MetroFocus

FULL EPISODE

MetroFocus: January 13, 2022

Tonight, the director of PBS' Independent Lens: "A Reckoning in Boston," James Rutenbeck, and two lifelong Bostonians, Kafi Dixon and Carl Chandler challenge White assumptions about Black urban communities and show how progress depends on more than good intentions.

AIRED: January 13, 2022 | 0:28:26
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

♪

>>> THIS IS "METROFOCUS" WITH

RAFAEL P. ROMAN, JACK FORD AND

JENNA FLANAGAN.

"METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE

BY --

>>> BOSTON.

A CITY I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED.

LUXURY RESIDENTIAL UNITS.

>> THE CITY THAT'S CHANGING

RAPIDLY.

>> VERY LARGE MACHINES.

>> SEVEN YEARS AGO, I ENDED UP

AT THE HOMELESS SHELTER.

>> THESE PEOPLE ARE EVICTED.

WHERE WILL THEY GO?

>> THIS FILM IS BARING DOWN ON

ME.

MAYBE OTHER WHITE PEOPLE NEED TO

ADMIT THERE HAVE BEEN TIMES WHEN

THEY HAVE BEEN SILENT, TOO.

>> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO

"METROFOCUS."

I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

WHAT YOU SAW WAS A PREVIEW FOR

PBS'S DOCUMENTARY, "A RECKONING

IN BOSTON."

IT'S A PERSONAL EXPLORATION OF

THE REAL-LIFE IMPACT OF

STRUCTURAL RACISM AND WEALTH

INEQUALITY IN CITIES ALL OVER

AMERICA.

FROM THE PRACTICES OF THE PAST

CENTURY, TO TODAY'S ENCROACHING

GENTRIFICATION, THE FILM

EXPLORES THE BARRIERS TO

PROSPERITY FACED DAILY BY PEOPLE

OF COLOR AS WELL AS WHITE

COMPLESTY

COMPLICITY IN THE STATUS QUO.

JOINING ME ARE THE DIRECTOR AND

CO-PRODUCER, JAMES RUTTENBERK.

WELCOME.

>> THANK YOU.

IT'S GREAT TO BE HERE.

>> AND WE ARE ARE JOINED BY TWO

LIFE LONG BOSTONIANS WHO WERE

FEATURED IN THE FILM.

FIRST, COFFEE DIXON.

WELCOME.

>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING US.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR AUDIENCE

BEING HERE WITH US TODAY.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

I SHOULD, FOR CLARIFICATION, SAY

COFFEE IS JOINED BY ANOTHER ONE

OF THE FILM'S PROMINENTLY

FEATURED PEOPLE, TOFFEE.

>> MY LAST NAME IS -- IT'S

TOLGA.

>> IT'S TOLGA.

I WOULD BE REMISS IF I DIDN'T

SAY WE ARE JOINED BY CARL

CHANDLER, ONE OF THE BOSTONIANS

FEATURED IN THE FILM.

WELCOME TO "METROFOCUS."

>> THANK YOU.

>> COFFEE AND CARL WERE SUBJECTS

OF THE DOCUMENTARY BUT ENDED UP

AS CO-COLLABORATORS AND

CO-PRODUCERS OF THE PROJECT.

THEY FACED EVICTION DURING THE

MAKING OF THE FILM.

THE STORY IS PART OF OUR ONGOING

CHASING THE DREAM INITIATIVE ON

POVERTY, JUSTICE AND ECONOMIC

OPPORTUNITY IN AMERICA.

I WOULD LIKE TO SAY WELCOME TO

EVERYONE.

>> THANK YOU.

>> FIRST OFF, I JUST WANT TO

START WITH THE FILM ITSELF.

I GUESS FROM MY PERSPECTIVE,

JAMES, WATCHING THIS FILM I

WOULD SAY AS A PERSON OF COLOR

VERSUS WATCHING THIS FILM AS,

SAY, A TYPICAL MIDDLE CLASS

WHITE PERSON, YOU MIGHT HAVE TWO

DIFFERENT REACTIONS TO IT.

FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, WHO IS

THIS FILM FOR?

>> THANKS, JENNA.

THAT'S A REALLY GOOD QUESTION.

I THINK THAT THE FILM STARTED

OUT BEING SOMETHING THAT I

WANTED TO EXPLORE.

I WAS INTERESTED IN THIS IDEA OF

ENGAGEMENT AROUND THE HUMANITIES

AND WHAT THAT COULD MEAN FOR

PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD NOT HAD THE

OPPORTUNITY TO GO TO COLLEGE.

ONE OF THE -- I DIDN'T THINK

ABOUT AN INTENDED AUDIENCE.

I WAS THINKING OF -- THAT IT

WOULD BE A FILM THAT WOULD

HOPEFULLY REACH A NATIONAL

AUDIENCE.

WHAT'S HAPPENED OVER THE LAST

YEAR WAS THAT WE HAVE SHOWN THE

FILM TO 70 PLUS -- WE HAVE HAD

70 PLUS SCREENINGS WITH PARTNER

ORGANIZATIONS AROUND THE

COUNTRY.

IT HAS BEEN A VERY DIVERSE RANGE

OF VIEWERS WHO HAVE SEEN THE

FILM AND BEEN MOVED BY IT AND

ENGAGED BY IT.

SO I THINK THAT IT EXCEEDED MY

ORIGINAL INTENTION, THE KIND OF

RESPONSE THAT WE ARE GETTING AND

THE KIND OF PEOPLE WHO ARE

SEEING IT.

I DO THINK THIS IS ALL

ANECDOTAL, BUT I DO BELIEVE THAT

WHITE PEOPLE -- SOME WHITE

PEOPLE ARE MADE UNCOMFORTABLE BY

THE FILM IN A WAY THAT PEOPLE OF

COLOR ARE NOT, GENERALLY.

I KNOW THAT'S A VERY BROAD

STROKE KIND OF THING TO SAY.

PART OF IT COMES FROM ME AS MY

CHARACTER VOICE IN THE FILM IS

SOMEONE WHO BECOMES

UNCOMFORTABLE BY WHAT I'M

LEARNING ABOUT THE LIVES OF CARL

AND COFFEE.

I THINK SOME OF THE THINGS THAT

ARE HIDDEN FROM PEOPLE LIKE ME

AND OTHER WHITE VIEWERS ARE

REVEALED IN THE FILM.

I THINK IT DOES LEAD TO SOME

DISCOMFORT.

AS WE START TO CONSIDER OUR

COMPLICITY IN THIS SYSTEM.

YEAH.

>> OKAY.

COFFEE, I WANT TO BRING YOU IN.

YOU ACTUALLY HAD A HAND IN

ENSURING THAT JAMES WAS NOT JUST

THE CREATOR OR THE DIRECTOR

BEHIND THE CAMERA, BUT ACTUALLY

BECAME A VULNERABLE PART OF THE

FILM AS WELL.

>> YEAH.

ONE OF THE THINGS I THINK WE

WANT TO HIGHLIGHT WHAT IT IS TO

BE BLACK AS A CULTURE.

THERE'S A RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR

BLACKNESS TO THE STANDARD

BLACKNESS, WHITENESS CATEGORIES

OR COMMUNITY.

THERE IS A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN

GENERATIONAL AFRICAN-AMERICAN

AND WHAT WE SEE AS GENERATIONAL

WHITE AMERICAN THAT WE HAVE COME

TO A TIME WHERE WE ARE LOOKING

AT WHAT EXACTLY ARE THE

DEFINITIONS OF WHITE AND BLACK?

HOW DO WE HEAL THAT HISTORIC

TRAUMA, HOW DO WE HEAL OUR

HISTORY AND HOW DO WE LEAN AND

KNEEL TO WHAT BOTH COMMUNITIES

ARE ASKING FOR?

AS AMERICANS, WE ARE MORE

UNDERSTANDING IN ALLIEDSHIP.

