RESPECT OUR BLACK DOLLARS Director Christopher Windfield and the head of the movement after which the film is named, Stanley Wesley talk with FilmSnobbery host Nic LaRue at the Oxford Film Festival about their documentary. They speak about the conflicts that occurred during filming, how the movement has spread, common misconceptions, and voting with your dollar.
RESPECT OUR BLACK DOLLARS Synopsis –
It is 2017. The political climate in Mississippi is very unstable. Stanley Wesley a local activist and community organizer is the founder and president of an organization called Respect Our Black Dollars. Respect Our Black Dollars was created to uplift the black community through economic ventures. While also promoting black-owned businesses; they also protest businesses that mistreat African Americans within the community. Stanley Wesley soon finds himself the victim of racial intimidation after returning home to find racial slurs spray-painted on his front door. Upon arriving to his home the letters “KKK” are boldly sprayed upon his front door. He also learns that someone attempted to burn down his home but was unsuccessful in the process. This documentary follows Stanley Wesley as he organizes, promotes and fights opposition within modern-day Jackson Mississippi.
James Anderson, an auto worker, was killed June 26, 2011, in Jackson, Mississippi. His murder received national attention when the grisly surveillance video surfaced showing a group of white teens running him over in a pickup truck. The video shows Deryl Dedmon, 18, and several of his friends beating Anderson, and then driving over his body. It was soon discovered that James Anderson was murdered solely based on the color of his skin. These events were the catalyst that created the organization known as Respect Our Black Dollars.
Respect Our Black Dollars follows Stanley Wesley and an elite team of activist and community organizers as they embark on their journey within Jackson Mississippi to shed light on the mistreatment of African American customers within the community while also promoting local black-owned businesses. Utilizing the power of peaceful protest and political connections; Stanley discovers not only are their businesses that mistreat African Americans like a convenience store owner that was selling heroin, drug paraphernalia, and stolen goods within the black community and later shut down. The organization also protests a local pawnshop employee that was caught on camera assaulting a black customer over a dispute involving a pawnshop ticket.
Many events unfold throughout this documentary which created a need for this movement. Stanley Wesley has had one too many attempts on his life to stop the progress of this organization. This documentary tells those stories while also following the organization as they attempt to create financial empowerment and fight for the mistreatment of African Americans within the community. The result is a dynamic mix of dramatic real-time confrontations, investigative journalism, and controversy, adding up to an unforgettable story that will inspire audiences worldwide to take action.