Black & Blue documentary will give the audience a realistic view into the world of black police officers, depicting both how the officers are viewed by the community and their own reactions and perspectives. Filmmaker Solomon Bass will collect footage from police and community interviews, ride-alongs, and interviews with local celebrities to obtain a holistic view of black police officers. The documentary will premiere in conjunction with a community dialogue at the Southeast Community Center – in which citizens and police officers will sit among one another to experience together what black officers face as they are trying to do their jobs. After the premiere, Solomon wants to put the documentary on YouTube to further promote a national discussion.
After seeing the shocking results from the Trayvon Martin case, Solomon found himself with a cold heart towards the justice system. Shortly after that tragedy came the Michael Brown shooting, and when he heard that the black community was being tear gassed and assaulted in Ferguson, MO he rushed there with his camera in his hand. As soon as he turned down Florissant Street, he could feel the anger, hurt and pain – but what struck him most of all was the racial tension. The black community was determined to be heard and felt after losing another precious black teenager. Solomon saw that a great deal of anger was directed towards the black police officers – who he realized, in retrospect, were just coming to work to earn a living. No matter their beliefs, surely they had an obligation to protect themselves, their fellow officers and the community. But at the time Solomon’s heart was broken and he felt himself siding with the community, full of an anger that was fueled and activated by injustice. He could not acknowledge the black police officers there, and refused to even converse with them.
Two years later, Solomon got a new job as a security officer at a hospital and instantly felt the love lost between him and his community. He had to take his shirt and badge off before he left the parking lot in order for people in his neighborhood to accept him. He started thinking about how there must be many police officers who have a huge heart for the black community but get treated as if they are the scum-of-the-earth, just because of their association with the police department. His intent with this documentary is to show what black officers go through not just in their job but within their own community – as a way to start to repair the relationship with the people they serve. He hopes that bridging this gap might perhaps lead to a decrease in murders and an increase in information sharing from witnesses, so that children in the black community will have a chance to live full lives.
Solomon Bass is a creative filmmaker with a unique perspective. He uses film as a platform to give a voice to the voiceless and to those who feel marginalized in today’s society. He believes that films transcend barriers, allowing people to take a walk in another’s shoes and develop a sense of empathy. This, in turn, creates a deeper level of understanding about differences and facilitates difficult conversations. Graduating from Art Institutes International – Kansas City, Solomon learned to wear many hats, working on all aspects of his films, including writing, directing, producing, editing, sound and cinematography. Combining love for his community and respect for the artists he works with, Solomon strives to pay attention to the details that will create the best experience for his audiences and leave a lasting impression on them.