Michael B. Jordan Reflects on 7th Anniversary of 'Fruitvale Station'

It’s been seven years since Michael B. Jordan starred as Oscar Grant — a real-life victim of police violence — in Ryan Coogler’s debut feature, Fruitvale Station, and the actor knows there’s still a long way to go. 

Jordan marked the movie’s anniversary with an Instagram slideshow on Monday that included behind-the-scenes photos from set, interviews where he and co-star Octavia Spencer talked about Grant, Coogler and the story they set out to tell, and a photo of the real-life man who inspired the tragic tale.

“Seven 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,” he wrote. “Over a decade later, the fight for black lives to matter is not over. 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.”

“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,” Jordan continued. “Thank you Miss Wanda, mother of Oscar Grant — because of you, this movement has a mother’s love.  #oscargrant  #oscargrantfoundation  #defundthepolice  #blacklivesmatter.”

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Jordan, 33, was one of many celebrities who took to the streets in support of the Black Lives Matter movement last month, following the death of George Floyd. He participated in a march in Los Angeles and spoke to the crowd about being motivated to share diverse stories after his roles in Fruitvale Station, Just Mercy, Black Panther and more.

“That’s why I love and support everybody that’s out here, because we have to be here together, show the support,” he told the crowd, noting that playing Grant specifically forced him to grapple with “the pain of his family… I lived with that for a very long time.”

While his production company, Outlier Society, has an inclusion rider, Jordan explained that diversification efforts in Hollywood have to “go beyond that,” calling for “Black content, led by Black executives, Black consultants… Let us bring our darkness to the light.” 

“Anybody that deals with me, if you have racist beliefs, if you have a racist bone in your body, if you’re not with me, if you don’t stand with me and people that look like me, you don’t need to be with me,” he added passionately. “I use my power to demand diversity, but it’s time that studios and agencies…do so [as well].”

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