I SAW IT WAS DIFFICULT, I FELT

AND EMPATHIZED WITH JAMES AROUND

WHAT MAY HAVE BEEN CHALLENGES TO

SEE HOW NICE, WELL MEANING WHITE

AMERICANS, WHO MAY BE IN THE

COMMUNITY WERE ESSENTIALLY

VIOLENT TO OUR EXPERIENCES, OUR

LIVED EXPERIENCES AS BLACK WOMEN

AND MEN.

I WANTED TO TEND TO THAT WITH

JAMES.

I THINK IT WAS ACTUALLY A

HUMANIZATION OF WHAT ALLIEDSHIP

AND A HIGHER FORM OF BEING AN

ACCOMPLICE TO COMMUNITY HEALING,

LIBERATION AND DESIGN THAT SAID

THAT FOR CARL AND I WITH JAMES

THAT IF WE WERE TRULY FRIENDS,

IF WE WERE TRULY IN THIS WORK

TOGETHER, WE NEEDED TO HELP EACH

OTHER THROUGH SOME OF THE MORE

DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS.

THANKFULLY, JAMES -- OUR

FRIENDSHIP WAS ABLE TO STAND THE

TEST OF WHAT IT WAS TO SIT IN

VULNERABILITY AND SHARE

EXPERIENCES SO THAT WE WERE ABLE

TO COMMUNICATE THAT IN THE

DOCUMENTARY.

>> COFFEE, I JUST WANT YOU TO --

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I THINK

IS SO CRITICAL WHEN AMERICA IS

ENGAGING IN THESE CONVERSATIONS

IS TO BE CRYSTAL CLEAR.

WHEN YOU SAID THAT HOW

WELL-MEANING WHITE PEOPLE CAN

ENGAGE IN VIOLENT BEHAVIOR TO

BLACK PEOPLE'S EXPERIENCES, I

WANT YOU TO BE VERY CLEAR.

IT'S VERY EASY TO SAY, VIOLENT,

I HAVE NEVER RAISED A HAND OR

PHYSICALLY ASSAULTED ANYONE.

WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT THAT

VIOLENCE, WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU

MEAN?

>> WHEN I TALK ABOUT VIOLENCE,

I'M TALKING ABOUT THE SPECTRUM

OF VIOLENCE.

WHITE PEOPLE -- THIS IS A VERY

BROAD BRUSH.

FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVEN'T

EXPERIENCED VIOLENCE OF WHAT IT

IS TO BE A GENERATIONAL

AFRICAN-AMERICAN, WE THINK

VIOLENCE IN TERMS OF A NOOSE.

RIGHT?

WE THINK OF VIOLENCE IN TERMS OF

A KILLING, A PHYSICAL ASSAULT.

WE DON'T EXPAND THE SPECTRUM OF

VIOLENCE TO BE INCLUSIVE OF

CLASSISM, GENDERISM, IMPLICIT

BIAS.

YOU MAY BE A VERY WELL-MEANING

PERSON, BUT YOUR CLASS DICTATES

THAT YOUR IMPLICIT BIASES IN A

SPACE AGAINST SOMEBODY WHO IS

NOT PART OF YOUR COMMUNITY AND

DENIAL OF BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS IS

VIOLENCE.

PEOPLE DID NOT UNDERSTAND WITH

THE KILLING OF TAMIR RICE,

GEORGE FLOYD AND SO MANY OTHER

BLACK AND WOMEN THAT THERE WERE

SPECTRUMS OF VIOLENCE THAT WERE

PLACED ON THE HEADS OF THOSE

COMMUNITIES AND THOSE FAMILIES

AND THOSE INDIVIDUALS PRIOR TO A

KNEE ON THE NECK, PRIOR TO A GUN

BEING PULLED.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT THIS

DOCUMENTARY ASKED US TO DO AND

OUR WORK HERE ASKED US TO DO IS

EXPAND THE IDEA OF WHAT VIOLENCE

IS AND TO SIT WITH THAT AND TO

LOOK AT THE SPECTRUMS OF

VIOLENCE AND START IN SUBTLE

FORMS OF DENY OF ACCESS, OR

COLORISM, OR CLASSISM, AND TO

EXTEND THAT SPECTRUM TO

UNDERSTAND IT'S THE SAME AS A

KNEE ON THE NECK, THE SAME AS

STATE SANCTIONED POLICE

VIOLENCE, IT'S THE SAME FOR THE

AFRICAN-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE IN

AMERICA.

