[Writer: Brittany Chisem]
TV One is the prominent African-American outlet that focuses on delivering ground breaking movies, music, news and classic series designed to entertain and inform the black culture. The network has proven itself to be a diverse and innovating source of entertainment and news once more with its new classic series titled, Two Sides – A Four Part Docu-Series. TV One hosted a media teleconference in which Missphashunta.com was able to participate in that was moderated by Tosha Whitten-Griggs (TV One SVP, Public Relations) which also included various speakers/presenters such as Gwen Carr (Eric Garner’s mother), Stacey Artist (John Crawford’s best friend), Shante Needham (Sandra Bland’s sister), a host of producers Julius Tennon, Andrew Wang, Lemuel Plummer, Jason Tolbert (Showrunner) D’Angela Proctor (SVP, Original Programming & Production) and Robyn Greene Arrington (Vice President of Original Programming).
Two Sides - A Four Part Docu-Series, passionately executive produced by Academy Award winner Viola Davis, Julius Tennon (JuVee Productions), and Lemuel Plummer (L. Plummer Media), is a limited series that profiles social injustices of four cases/series that has happened to the African American community during 2014 - 2015. During the intriguing two-hour media teleconference, Plummer explained to listeners his inspiration of conceiving the series. Plummer Stated, “The passion project emerged because of the fatal police encounters the African- American community has severely faced over time. This document was conceived to hopefully bridge the gap between black, white and blue. This is a unique docu-series, where you’ll get the perspective of the police officers and family members involved. Our intention is to educate viewers on why police officers make these harsh decisions, while helping police officers understand how these unfortunate events highly affects the community.”
The premiere episode features the case of Eric Garner, who was killed while being arrested in New York City, which ignited the “I Can’t Breathe” movement. Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner states “Two Sides – A Four Part Docu-Series, is a good creation that will give everyone the chance to see the involvement of individuals who were apart of my son’s death.” The series investigates and delivers various points of view on the highly charged cases involving Eric Garner, Ezell Ford, John Crawford and Sandra Bland.
Many sources who were apart of the historical media teleconference such as Missphashunta.com got the opportunity to take away key notes from the presenters and speakers while engaging in a highly informative Q&A session.
Below are two questions I asked to Shante Needham, Gwen Carr and Stacey Artist.
Q: In your opinion do you think there is something we can do to develop a better relationship within our communities and law enforcement?
Stacey Artist: "Yes, go to your local city council meetings. Introduce yourself to the law enforcement, whether your record is good or bad. Allow them to know who you are and what you can do to contribute to the better good of your community. These things will help bridge the gap between our communities and law enforcement."
Gwen Carr: "Before being fearful of us they should know who they are policing in the area. Instead of causing more harm or bringing fear into our communities, they should know the culture and get to know the people."
Shante Needham: "I completely agree with both ladies. We should build a trusting relationship between law enforcement and our communities. When they see that we are not a threat to them, then we can feel comfortable knowing that they’re not a threat to us. We must hope for the best outcome from these newly built relationships."
Q: I don’t know what it’s like to lose a son. However, as an expectant mother what I can to do ensure that I give my child the best opportunities?
Gwen Carr: "Teach your child how to pray, the importance of prayer and to put God first. It's unfortunate that our culture must have a different conversation with our children than the conversations the Caucasians have with theirs. However, we must make our children aware of the injustices that we face. Let them know not to fear and to pray when faced with adversity."
Stacey Artist: "I have four sons. Ages ranging from 28, 25 and 20-year- old twins. e instilled in my sons at an early age to be safe, be respectful and to be on your best behavior. Whenever you encounter a traffic stop, turn on your interior car lights, place your hands on the steering wheel, call me and most importantly be respectful."
“Two Sides – A Four Part Docu-Series” premieres on TV One tomorrow Monday, January 22 at 10/9C. Please be sure to tune into the highly acclaimed new classic series that will give viewers the opportunity to view both sides of the story. You don't want to miss it!