Michael B. Jordan: 'Fight for Black Lives to Matter Is Not Over' 7 Years After Fruitvale Station

Michael B. Jordan starred as Oscar Grant in the 2013 movie, a Black man who was shot by police while restrained in 2010

Michael B. Jordan Fruitvale Station
Photo: Forest Whitaker'S Significant Prods/Og Project/Kobal/Shutterstock

Nearly a decade after Michael B. Jordan helped tell the story of a young Black man shot by transit police in Oakland, the actor says there's still work to be done in the fight for racial justice.

In the award-winning 2013 film Fruitvale Station, Jordan played 22-year-old Oscar Grant on the last day of his short life before his fatal encounter with two BART police officers. Grant died in the early hours of January 1, 2010 while returning from New Year's Eve festivities in San Francisco.

On Monday, the actor remembered the movie and Grant's life with an Instagram post marking the 7th anniversary of Fruitvale Station, named after the stop where Grant was killed. The film marked Ryan Coogler's directorial debut. Jordan go on to team up with Coogler on several more films, including 2015's Creed and 2018's Marvel smash hit Black Panther.

"7 years ago today, Fruitvale Station shed light on the story of Oscar Grant, a young black man who was shot by a BART police officer on January 1, 2010. Over a decade later, the fight for black lives to matter is not over," Jordan wrote next to several behind-the-scenes photos from set and a snap of Grant.

"Our voices cannot be silenced. We need more black storytellers to bring our darkness, our pain, and our purpose to light. Thank you Ryan Coogler — without you, this film wouldn’t have been made," he continued. "And our demands cannot be derailed. We need systemic change, and to defund bloated police budgets to get funds to education, jobs, and health professionals. Thank you Miss Wanda, mother of Oscar Grant — because of you, this movement has a mother’s love."

Grant was shot by BART officer Johannes Mehserle, who was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to two years minus time served. He eventually served 11 months in prison before his release.

The movie's anniversary comes in a time when thousands of people across the country are still protesting the May 25 death of George Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old Black man who was killed after a Minneapolis officer kneeled on his neck for over 8 minutes. His death was captured in a video by bystanders causing mass outrage, much like Grant's death 10 years earlier.

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
  • National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.
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