Michael B. Jordan, actor in the award-winning film Fruitvale Station, had an especially emotional reaction to the Zimmerman verdict–and for good reason.
Following the verdict, Jordan responded on Twitter, writing, “I cannot believe this is the America I live in right now.”
Fruitvale Station, the riveting true-life story of Oscar Grant, shares an eerie similarity to the tragic death of Trayvon Martin.
In the acclaimed Fruitvale Station, which opened in limited release the day before the Zimmerman verdict came down, Jordan plays Oscar Grant, the 22-year-old unarmed Black man who was shot in the back by a transit police officer in Oakland, Calif., on New Year’s Day 2009. Grant’s killer, convicted of involuntary manslaughter, served just 11 months in prison.
Similar to the death of Trayvon Martin, Grant’s death sparked nationwide outcry for justice and anger at a seemingly preventable death. The timely significance and release of this film resonates deeply with Jordan.
During a screening of the film in Los Angeles last night, Jordan nearly canceled his appearance after hearing of the verdict. He addressed the audience saying, ”My heart hurts so bad right now. I wasn’t going to come after I found out about George Zimmerman getting acquitted.”
He went on to say, “That’s why I think this film means so much, because it keeps happening again and again. [We must] learn how to treat each other better and stop judging one another just because we’re different. It’s not just a black and white thing, it’s a people thing.”
Soon after the verdict, Jordan’s co-star in the film Octavia Spencer also tweeted about Trayvon. Sharing her frustrations she wrote, “Stop saying the system needs to change and just change it. Your vote matters. Midterm elections! Show up for Trayvon Martin and Oscar Grant.”