Episode 02: Yusef Hawkins “Storm Over Brooklyn” Doc, and Reacting to the Breonna Taylor Verdict

[Producer’s Note]: This episode was originally recorded September 24th. 

After a couple of heavy weeks filled with collective loss and grief, Chevon and Hiba open Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast working through the powerful and difficult emotions generated by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s refusal to prosecute the Breonna Taylor case, and the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. (Do not miss this—Chevon and Hiba have one of the most important conversations that we have ever had the privilege to share.)

In this very timely conversation, Hiba and Chevon are joined by the team behind the HBO documentary, Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn, which “tells the story of Yusuf Hawkins, a black teenager who was murdered in 1989 by a group of young white men in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Yusuf Hawkins’ death and the official response to it sparked outrage in New York, unleashing a torrent of racial tension and spurring tireless civil rights activism that exposed deep racial prejudices and inequities which continue to plague the country today.” 

Director Muta’Ali and Producer Victorious Decosta share how they came to work on the film, the behind the scenes experiences working with Yusef’s family and friends to tell his story, and the importance of creating solutions oriented resources in collaboration with activist groups to keep the conversation going for viewers. Muta’Ali and Victorious also talk about the impact of the Breonna Taylor verdict and the parallels to the lack of justice in the Yusef Hawkins case. 

In the spirit of solidarity and collaboration –– Facing Race: A National Virtual Conference is only one month away, and we’d love to have you join us for the largest multiracial, intergenerational gathering of racial justice movement making. 


Resources (by order of mention) 


Facing Race



Here's What's at Stake If Trump Replaces RBG on the U.S. Supreme Court (via Colorlines)



“There is No Justice Here” (via Colorlines)



Breonna Taylor's Family, Advocates React to ‘Outrageous and Offensive’ Grand Jury Decision (via Colorlines)



Detroit Police Officer Charged in Shooting Death of Aiyana Stanley-Jones (via Colorlines)



Bree Newsome Bass



WATCH: 'Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn' Debuts on HBO



Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn



For the Color of His Skin: The Murder of Yusuf Hawkins and the Trial of Bensonhurst



“Storm Over Brooklyn” Discussion Guide 





Official Site 









Victorious DeCosta 








Executive Producers: 

Chevon Drew, Hendel Leiva, and Jeff Chang


Associate Producer/ Editor: Kendy Solis


Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast

White text on black background “Momentum a Race Forward Podcast” with Race Forward logo. Various images of people expressing joy and solidarity and signs of protest in background.
Photo credit (small photo in upper right):
Pax Ahimsa Gethen / Wikicommons

Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast features movement voices, stories, and strategies for racial justice. Co-hosts Chevon and Hiba give their unique takes on race and pop culture, and uplift narratives of hope, struggle, and joy, as we continue to build the momentum needed to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture. Build on your racial justice lens and get inspired to drive action by learning from organizational leaders and community activists.


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