The #BlackLivesMatter movement was founded in 2012 — just four short years ago — in this very decade. Please, I urge you to let that sink in.
The fact that yet another liberation movement intending to strip away oppression was created so recently is within itself horrifying. How many more cries for help do there need to be before racism is no longer an issue?
Senior government and politics major Opeyemi “O-Slice” Opey, along with HYERLearnin and her cinematographer Stephen Han, released a powerfully orchestrated film, “Far From Over,” on Feb. 29, focusing primarily on innocent people who are still falling victim to police brutality and racial prejudices.
The video merges three songs into one, 14-minute cinematographic piece of art. O-Slice wrote the songs and the script, recorded everything, composed the instrumentals, gathered the props, and found people to take part in the project. She has been rapping and making music since she was just nine years old.
“Anything I had the ability to do, I did for myself,” said O-Slice, who also recognizes the hours of work her producer, VicGotEmBouncin, and Han put in, in addition to her own time. “I have never produced, directed or acted in a film before. This was my first time doing all that.”
The first song in the film — “Dream” — opens to two young black children who dream of a hopeful future where they can be who they want to be, and pursue what they want to pursue:
“Susie wanna be a teacher, Johnny wanna be a doctor, Reggie wanna be a rapper, Jamal wanna be a baller…rags to riches, road to a dollar…The American Dream.”
As the song wraps up, the children are shown as adults, watching the racial injustices on television they have been accustomed to seeing their entire lives.
The next segment is the song “Preach.” In the video, a group of black teenagers are shown taking action in their fight against racism. As they leave their house, several policemen see these teens, and — regardless of the lack of threat they are imposing — use forceful violence and aggression to stop them.
“I will not be silent. I got too much to teach. Please — hold your applause until the end of my speech.”
“Y’all got some nerve, I don’t know how you sleep at night. You crooked cops and undercovers… killin’ our sisters, murderin’ our brothers…”
“Black bodies are their bullseyes, I’m sorry that’s the ill truth — they tell you put your hands up, you’re complyin’ and they still shoot.”
The last song, “Martyr,” shows clips from #BlackLivesMatter protests and photos of those who have died as victims to police brutality.
“All we want is freedom, we’re tryna break the chains…all we want is freedom, I’m just tryna bring a change…”
“I hope that this video goes viral and serves as a think-piece,” O-Slice said. “I hope they show it in schools and students learn from it. I hope it helps people understand why things are the way they are, and why we feel the way that we do. I hope it serves as an offering in solidarity with those who have lost loved ones, and I hope it goes recognized as a great work of art.”