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Viola Davis' Two Sides will inform an important dialogue about police brutality and racism in America


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Two Sides of The Truth is a four-part docuseries looking at police-involved deaths in the American Black community, with each episode analysing one of four highly charged cases between 2014 and 2015, involving the tragic deaths of Eric Garner, Ezell Ford, John Crawford and Sandra Bland.

These are instances that ignited grassroots social justice movements such as Black Lives Matter and inspired huge protests across the world, bringing the debate of police brutality and race to the forefront of political and social consciousness.

Photo Credit: Jeff Kravitz/AMA2017/FilmMagic

Photo Credit: Jeff Kravitz/AMA2017/FilmMagic

Narrated and executive produced by Oscar-winning actress and activist Viola Davis, alongside her husband Julius Tennon, the series is set to premiere on TV One on Monday 22nd January, at 10pm ET.

“With Two Sides you’ll hear how the incident transpired and how it affected change, or did not affect change. And, how the families are still being affected,” explained Davis and Tennon. “This is a way for us to humanize these victims and not make them just a statistic. We also have to look at the other side of the story – our law enforcement’s point of view. Let’s come together and have a conversation around these issues so that we can come up with real solutions that will lead to positive change.”

The cases dealt with across these four hours are ones that “sparked controversy that ignited a necessary movement throughout our country”, says Michelle Rice, TV One’s General Manager. “The relationship between law enforcement and the African American community has been a precarious one for far too long and the conversation around reform must continue. There is a historical and deep divide that needs to be mended.” 

Hopes seem to be that Two Sides will “influence an honest dialogue on the fractured state of police-community relations”, continues Rice. In each hour-long episode, family and friends of the victims share their own accounts of how their loved ones lived and died, whilst law enforcement experts and commentators offer respectively expertise and opinions regarding each of the incidents. Commentary from high-profile individuals will also be featured, such as activists Reverend Al Sharpton, Congresswoman Maxine Waters and attorney Christopher Darden, amongst many others.

Davis’ hopes as to the impact this docuseries will have is that it will “arm you with as much information as possible – even the information that you probably didn’t want to hear when the incident happened”, so that an honest and educated conversation can occur that can prompt real, fundamental change in American culture and society.

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