T Washington, he pushed back against the philosophy of the NAACP and W.E.B. Du Bois. On the one hand, he was a passionate and fierce leader who unified the community and worked to fight injustice. On the other hand, he was a separatist to the core, a philosophy that led to him reaching out to the Ku Klux Klan. And that’s never the best sentence to hear. But love him or hate him, there is no denying that he was extremely influential on figures like Malcolm X.
In the wake of the 2020 killing of George Floyd, African-Americans and others mounted ongoing street protests.
But African-Americans living abroad felt the anguish as profoundly as their families and friends back “home.”
Some have chosen to live in Japan, one of the most homogeneous nations in the world. Despite being in a smaller minority in Japan than in their home country, they express feelings of safety and freedom.
Yet, racism in the U.S. still plays a role in their lives. In this short film, several African-Americans living in Japan discuss how their encounters with police and racism in the U.S. played into their decision to live abroad and how leaving the U.S. changed their perceptions of who they are and their connection to the country of their birth.
FEATURING Rivonne Moore; Henry Moreland Seals; Tamru Grant; Ebony Bowens; LaTanya Whitaker; Tyrone Jones II
CREDITS Director/Producer/Cinematographer: Shiho Fukada, Keith Bedford; Editor: Shiho Fukada; Consulting Editor: Marlo Poras; Supervising Producer: Nicole Werbeck; Video Producer: Nikki Birch; Executive Producer: Keith Jenkins; Audio Engineer: James Willetts; Subtitles by Renee Klahr; James Baldwin footage (1963) provided by CriticalPast; Data on shooting deaths as of August 8, 2021, provided by Mapping Police Violence