Directed by Muta’Ali (Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee) the film Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn tells the story of Yusuf Hawkins, a black teenager who was murdered in 1989 by a group of young white men in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Yusuf Hawkins’ death and the official response to it sparked outrage in New York, unleashing a torrent of racial tension and spurring tireless civil rights activism that exposed deep racial prejudices and inequities which continue to plague the country today.
Over 30 years later, the film gathers candid interviews with Yusuf’s family and friends, well-known community leaders, and those closest to the case — as well as archival footage, witness statements and more — to reflect on the tragedy and subsequent fight for justice that inspired and divided New York City.
In partnership with the American Black Film Festival and in celebration of Black creators, HBO brought together Director Muta'Ali, Janet Mock (writer, host, and transgender rights activist), Renny Cromwell (comedian and Internet personality), and Ikenna Mokwe (founder of Dope Black Art) to speak to the importance of Black creatives in a conversation hosted by Nischelle Turner of Entertainment Tonight.
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