BLACK VOICES

This Mannequin Challenge Shows The Chilling Reality We Live In

Black lives matter, now more than ever.

Actress, writer and director Simone Shepherd released a one-minute video on Wednesday that offers a deeply chilling look at what it means to be black in America.

The clip, directed by Shepherd, shows a tableau of racial profiling, police brutality, struggle and resistance.

Watched on mute, the video is disconcerting enough. But the sound takes it to another level.

The video is scored with audio from the arrests and deaths of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Trayvon Martin and Sandra Bland.

The video, called “#BlackAndBlue,” is done in the style of the #mannequinchallenge ― the popular social media game that involves groups of people standing completely still, as though frozen, while a camera weaves around and among them, capturing the poses from every angle.

Shepherd’s video features an audio clip from Malcolm X’s famous “By any means necessary” speech from 1964. It also shows Black Lives Matter shirts and signage, and actors portraying Colin Kaepernick, Trayvon Martin and others.

According to Shepherd’s Instagram, this take on the #mannequinchallenge is meant to bring attention to “Black in Blue” ― a film project on Indiegogo that aims to explore the “racial tensions between the police and those they have sworn to protect,” according to the Indiegogo description. Shepherd has voiced her support for the film, which will be directed by Fred Thomas Jr.

We’ve reached out to Simone Shepherd and will update this piece if we hear from her.

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