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Black & Blue seeks to address the idea that African Americans must choose between serving their community (black) or hold allegiance to the Police Force (blue). This narrative is not really new the screen but casting an African American female is.
The action packed film opens with a scene that speaks to a privilege that African Americans have not been afforded. Alicia West (Naomie Harris) is jogging through a middle-class neighborhood wearing a hooded sweatshirt only to be stopped by two white cops. After using excessive force, they realize that she is part of their team (blue) and ease up citing that she “fits a wanted description”. These felt no remorse and their arrogance was easy to
West quickly learns that no one expects her to straddle between two worlds- Black or Blue. She is expected to make a choice and this loyalty is put to the test. She is forced to choose between being black or blue when she discovers and captures (via body cam) the murder of young black men at the hands of the police. With so many odds stacked against her, what will she do? The neighborhood that she once considered home views her as a traitor and old friends Mouse (Tyrese Gibson) and Missy (Nafessa Williams) makes certain she know this and as a newbie to the police force can she be trusted by the “old boys club”
Mouse (Tyrese Gibson) an African American convenience store owner didn’t want to get involved but jumped in to assist after she left him no choice. He knows that she could never make it out alive without him and ironically he becomes the only person that she can trust.
The movie will entertain, inspire and uplift you. You can’t help but cheer at the “Girl Power” represented. West properly represented being a strong African American women, and an honorably discharged veteran while always being a kind hearted good police officer.
We are at a point in our progression, that we simply need to believe that not all cops are bad. And I absolutely do not think they all are. But we as the public need to know that when faced with a morale dilemma they will that care more about doing the RIGHT THING versus alignment with a uniform. We can only hope that this will inspire real police officers to hold each other accountable to the highest morale and ethical standards.
Cast: Naomie Harris, Tyrese Gibson, Frank Grillo, Mike Colter, Reid Scott, Beau Knapp, Nafessa Williams.