BY RAY BAKER
Yesterday after floor votes about 30 members of Congress took a field trip. Just like field trips in elementary school, they piled onto a bus and headed to Washington’s famed E Street Cinema. That would be where the grade school comparisons would end because this field trip was of a serious nature. Members made their way off of the Hill for an evening screening of the movie Fruitvale Station organized by Representative Barbara Lee of California.
The movie which won both the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic feature and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival tells the story of 22-year-old Oscar Grant who was murdered in the early morning of New Years Day in 2009. Grant’s mother Wanda Johnson was in attendance and told Politic365 she was “grateful that Congress was going to be looking at it because what that does is give them an opportunity to see the struggles that young men have and also see the injustices that African American young men face.”
Among the members of Congress in attendance were a strong contingent of the Congressional Black Caucus including the aforementioned Lee (CA-13), Rep. Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Rep. Donna Edwards (MD-04), Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08), Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-03), Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-02), Yvette Clarke (NY-09) and Chairwoman Marcia Fudge among others. Fudge told Politic365 “I think it’s important that we can come together and understand why we have such a real fear of what’s going to happen to black men in this country.”
Timing was not lost on those in attendance as Rep. Rick Nolan (MN-08) pointed out when asked about why he attended he mentioned the “timeliness in lieu of the Trayvon Martin case.” Rep. Grace Napolitano (CA-32) stressed the importance of acknowledging the prejudices that some may have whether they admit they have them or not, summing up her thoughts by saying “all people matter.”
View the tailer for the film below: