When Jay Z inked a 2-year "first look deal" with The Weinstein Company back in September 2016, the first thing he brought to them was the Kalief Browder story. A real-life tragedy about how a false arrest of a young black boy -Kalief was 16 at the time- led to three years at Rikers Island for a crime (allegedly stealing a backpack) he didn't commit and was never charged for.
Kalief's mental health problems stemming from being held in solitary confinement or "administrative segregation" were too severe and he took his own life two years after being released. His mother Venida Browder participated in the press conference for the announcement of "TIME: The Kalief Browder Story", but died of a heart attack, which many attributed to the devastating loss of her youngest son, a couple of weeks later.
Jay Z :
"I look at Kalief Browder as a modern day prophet. Some of our prophets go in tragedy, but what they do long after they are gone is push the culture forward in such a significant way that it will save the lives of many."
The Kalief Browder Story airs as a 6 part documentary in January 2017 on Spike TV. The episodes will feature dramatic reenactments of the young man’s life, archival footage, as well as interviews with family and friends.
I commend Spike and The Weinstein Company for helping to develop and broadcast this story, I love Jay Z for always keeping his eye on the ball, not being distracted and making sure these stories are told and structural changes are being made.
Watch the trailer here:
For more info, go here