The shooting death of an unarmed 22-year-old man during the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2009 by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police in Oakland, California sparked national outrage.
San Jacinto College North Campus Criminal Justice Professor Jermaine Johnson will examine the tragic death of Oscar Grant III through a film, and subsequent discussion on Wednesday, Feb. 26, as part of a series of events paying tribute to Black History Month.
According to IMDb.com the Ryan Coogler film, “Fruitvale Station,” brings to life the hours leading up to Grant’s untimely death as he “crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers.”
North campus Event Coordinator and Black History Month Committee member Charlotte Jackson said the film and discussion are a way to explore certain social injustices.
“Too often people end up in bad situations because of the friends they keep, as well as being held down by past mistakes.” Jackson said. “So often, convicted criminals serve their time, pay the fees and yet society keeps a ’jacket’ on them, which prohibits them from moving on and becoming successful.”
Jackson said Johnson was once a police officer in New Orleans and “has a heart bigger than Texas, (aimed) at helping to reach young people and guide them in the right direction to make healthy choices.”
“Fruitvale Station” does not just tell the story of a young life taken too soon, but of a father who will not see his daughter grow up.
Student Danielle Tran said it is a subject she sadly knows all too well.
“That man had a daughter,” Tran said. “She has to grow up with no father, which is very hard ‘cause I had to do the same thing. My dad died when I was two.”
Ultimately, Tran said she feels the film’s message, “Tomorrow isn’t promised,” is key and universal.
“Anything can happen at any time, no matter what the situation is,” Tran said.
“Fruitvale Station,” starring Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, and Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer, will be shown at noon in the Monument Room of the Student Center at North campus.