Now Streaming in Austin: Brainstorm Black

Charlotte Moore's series about changing outcomes in Black Austin

Welcome to Now Streaming in Austin, highlighting locally made titles to watch while self-quarantining.
So far during the coronavirus lockdown, every Thursday we've done a livetweet of an Austin-made film. Not this week. Instead, this is a moment to really listen to what Black Austinites are saying, and have been saying for years.

Local filmmaker, author, and journalist Charlotte Moore started her series from a very simple fact: All the research shows that, whatever the system – whether it's education, health, law enforcement, life expectancy, wealth creation – Black people in America have the poorest outcomes. Something is clearly broken at a systemic and structural level, and has been for generations.

That's something everyone, at some level, knows. But knowing and understanding are two different conditions: Moreover, understanding, and having real paths and processes to change that very broken status quo, seem to have become disconnected. Laying those paths and organizing those processes is part of what Moore's web series, Brainstorm Black, can help achieve.

It's a forum for Black Austinites like computer scientist and futurist Darrell K. Malone, Jr., and Shannon Dale Stott, creator of the iamhereATX meetup initiative, to discuss issues relevant to race and to their own experiences. Moore's series both provides a lot of information that may be new to viewers, as well as recontextualizes those same realities in a way that may give other people a new perspective on what they thought they understood. That's true for Moore herself, as she explains in her discussion with former Child Protective Services caseworker and head of the Center for Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, who now runs her own racial equity consulting firm for businesses and organizations (you can watch that video below).

The show is part of Moore's Black Bodies Project, a multimedia discussion of what it is to be Black in Austin: The project includes a film, which screened at the Capital Area Black Film Festival in 2018, as well as a coffee table book, Benevolence In Black (buy it here). However, the first seven episodes of Brainstorm Black are already online for free on YouTube.

Illuminating, fascinating, and presenting a perspective on the diversity of the experience of being Black in Austin, Moore's series is designed to help start conversations about what can be changed, why it needs to change, and how to improve outcomes for Black Americans – and ultimately, for us all. Take the time to watch this series, maybe introduce friends and relatives to it, and take time to have those conversations.

Brainstorm Black

• YouTube (Link)

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