WE ARE TETHERED IN THOSE

RELATIONSHIPS AND THOSE ARE

DEMANDED TO BE HEALED.

>> CARL, I WANT TO BRING YOU IN.

THE FILM STARTS OUT EXAMINING

THE STUDENTS AT THIS NIGHT

SCHOOL AND YOU ARE STUDYING THE

CLASSICS AND AMERICAN HISTORY

AND ALL OF THESE RICH PARTS OF,

I GUESS, CULTURE ARE BEING

STUDIED.

THROUGH YOUR PERSPECTIVE, WHAT

BENEFIT -- A LOT OF PEOPLE OFTEN

SAY, IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE

POOR ANYMORE, JUST GET AN

EDUCATION.

WHAT BENEFIT DOES ENGAGING IN

THAT COLLEGE LEVEL OF EDUCATION,

WHAT DOES THAT DO FOR YOU?

>> IN MY CASE, IT DID A COUPLE

OF THINGS.

IT INCREASED MY PERSONAL

CONFIDENCE.

I THINK ONE OF THE PROBLEMS THAT

AFFLICTS MINORITY COMMUNITIES --

SO-CALLED MINORITY COMMCOMMUNIT

BLACK, BROWN, INDIGENOUS, IS

DOUBT.

BEING ABLE TO MASTER A COURSE

LIKE THAT, THAT ELIMINATED

DOUBT.

ONE OF THE INTERESTING

BYPRODUCTS OF THE EXPERIENCE IS,

CLEMENTE DID A SURVEY WITH

SELECT PEOPLE.

ONE YEAR AFTER GRADUATION AND

THREE YEARS AFTER GRADUATION.

PEOPLE'S CONFIDENCE AND HORIZONS

HAD EXPANDED MORE AFTER THREE

YEARS THAN A YEAR, WHICH IS KIND

OF COUNTER TO WHAT YOU MIGHT

THINK.

YOU GO THROUGH THE EXPERIENCE IN

A YEAR AND THEN YOU SORT OF FADE

AWAY.

IT WAS DIFFERENT.

IT'S A NEW WAY OF THINKING.

IT WAS FOR ME, ANYHOW.

IF YOU ARE A FAMILY PERSON, WHEN

YOU GO TO A CLEMENTE COURSE, YOU

SHARE THE EXPERIENCE WITH YOUR

FAMILY.

IT'S NOT JUST YOU GOING TO

SCHOOL.

YOUR FAMILY IS THERE WITH YOU.

YOU BRING HOME THINGS THAT YOU

DISCOVERED.

YOU SHARE IT WITH THEM.

I THINK THE MAIN BENEFIT IS MY

INTELLECTUAL HORIZONS WERE

BROADENED EVEN MORE.

I MEAN, I'M WELL READ, ALWAYS

HAVE BEEN.

CLEMENTE GAVE ME A LITTLE BOOST

IN MY OLD AGE.

>> I ALSO WANT TO BE, AGAIN,

VERY EXPLICIT WITH YOU.

BECAUSE FREQUENTLY, PARTICULARLY

NOW, HIGHER EDUCATION IS OFTEN

LOOKED AT AS, AGAIN, A PATH TO A

BETTER JOB.

I'M WONDERING, WHAT -- I

UNDERSTAND THAT BY THE END OF

THE FILM WE LEARN THAT YOU

ACTUALLY ENROLLED IN HARVARD,

WHICH, OF COURSE, IS THE TOP --

ONE OF THE TOP SCHOOLS IN

AMERICA.

ARE YOU MORE ENGAGED IN THIS FOR

EDUCATION FOR THE SAKE OF

EXPANDING YOUR HORIZONS AS YOU

SO BEAUTIFULLY PUT IT, OR IS

THERE AN END GAME TO THIS, THE

WAY A LOT OF OTHER PEOPLE MIGHT

APPROACH HIGHER EDUCATION,

MEANING, I'M DOING THIS TO GET

THIS JOB?

