The Black Male Body: Dead on Arrival (Fruitvale Station & Trayvon Martin)

Monday, July 15, 2013

With Zimmerman found not guilty, and Director Ryan Coogler recapping Oscar Grant’s last days on the big screen, the reoccurring injustices to the Black Male Body are painfully evident.

By Tinsel & Tine Blog Contributor: Christopher “Flood the Drummer”® Norris

While the “Not Guilty” verdict is saturating headlines from print to post, it’s not the only tragic story of an unarmed black male being crucified by an overzealous, gun-wielding “authority figure.” Millennial Movie Maker Ryan Coogler, 26, has bought his award-winning story Fruitvale Station, of a 22-year-old Bay Area resident Oscar Grant to the big screen. Produced by Forest Whitaker and starring Academy Award winner Olivia Spencer as Oscar’s mom, the 90 minute feature film pulls and tugs at already broken hearts, reminding us all that Lady Liberty never gave birth to a black baby.

“A lot of times people who don’t regularly interact with males of color - particularly black males –don’t look at us as full human beings; they dehumanize us on arrival. White people in particular will look at someone like Oscar Grant or Trayvon Martin and automatically think: he’s a thug, a criminal, anything but human. Seeing us as less than human empowers them to do things to our bodies – take our lives – in a way that they would never want done to them,” says Director Ryan Coogler, a graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

See Tinsel & Tine's Interview with filmmaker Ryan Coogler 

T&T: I was very moved by Fruitvale Station. Chris can tell you I was blubbering like a baby at the end. I haven't been to a tearjerker like this in quite a while. But what do you say to the critics that say it's manipulative and contrived. That based on true events still leaves a lot of room for the filmmaker to tell the story he wants to tell? 

“Lady Liberty is now blind, deaf and dumb,” remarks Rashuan Williams, 19, while reading a poem off his smartphone at the Trayvon Martin Brotherly Love Vigil. Held this past Sunday in response to Zimmerman’s not-guilty verdict, more than 800 people convened in Philadelphia’s iconic Love Park – the site of a March 2012’s event bearing same name – to grieve with the Martin family and make a visual statement to the state of Florida.

“Freedom ain’t free for a black man,” continues Williams, wearing a hoodie and holding a can of Arizona ice tea. “The thirteenth amendment makes freedom free only behind bars at six feet beneath our feet. Manslaughter can be only considered manslaughter if you’re killing a man. So the current comprise is to equate the black man to 3/5 of the human, 3/5 of the man.”

Pouring out a bottle of Tropicana Orange juice and calling names out like Oscar Grant, Emmit Till and Trayvon Martin, activist Manwell Glenn called for an indefinite boycott of the state of Florida, including its crown jewels – oranges and Mickey mouse.“This is the last time we’ll ever drink a god damn thing from Florida,” he exclaims. “Florida you are dead to us! We can go to Disneyland instead of DisneyWorld.”

“The system can’t fail those it wasn’t meant to protect,” reads a sign held by a protester.

  “I felt like Trayvon Martin was part of my family. I’m heartbroken and completely disgusted by the system. If I had any faith in the system, it’s completely gone now,” states a protester during the open mic portion of the hour long event.

As the sun went down on Love Park more than 500 people stood; passing the microphone; sharing stories. The world today took notice. While the law views black male bodies as disposable, people across the country view them as assets. People across the country have embraced black male bodies they’ve never met. If you ask those people the value of the black male body, they’ll more than likely respond priceless.

Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
Source: TBO Inc®
Twitter: @therealTBOInc
Facebook: /therealTBOInc
About Christopher “Flood the Drummer®” Norris:
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Christopher Norris is an award-winning journalist and online content producer whose works can be seen on, and Comcast’s Xfinity OnDemand. In 2013 Christopher Norris was recognized as a BMe Leadership Award Winner (Knight Foundation), Philly DoGooder “Emerging Leader” (Here’s My Chance) and “Brother of the Year” (Brothers’ Network). Norris currently serves as the CEO of Techbook Online Corporation, an integrated marketing and news organization he founded in 2009.
About Techbook Online Corporation®:
Techbook Online Corporation (TBO Inc) is an integrated internet, multi-media publishing and sustainable marketing organization. Headquartered in Philadelphia, TBO Inc is one of the largest and most active publishers on Comcast's For more information

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is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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