Racial justice film series to screen 'The Hate U Give'

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury Showing Up for Racial Justice is continuing the second season of its Seeing Color/Seeking Justice film series at the Marquis Theater in downtown Middlebury.

“The Hate U Give,” the second film of this year’s series, will be shown on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 4 and 7 p.m. The film stars Amanda Stenberg as Starr Carter, a teenage girl whose childhood best friend is killed by a police officer during a traffic stop. Based on the best selling young adult novel by Angie Thomas, the film opens with Starr remembering the day she and her two brothers got “The Talk” from their dad. This rite of passage for most young Black Americans is how parents try to give their kids tools for surviving in a predominantly white world, a world that is rife with injustice and jittery police officers.

The SURJ 2018-2019 series, which chooses films that address issues of race, shows films on the second Wednesday of each month for the next 6 months, excluding January. A suggested donation of ten dollars raises funds for a variety of racial justice efforts. Proceeds from December’s film are going to pay doula fees for a pregnant racial justice activist living in Boston, Mass.

Supporters who attended last month’s film, “Sorry To Bother You,” may notice that the December film is fundraising for the same beneficiary. “That’s because we have not fully reached our goal from last month,” explains SURJ organizer Joanna Colwell. “Activist Monica Cannon-Grant is having a baby soon, and as a Black woman, she faces a lot of injustice, not only in her daily life, but even in her odds of receiving adequate care during labor and delivery. Middlebury SURJ is joining with Monica’s community to pay for a doula to support her during the birth. The fact that the United States has such terrible disparities between Black and white maternal outcomes is a national travesty and I am ashamed of it.”

Middlebury SURJ hopes that the proceeds from this film, plus additional donations from generous community members, will fund the doula to support the activist while she is in labor and after delivery. A growing evidence base suggests that continuous labor support confers measurable clinical benefits to both mother and baby. To give directly to the doula fund, donors can visit gofundme.com/community-baby-gift-for-monica.

Middlebury SURJ hopes to raise awareness of the many ways racism harms people of all races and ethnicities, and give Addison County residents tools to dismantle white supremacy in themselves and in their family, community, and nation.

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