>> I'M 73 ON MONDAY.

GETTING A JOB ISN'T ONE OF MY

PRIORITIES.

I'M THINKING MORE OF A ROCKING

CHAIR.

I'M PART OF A TEAM.

OKAY?

MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

NOT ONLY DO WE HAVE INDIVIDUAL

INTELLIGENCE, WE HAVE COLLECTIVE

INTELLIGENCE.

I WAS INTO IT FOR PERSONAL

EVOLUTION.

WHATEVER I WAS GOING TO LEARN, I

WOULD SHARE WITH MY COMMUNITY.

OKAY?

IF I BETTER MYSELF, THE PEOPLE

THAT I SEE EVERY DAY HOPEFULLY,

WHAT I HAVE LEARNED AND I SHARE

WITH THEM, HELPS THEM TO BE

INTRIGUED OR CURIOUS AND GO AND

PURSUE THINGS.

MY DAUGHTERS ARE VERY BRIGHT.

THEY ARE WHAT I CONSIDER LIFE

LONG LEARNERS.

HOPEFULLY, WHAT I SHARED WITH

THEM IS HELP TO MOTIVATE THEM OR

AT LEAST, YOU KNOW, REMIND THEM

OF WHAT THEY ARE CAPABLE OF.

>> JAMES, I WANT TO BRING YOU

BACK.

SORT OF ASK -- BECAUSE PART OF

THE REASON WHY I WANTED TO GET

SO CRYSTAL CLEAR WITH OUR GUESTS

IS BECAUSE ONE OF THE THINGS THE

FILM DOES AN EXCELLENT JOB AT

REVEALING ARE THESE SUBTLE WAVES

THAT A LOT OF THE DOORWAYS TO

PROSPERITY IN AMERICA ARE GATE

KEPT, WHETHER PEOPLE REALIZE

THEY ARE DOING THE GATEKEEPING

OR NOT.

WAS THAT INTENTION OR WAS THAT

SOMETHING YOU SORT OF STUMBLED

ACROSS AS YOU WERE MAKING THIS

FILM?

>> WHAT DO YOU MEAN EXACTLY?

WHAT ARE YOU REFERRING TO?

>> MEANING THAT THERE ARE WAYS

LIKE, FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN YOU WERE

GOING TO SOME OF THE LAND USE

MEETINGS OR WHEN YOU WERE GOING

TO THE HOUSING COURT WHERE -- I

DON'T WANT TO GIVE TOO MUCH AWAY

IN THE FILM.

BUT THE FACT THAT YOU WERE ABLE

TO SEE THINGS THAT YOU WOULDN'T

OTHERWISE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SEE

HAD YOU NOT BEEN MAKING THIS

FILM, BUT THERE'S ANOTHER

EXAMPLE IN THE FILM WHERE -- I

DON'T WANT TO GIVE TOO MUCH

AWAY.

YOU, JUST BY YOUR PRESENCE AT A

CERTAIN MEETING, IT CHANGES THE

OUTCOME OF A HOUSING SITUATION

THAT HAD YOU NOT BEEN THERE

MIGHT HAVE HAD A NEGATIVE

OUTCOME.

IF THAT'S NOT TOO VAGUE.

>> NOT AT ALL.

THOSE ARE ALL THE THINGS THAT

SORT OF LED TO MY -- THERE'S A

POINT IN THE FILM -- THERE WAS A

POINT DURING THE MAKING OF THE

FILM WHEN COFFEE SAID TO ME,

JAMES, I JUST WANT TO SHAKE YOU

AND WAKE YOU UP.

RIGHT?

I THINK THAT THOSE EX -- COFFEE

IN A WAY REALIZED THAT I WAS

OPEN TO THIS AS A FILMMAKER.

I WANTED TO MAKE AN AUTHENTIC

FILM.

I WANTED TO UNDERSTAND HER LIFE

AND CARL'S LIFE IN A DEEPER WAY.

