Narrated and produced by Reggie Bullock, the 25-minute documentary “A War for Your Soul” showed the obstacles that black and white people have overcome since the days of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.
Photos and video footage of KKK rallies, lynchings and segregation flashed across the screen, all reminders of the struggles and triumphs of black people and the white people who stood up for them.
“The one thing we all have in common is suffering,” Bullock said. “If you see things that are wrong, make changes.”
Bullock said the film serves as a warning against apathy and ignorance of the historical events that have brought Americans to where they are today.
“I never thought the video would become a movement,” Bullock said. “I was planning on changing the life of just one African-American kid.”
Inspiration for the film came the night Obama was elected president, Bullock said.
“I wanted to call my mother, who is in her mid-70s, to ask her feelings about being a black woman raised in the South and to see something like this happen,” Bullock said. “The first thing she said to me was, ‘This
was all from God because it had to be. People have forgotten about our situation 40 or 50 years ago and what we went through.’”
Raised in Bronx, N.Y., Bullock has found ways to reach at-risk teens and young adults by connecting with them through this documentary, which blends history and contemporary hip-hop culture.
“I stopped production on other videos to start working on a video to help the kids I used to work with – the kids on edge, the kids who come to school only for social purposes or to sell drugs,” Bullock said.
Javarious Hopson, freshman in economics, thought the movie shined a light on the truth aboutrace relations in America.
“The film was powerful and motivating because it really did show a lot of truths that many people have forgotten about over the years and that many people refuse to look at,” Hopson said. “It was so blunt and straight to the point, it’ll make people think.”
Jennifer Lucas, president of the Black Student Union, helped to organize the event.
“Especially for African-American kids, this film opens our eyes to things we have made normal in our lives that we shouldn’t have made normal,” Lucas said. “It gives the history of why these things (rap lyrics and drugs) aren’t as great as we tend to think they are.”
Hopson said even though people have made progress in the last century, understanding and awareness of American history could be improved by the video.
“Many things that people see at home behind closed doors is now mainstream and considered entertaining,” said Charus Campbell, coordinator of diversity and multicultural affairs. “Things that were considered bad historically are now glorified, and people are desensitized to them.”
In addition to this film, February brings many opportunities for all students to get involved in Black History Month.
“I hope that college students will embrace the African-American culture and recognize that it’s a part of all of our history as Americans,” Bullock said.