Ava DuVernay, Ryan Coogler and David Oyelowo are among the many black influencers featured in the “My Life Matters” series.
In recent months, black Americans have been unjustly subjected to police violence simply because of the color of their skin. This bleak reality has prompted Ava DuVernay to join a list of black Hollywood influencers who have decided to take a stance by sharing their stories along with those of police brutality victims.
“My Life Matters” is a new video series by Blackout for Human Rights, which features DuVernay, Ryan Coogler, David Oyelowo, Terrence J and Will Packer, honoring the lives of Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland and other victims of police violence. The viral series also supports advocacy group, #FreedomNow.
For DuVernary, she said in the video that she wouldn’t have had the chance to achieve her career milestones if at some point in her life she was the victim of police misconduct.
“I could’ve never opened my own publicity firm at the age of 27, and then change my career and become a filmmaker at the age of 35,” DuVernay said in the clip before honoring Tanisha Anderson of Cleveland, Ohio, who died as a result of being physically restrained in a prone position by police in November 2015.
“I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do any of that if officers had tased me, then did a takedown move and forced me on the pavement,” she said. “Placed a knee in my back, handcuffed me, and when I went unconscious, stood by and watched me die for 20 minutes until the ambulance came, like they did Tanisha Anderson. Tanisha Anderson’s life matters just like my life matters.”