COFFEE VERY GENEROUSLY ALLOWED

ME TO ENTER INTO THOSE SPACES

WITH HER.

WHEN I WENT THERE, SOME OF THESE

THINGS THAT SHE WANTED TO -- ME

TO LEARN, SHE DIDN'T NEED TO

SHAKE ME.

ALL SHE HAD TO DO IS TAKE ME.

I WAS ABLE TO SEE MY INFLUENCE,

YOU KNOW, HOW THINGS ARRIVE S

YOU KNOW, HOW THINGS ARRIVE CH

WHEN I ARRIVED IN SITUATIONS,

LIKE THE HOUSING AGENCY IN

BOSTON.

ALL THOSE THINGS WERE PART OF

COFFEE AND CARL'S LIFE THAT AS A

WHITE PERSON LIVING IN A NEARBY

SUBURB OF BOSTON, WERE HIDDEN

FROM ME.

I COULDN'T SEE IT.

IT'S ALMOST LIKE WE ARE LIVING

IN PARALLEL SOCIETIES IN A WAY.

SO SEEING ALL THAT, SEEING HOW

COFFEE AND CARL WERE BOTH HURT

BY THE SYSTEM IN DIFFERENT WAYS,

BECOMING COLLEAGUES AND FRIENDS

WITH THEM OVER TIME FORCED ME IN

A WAY TO BRING MY FULL HUMANITY

INTO THE FILM AND TO RESPOND TO

IT IN A WAY THAT WAS MORE THAN

JUST AN OBSERVER.

SO I THINK THAT'S WHAT CHANGED

WITH THE FILM MAKING.

IT STARTED OUT AS AN

OBSERVATIONAL FILM THAT I WAS

BEHIND THE CAMERA, THAT I WAS

INVISIBLE, I WAS MORE A WITNESS

TO THEIR LIVES.

WHAT HAPPENED WAS, COFFEE, CARL

AND SOME OTHER COLLEAGUES OF

OURS SAID, THAT'S NOT ENOUGH.

WE HAVE BEEN VULNERABLE FOR YOU.

YOU NEED TO BECOME VULNERABLE

FOR US.

IT'S NOT JUST OUR STORY.

IT'S ALL OUR STORIES.

WE ALL LIVE -- WE ALL LIVE

WITHIN THESE SYSTEMS AND

STRUCTURES.

BUT I NEVER WOULD HAVE DONE

THAT -- I NEVER WOULD HAVE

CHOSEN TO BE A CHARACTER IN THE

FILM.

IT'S, LIKE, THE LAST THING I

WANTED TO BE OR WOULD EVER WANT

TO BE.

BUT I WAS CHALLENGED BY COFFEE

AND CARL AND SOME OTHER PEOPLE.

THE FILM WASN'T REALLY COMING

TOGETHER AS -- IN A WAY A FILM

SHOULD.

WE WERE STRUGGLING WITH THE

STRUCTURE AND THE NARRATIVE.

SO I JUMPED IN.

EVEN AS I WAS ENTERING INTO THE

FILM, I WAS WORKING IN A

COLLABORATIVE WAY WITH COFFEE

AND CARL AND OUR TEAM.

>> I WANT TO GO BACK TO -- SINCE

WE WERE TALKING ABOUT SOME OF

YOUR EXPERIENCES THAT WE SEE IN

THE FILM, COFFEE, ONE OF THE

SCENES OR THE SCENARIOS WHERE

YOU AND -- I BELIEVE, TAGO, YOU

WERE THERE, YOU ARE AT A LAND

USE MEETING WITH THE CITY.

THE TWO OF YOU -- IF YOU CAN

REMIND ME THE NAME OF THE

ORGANIZATION.

YOU WERE HOPING TO GET FROM THE

CITY TO BE ABLE TO CREATE A SAFE

SPACE FOR, I BELIEVE, ORGANIC

FARMING FOR BLACK WOMEN IN

BOSTON.

