Feature Documentaries

Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn

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Category: Feature Documentary

Director: Muta'Ali

Producers: Jevon Frank and Victorious De Costa

Executive Producers: Jonathan Chinn, Simon Chinn, Daniel Lindsay, TJ Martin and Jeff Friday

Line Producer: David Kraemer


Directed by Muta'Ali, Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn tells the story of a black American teenager who was shot and murdered after being trapped by a group of white youths in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, on the evening of August 23, 1989. Sixteen-year-old Hawkins had come to Bensonhurst with three friends to look at a used car when they were attacked by the hostile mob, whose members mistakenly believed that Hawkins was dating a white neighborhood girl. The incident shocked New York and the country, resulting in long-simmering racial tensions finally reaching a boiling point, as protestors and counter-protestors took to the streets where the crime occurred. Leading the movement in Yusuf's name, along with Reverend Al Sharpton, was Yusuf's father, seeking redemption for his absence in Yusuf's childhood by demanding justice for his death. As the trials of the murder suspects raged on, the community continued to march with the hope that their voices could finally change the script and that justice would be served.

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