Although “Selma” is based on the 1965 civil rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, led by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the film’s star, David Oyelowo, sees the parallel between what happened back then and what’s happening now with nationwide protests against police brutality.
“We couldn’t have predicted what would happen in terms of what’s going on, race relations-wise,” the actor, who plays King in the film, admitted to the Associated Press. “We finished shooting in early July and by early August Michael Brown had been murdered and now we’re in the middle of the Eric Garner situation. I just think it shows. … We do not live in a post-racial America.”
For Oprah Winfrey, “Selma” can serve as a learning tool in how the history can be used to motivate and educate people in becoming aware of the current landscape and taking a stand in doing what is right.
“I think life is always there to teach, enlighten, and open you up to the greater possibilities of what can be done if you’re willing to be awake and see it. So what’s exciting to me is that people are awake,” the “Selma” producer and actress shared with theGrio.com. “And if it took Eric Garner and it took Michael Brown and other instances to do than, then that’s where we are in our evolvement as human beings.”
“I really think that this film can teach people a lot, because what this film says is it’s been done. It was done. Y’all are not the first to do it … the first to have an idea … the first to want to protest … the first to be upset,” she continued while highlighting King as an example of what can be accomplished from those who never give up.
“We didn’t even have the right as citizens to vote in this country, and because of that you had Martin Luther King as a leader joining with his band of brothers with disciplined, rigorous, peaceful protests, and they had a goal and intention in mind. You just can’t march and not know what you’re marching for.”