Ava DuVernay and Patrisse Cullors On The Power Of Activism

Director Ava DuVernay and Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors talk about the moment they knew they would become activists.

SHOW TRANSCRIPT

I decided. Something inside me decided that I needed to figure out the way to dismantle the type of systems that Literally destroy, decimate and eventually kill our people. So I was young, I was 16 years old and deeply impacted by the community that I was being raised in in Los Angeles. LAPD was circling the block often. Helicopter policing, lots of surveillance. And when I talk about it. It seems hyperbolic but it wasn't. It was real time trauma on a daily basis. And by the time the incident happened with my brother. That sort of was the tipping point for me.>> The first time I ever, ever remember an idea that you could Do something larger. Advocate for something bigger. Was the very first time she took me to a U2 concert. Which the U2 concert was for Amnesty International. I was like what's Amnesty International? Like there's groups of people that help each other that I remember putting that together in my head, thinking like wow. And I don't really think that I Put like the NAACP, it was set in our family that I didn't really know what it was. But, there was something about the Amnesty International and the concert and the music and all of it that made me think, Wow, art and activism can come together in a powerful way. Made me feel something in that moment. So, for awhile, I thought I was gonna be a rock star. [LAUGH] That didn't work out. [LAUGH] You are a rock star. She's a rock star. [LAUGH] But, yeah, that was my first example of any kind of activism and it was linked to art, so I kind of think back as I unpack things and say maybe that was a important moment.
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