Michael Brown, Eric Garner, John Crawford III and Oscar Grant are only a few of the Black men who have died at the hands of those who swore to serve and protect their communities, and much like the rest of America, actor Michael B. Jordan just can’t make any sense of it.
Jordan, who took on the role of Grant in the 2013 film Fruitvale Station, discussed the recent killing of 18-year-old Brown with The Huffington Post on Tuesday.
“You really can’t make sense of it,” Jordan said. “It’s something that I feel like … it’s a touchy subject.”
Jordan explained that he doesn’t always speak out about those “touchy” subjects in public, but he likes to let his work speak for itself.
He said that as a Black man in America, “We know what we know, and that’s what it is.”
He then added, “You can’t always go out forward with that information … Honestly, you have to navigate that way … at the end of the day I express myself through my work. When I’m up there on screen, that’s not me. That’s whoever I’m portraying at the moment. It’s kind of like, you have to hide the medicine in the food.”
Jordan, who seemed visibly tense and bothered by the recent events, explained that while some people are turned off by a documentary they may be more receptive to a narrative film, and that’s where he likes to step in.
“Sometimes you do a documentary and that information is not always received because it’s like, ‘Oh man, this is the truth,’ ” he said. “Sometimes people are turned off by that – it’s just too harsh.”
If you put it in art, he explained, viewers get a message they weren’t even aware they were going to receive, and they start to think about the situations on their own accord.
“That’s how you stop instances like Eric Garner, you know, Michael Brown,” he added. “You know, you have to get people to think differently.”
He also admitted that he doesn’t think racial tensions in America will get better anytime soon, although he thinks they will improve with time if people continue pushing for racial equality.
“Do I think things are gonna get better? Yes,” he said. “Do I think it’s gonna happen in my lifetime? Probably not.”
For now, however, he said he would be happy if he managed to change just one person’s perception of Black men in America.