Why Is We Americans?

Directed by Udi Aloni, Ayana Stafford-Morris
Udi Aloni, Ayana Stafford-Morris
Corinth Films
2020
102 Minutes
USA
English
Documentary, Biography
Theatrical booking
Maxwell Wolkin
maxwell@filmmovement.com
Festival and non-theatrical booking
Erin Farrell
erin@filmmovement.com
Materials and print traffic
Erin Farrell
erin@filmmovement.com

Synopsis

From the Newark Rebellion of 1967 to current day, the city’s narrative has been one of revolution with each generation picking up where the previous had left off. WHY IS WE AMERICANS? weighs in on Newark’s struggle against oppression through the personal triumphs and tragedies of the Baraka family -- from Amiri’s civil rights leadership and ultimate artistic marginalization, to the horrific murder of his sister, Kimako, through the homicide of daughter Shani (one of the first openly gay black activists) to the historic election of Ras Baraka as mayor of Newark, NJ. And through it all, it is the matriarch, Amina Baraka, who emerges as story’s lode star and moral compass. Spanning decades of social activism, poetry, music, art, and politics, this kaleidoscopic family saga is framed by on-camera interviews with Ms. Lauryn Hill, rare archival footage and revealing personal testimonials. As we connect with the iconoclastic poet Amiri Baraka, his wife, Amina, and their son, Ras, a portrait of a city emerges with an inspiring call to arms in the fight for class and racial justice.