THE POINT THAT WE ARE ABLE TO

SEE THROUGH THE FILM IS THE WAY

THAT THERE WERE PERHAPS CERTAIN

GATEWAYS OR CERTAIN ACCESS

ROUTES TO OBTAINING THE LAND

THAT YOU WEREN'T PRIVY TO

INITIALLY WITHOUT HAVING TO

FIGHT FOR, THAT PERHAPS SOMEONE

ELSE MIGHT HAVE BEEN OPENLY

GIVEN.

THAT SEEMS TO COME TO LIGHT IN

THE FILM.

>> THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE WHO ARE

OPENLY GIVEN AND PROVIDED.

THEY DON'T LOOK LIKE WOMEN LIKE

TOGA AND I.

A LOT OF -- FOR MANY YEARS I HID

THE STRUGGLES FROM TOGA.

IT WOULD ONLY COME OUT OVER

COFFEE AND A RANT OF WHAT THE

HELL IS THE PROBLEM?

THE NAME OF THE PROJECT IS --

THE NAME OF OUR ORGANIZATION IS

THE CO-OP.

THE PROJECT IS THE COMMON GOOD

PROJECT.

WE ARE ACTUALLY AN URBAN FARMING

AND HEALTH PROGRAM FOCUSED ON

WOMEN.

I WANTED TO BRING TOGA AND SHARA

AND MANY OTHER WOMEN THAT I

BECAME A MORAL WITNESS TO THEIR

LIVES AND WE HAD SHARED

EXPERIENCES, INTO THIS SPACE FOR

THEM TO UNDERSTAND, NOT WHAT I

WAS UP AGAINST, BUT WHAT WERE

THEY UP AGAINST.

>> AGAIN, SORRY, BUT JUST TO BE

CLEAR, WHEN YOU SAY THAT SPACE,

WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE MEETING

WITH THE -- I BELIEVE ALL --

>> THE CITY OF BOSTON.

THE POWERFUL PART ABOUT THAT

MEETING THAT THE AUDIENCE SHOULD

UNDERSTAND IN SCREENING THE

DOCUMENTARY AND HOPEFULLY

PARTICIPATING IN THE DOCUMENTARY

PREMIERE ON MLK'S BIRTHDAY, IS

THAT THAT ONE CONTROLLED ALL OF

THE HOUSING FOR THE GREATER CITY

OF BOSTON.

THERE'S NOT A COMMERCIAL OR

RESIDENTIAL THAT'S NOT GREEN

STAMPED OR RUBBER STAMPED BY

HER.

SHE'S A KIND WOMAN, BUT THERE

ARE BLIND SPOTS AS WE ALL HAVE

BLIND SPOTS IN UNDERSTANDING

AUTONOMY AND COMMUNITY DESIGN

AND VOICING ADVOCACY FOR SOMEONE

WHO CONTROLS THE HOUSING FOR THE

ENTIRE CITY OF BOSTON.

EVEN MORE INSIDIOUS IS THAT THAT

DEPARTMENT DOESN'T JUST CONTROL

THE HOUSING FOR THE CITY OF

BOSTON.

THEY TRAVEL AROUND THE COUNTRY

AND HOLD BOSTON AS A BEACON

TOWARDS COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

AND ALSO TO INFORM OTHER

DEVELOPERS AND OTHER DEVELOPMENT

AGENCIES.

WHAT HAPPENS IN BOSTON RIPPLES

THROUGH THE UNITED STATES.

I WANT TO MAKE THIS POINT AND

HOLD MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA, UP IN

SOLIDARITY, AS THEY ARE FIGHTING

BACK RIGHT NOW FOR A BOSTONIAN

WHO IS BUYING UP THEIR LAND.

A GENTLEMAN FROM BOSTON WHO HAS

REPLICATED BOSTON'S ABILITY TO

BE -- TO EXCLUDE.

HE IS ACTUALLY THE HEAD OF A

WEBSITE.

BUT WE HAVE THE COMMUNITY IN SAN

JOSE WHO SITS IN THE SAME

MEETINGS AND TO PUSH BACK

AGAINST A DEVELOPER FROM BOSTON

WHO SAYS THEY ARE DEVELOPING FOR

THE GOOD OF ALL.

