APEX, N.C. -- A group of high school students in the Triangle produced a powerful new video about police brutality and racism in the United States.
Following the death of George Floyd, Gerald Givens, the Raleigh-Apex NAACP President, reached out to Matt Scialdone, an English teacher at Middle Creek High School in Apex, to see how to get students involved. The two decided to let the students have full creative freedom, and the video entitled "#WeAreDoneDying" came to be.
“Because of the coronavirus it’s hard for some of us to get involved, and it was just extremely important for me to feel like I'm doing something productive for something I really, really believe in,” says Kala Keaton, a senior at Middle Creek High School in Apex who led the creation of the video.
The video documents the long history of violence against African Americans, along with testimonials from students across the Apex area. The video begins with the sound of Mikhaila Lambert, a senior at Middle Creek High School, crying as she watched the murder of George Floyd.
“It really affected me emotionally. I guess I just started crying and then I took a video of myself and posted it on my Instagram and my Snapchat, and was like this is awful, he’s just laying there, not doing anything threatening, his life shouldn’t be lost because of this,” Lambert says.
In a world full of technology, Gerald Givens says this is the time for the younger generation to rise up and do all that they can to promote social justice.
“To all the youth that are out here today, this is your time, this is your opportunity. Imagine if Dr. King had Google Apps, imagine if Dr. King had Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Use these things to help create the change that you want to see,” Givens says.
Amaya Sullivan, a soon-to-be Freshman at UNC Greensboro who also worked on the video, agrees. “It’s the prime opportunity to make a change. History repeats itself, we don’t want it to repeat again. This is our generation, we’re gonna make a difference, and this is the time to start it.”
The students also want to empower other individuals their age to speak up and be a voice for the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Now is not the time to be afraid,” Keaton says.