Broken Chains @ Pan African Film Festival

Timing is everything. The tragic death of George Floyd brought a rise out of a large section of the population in the United States and even around the world. Why that death and not the (too) many other black men who had been killed by law enforcement? Probably because everyone was isolating, social distancing or in a lockdown. They had the time required to finally pay attention to the issue. Out of the Black Lives Matter movement came a look at many different ways in which people of colour are discriminated against.

One of the areas being looked at is systemic racism looked at through an economic lens. From the beginning of life blacks and people of colour are at a disadvantage. Success is not something that they are set up for. The wealth gap is a real thing for illogical reasons.

Going right to the experts, co-directors Michael Lints and Aaron Stewart’s film features interviews with leading economists, educators, entrepreneurs, investors, and policymakers. People like Wanda James (CEO and co-founder of Simply Pure), Detavio Samuels (CEO of Revolt TV), Kelvin Beachum (NFL player), Nick Caldwell (VP of Engineering at Twitter), and Tiffany Joseph (associate professor of Sociology and International Affairs at Northeastern University).

Systemic Racism exists everywhere in American society. In business, technology, sports, finance, and education, this has been going on for centuries. The documentary shows that a way to stop this is for those in the black community to help each other out. Generational wealth will secure black families’ futures for generations to come. This means blacks gaining access to quality higher education then becoming business owners or corporate leaders. Once that ball starts rolling then blacks can reinvest into the black community.

Like BLM, this documentary is a call to action. A call to fix a broken system that discriminates against portions of the population just because of the colour of their skin. Complete with ways to fix the economic system in the United States. The only way this problem can be fixed is by developing a more equitable system that offers equal opportunities to all.

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