Yonge St. Riot documentary screening Tuesday

A Niagara screening of Brock University professor Simon Black’s documentary on the 25th anniversary of the Yonge Street riot will be held Tuesday, May 23.

The film, It Takes A Riot: Race, Rebellion, Reform, was first released in Toronto, and will be shown at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Niagara Artists Centre on St. Paul Street in St. Catharines.

Black, BAssistant Professor in the Centre for Labour Studies, says the documentary asks the question: ‘What does it take for black people to get justice in this society?’

“While media coverage of the day focused on property damage, it was the confrontation of young people with the police that tells the true story of May 4,” he says. “Police were shooting and killing black people with impunity in the City of Toronto, never mind the daily indignities suffered by black people as they were racially profiled and harassed by police.

“Not much has changed. The question remains: why must things reach a crisis point before government addresses systemic anti-black racism?” says Black.

Black co-wrote the film with Howard Grandison, who also directed. The two, along with Assistant Professor of Social Work at Ryerson Idil Abdillahi, produced the film. It was funded by The Akua Benjamin Legacy Project at Ryerson and the Social Justice Research Institute at Brock.

Since its release, the documentary has been featured on City TV News, CFRB 1010, CKTB 610, and in The Toronto Star, Now Magazine, and RankandFile.ca

Tuesday’s screening will feature an appearance by Lennox Farrell, a founding member of the Black Action Defence Committee.




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