Winner of both the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic feature and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, director Ryan Coogler's FRUITVALE STATION follows the true story of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who wakes up on the morning of December 31, 2008 and feels something in the air. Not sure what it is, he takes it as a sign to get a head start on his resolutions: being better son to his mother (Octavia Spencer), whose birthday falls on New Year's Eve, being a better partner to his girlfriend Sophina (Melonie Diaz), who he hasn't been completely honest with as of late, and being a better father to Tatiana (Ariana Neal), their beautiful four year-old daughter. Crossing paths with friends, family and strangers, Oscar starts out well, as the day goes on, he realizes that changes are not going to come easily. His resolve takes a tragic turn, however, when BART officers shoot him in cold blood at the Fruitvale subway stop on New Year's Day. Oscar's life and tragic death would shake the Bay Area - and the entire nation - to its very core.(http://www.fruitvalefilm.com)
This film has gained national attention and acclaim, being released at a pivotal time in our history: following the discussions around Alexander's The New Jim Crow, simultaneous with news stories like "The Fight for Black Men" by Joshua DuBois, during the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and anniversary year of the Emancipation Proclamation, and in the 50th anniversary year of the March on Washington. Thus, while Fruitvale calls attention to recent racial injustices and stereotypes, its timing also forces us to consider: How far have we come since the Civil War, Emancipation Proclamation, Civil Rights Movement, and March on Washington? What more must be done to achieve racial equality? What can we do as individuals to combat injustices?
We encourage you to explore Fruitvale Station's website, http://www.fruitvalefilm.com, which features Commit and Toolkit pages with information and resources. Mychal Denzel Smith also published an article in The Nation titled "Rewriting Black Manhood: A Conversation with 'Fruitvale Station' Director Ryan Coogler" which gives great insight into the film.