THE GHOSTS OF MARCH 21 premiers this week in the Bay Area.
La Pena Cultural Center
3105 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA
This interrogation of a day in the life of Oakland, California, is focused on March 21, 2009, when a shoot-out between a young man named Lovelle Mixon and members of the Oakland Police Department resulted in the death of Mixon himself and four Oakland police officers. Closely following the day’s events, this documentary examination of the encounter’s underlying contradictions challenges the mainstream narrative of the confrontation and in so doing, it sheds new light on the nature and reproduction of racism in the contemporary United States.
To date, the dominant narrative of the shoot-out, propagated by the Oakland Police Department, state officials and the media, has been that Lovelle Mixon was a monster and a rapist and the slain officers were angels and heroes. This perspective, viewed through a liberal lens and reliant on misleading labels, pretends the shoot-out occurred in a vacuum devoid of history and sociopolitical factors; producing an illusion that has re-enforced the status quo, suppressed critical thought, and ultimately, attempts to delegitimize the Black experience in America by rejecting the validity of the systemic factors at its root.