Kerry Washington

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Kerry Washington is discussing her Netflix film and Broadway play American Son in light of the worldwide protests calling for racial equality.


Inside 'American Son'

The film follows two parents (one black, one white) as they search for their 18-year-old boy. Washington goes on to explain the film The Hollywood Reporter, saying:

"It's every parent's worst nightmare of wondering where your teenage kid is with the added layer, the added complexity, that so many of us are understanding now of being a black parent and knowing that your kid isn't just up against knucklehead adolescent behavior, but up against systems of, you know, racist institutions that put your kid's life at risk."

Washington also shares that she will be doing a Q&A for those who have questions about the film to The Hollywood Reporter, saying:

"The film is really so close to my heart. Because there's been a huge resurgence of people watching it and saying, 'Oh, now I get it' or 'I have so many more questions,' we're going to do a live tweet."

Having A Conversation

The Twitter event will take place on June 11 followed by an IG Live conversation with African American Policy Forum founder Kimberle Crenshaw, a contributor to the Say Her Name campaign. The conversation will shed light on the mothers and the loved ones of women who have been killed by police officers.

Washington illustrates the event by saying to The Hollywood Reporter:

"Kimberle and I are gonna do a discussion about American Son, talk about how people can be part of the solution [and] raise money for AAPF and Say Her Name."

She also adds in the same interview:

"The discussion will also educate viewers on the characters in the film including the titular son, as well as a lot of the women that haven't been mentioned like Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor."

Washington's Message

Noting that recent public events can help start a conversation about race, Washington says to The Hollywood Reporter:

"Black families don't have the privilege of ignoring what's going on and pretending that it's not happening. Kids are introduced to race at Black History Month or in the context of change makers like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. I think it's really important that we start to introduce the idea of race with a black history that begins before teaching kids about what black people were told they couldn't do. It's important to teach kids that black history and black people were a lot of things before segregation and Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement so that we understand the beautiful complexity and elegance and richness of black history before the community had to fight for equal rights."

Moving Forward 

Washington says that the black community has gained a ton of support during this difficult time, according to The Hollywood Reporter:

"It fills me with so much hope and encouragement. I feel like we as a nation, and as a world in some ways, we're just done having our governments work in ways that don't reflect our values."

She adds in the same interview:

"I think for a long time some people thought that you could just be a passenger in this train called democracy, but that's not how it works. A democracy works if we all show up and we all express our values, whether it's voting or in the streets protesting. On a lot of levels, whether we're dealing with the pandemic of racism or the pandemic of COVID, we are in the moment of a new normal. We cannot go backwards. We have to figure out how to take better care of each other going forward."
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