‘Fruitvale Station’ Director Speaks at NUL; Lee Daniels Honored

‘Fruitvale Station’ Director Speaks at NUL; Lee Daniels Honored


Friday, the National Urban League will hold a Special Town Hall on Hip Hop Culture: Exploitation & Empowerment, as a part of it’s annual conference.  The session will feature Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler along with Jeff Johnson (Politics365), MC Lyte, Big Daddy Kane, Aisha Winfield (Blues Babe Foundation), Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Lita T. Rosario, Esq, Wise Intelligent and moderator Rev. Lennox Yearwood (Pres, Hip Hop Caucus), takes place at 3:00pm. 

Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station follows the true story of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who wakes up on the morning of December 31, 2008 and feels something in the air. Not sure what it is, he takes it as a sign to get a head start on his resolutions: being a better son to his mother (Octavia Spencer), whose birthday falls on New Year’s Eve, being a better partner to his girlfriend Sophina (Melonie Diaz), who he hasn’t been completely honest with as of late, and being a better father to Tatiana (Ariana Neal), their beautiful four year-old daughter. Crossing paths with friends, family, and strangers, Oscar starts out well, but as the day goes on, he realizes that change is not going to come easily. His resolve takes a tragic turn, however, when BART officers shoot him in cold blood at the Fruitvale subway stop on New Year’s Day. Oscar’s life and tragic death would shake the Bay Area – and the entire nation – to its very core.  The film opens this weekend.

On Saturday, The Butler director Lee Daniels will be honored with the “Living Legends Award” at the Whitney M. Young, Jr Awards Gala. Daniels is best known for his Academy Award winning film PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL PUSH BY SAPPHIRE.  The Butler tells the story of a White  House butler who served eight American presidents over three decades. The film traces the dramatic changes that swept American society during this time, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected this man’s life and family.