I WANT TO ALSO HOLD UP OUR

SISTERS IN FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA,

WHO ARE ADVOCATING FOR THE

EXPERIENCES OF BLACK PEOPLE WHO

CAME TO ARIZONA AS FORESTERS AND

NOT ALLOWED -- HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE

TO FIND SPACE.

THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE

THROUGHOUT THIS UNITED STATES

WHO ARE SAYING A PART OF HEALING

THE VIOLENCE IS REPARATIONS TO

AN EXTENT BUT A REPARATION AND

RECONCILIATION.

SITTING IN THAT SPACE AND HAVING

TOGA IN THERE AND TRYING TO

HUMANIZE OUR EXPERIENCES, NOT

EVEN FOR ME, BUT FOR WOMEN WHO

WEREN'T THERE, AND SAY THAT AS

YOU GIVE LAND TO OTHERS BASED ON

YOU HOLDING THEM MORE IN

COMMUNITY, THEN YOU HOLD US.

THERE'S AN INHERENT

DEHUMANIZATION THAT'S HISTORIC

THAT WE ARE ALL PLAYING A PART

IN.

THAT IS THE GATEKEEPING, THAT IS

THE RESOURCE PROVIDING, THAT IS

THE COMMUNITY BUILDING THAT

SEEMS ALWAYS OUT OF THE REACH OF

THE COMMUNITIES WHO LIVE IN

THOSE NEIGHBORHOODS AND HAVE --

>> COFFEE, I'M SORRY, I HAVE TO

CUT YOU OUT.

WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME.

I JUST WANT TO BRING YOU IN,

CARL.

YOU WERE MAKING EXCELLENT

POINTS.

CARL, I WANT TO BRING YOU IN.

WE HAVE A MINUTE LEFT.

TALK ABOUT YOUR FAMILY'S ROOTS

IN THE CITY OF BOSTON.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN PEOPLE

WHO HAVE BEEN PART OF THE

FOUNDATION OF A COMMUNITY FOR

GENERATIONS TO BE DISPLACED?

WHAT DOES THAT DO TO A LARGER

COMMUNITY?

WE HAVE SECONDS LEFT.

>> FAMILIES THAT HAVE DEEP ROOTS

IN A PARTICULAR PLACE SHOULD BE

A RESOURCE FOR THE LOCAL

COMM

COMMUNITY.

MY FAMILY ACTUALLY IS

MULTI-GENERATIONAL NEW

ENGLANDER, VERMONT,

MASSACHUSETTS, CONNECTICUT,

RHODE ISLAND.

A FEW OF US WANDERED INTO MAINE.

IT'S LIKE A FORM OF DISRESPECT.

WHAT HAPPENS IS, THE YOUNGER

PEOPLE HAVE THE PERSPECTIVE IN A

FAMILY LIKE MINE OF KNOWING

FAMILY HISTORY.

WHAT HAPPENS IS THE FAMILY

HISTORY DICTATES TO THEM, WELL,

WE'RE NOT GETTING THE DEAL THAT

WE SHOULD.

WE'RE GOING TO MOVE SOMEPLACE

ELSEWHERE WE ARE RESPECTED.

MY YOUNGEST DAUGHTER IS LIVING

IN PHILADELPHIA.

NEXT ONE IS THINKING ABOUT GOING

DOWN THERE HERSELF.

THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS TO A PLACE

IN A PRACTICAL SENSE LIKE BOSTON

TO LONGTIME PEOPLE.

YOUNG PEOPLE GO AWAY.

THEY LEAVE.

>> OF COURSE, AND THAT IS A

SUBJECT WE SEE OVER AND OVER

AGAIN.

UNFORTUNATELY, WE ARE GOING TO

HAVE TO LEAVE IT THERE.

THIS IS A CONVERSATION WE FLEED

-- WE NEED TO CONTINUE AND WE

WILL.

I WANT TO THANK MY GUESTS FOR

JOINING US AND FOR THE FILM "A

RECKONING IN BOSTON."

>> "METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE

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