On Wednesday, February 22nd, I had the pleasure of attending JR Valrey’s viewing of his newest documentary, Block Reportin 101, which focused on branding awareness regarding the epidemic of police brutality plaguing the streets of Oakland, CA and other cities alike. JR is an Oakland native, community activist, radio host, author, and documentary filmmaker making his mark on a powerful movement to reveal the organized injustice of police brutality.

The screening was facilitated by Ms. Sierra McClain and held at Check Other Outfitters in Midtown Houston and from the moment the film began – the room was quiet – the audience attentive and engaged.  The attendees included the National Black United Front Houston Chapter, local activists, hip hop artists and a former rapper turned politician.  The film was phenomenally orchestrated with self-expert commentary of firsthand accounts of those impacted by excessive and unnecessary police “force”.  The powerful imagery of real time raw footage examining the savage cruelty of police brutality brought realism to the documentary. The film did not desensitize or debilitate the social issue at hand, which in turn brought an esteemed empowerment and enlighten to its viewers.  In this documentary JR Valrey gives it to you straight without the smoke screens and disclaimers, painting a vivid picture of police terrorism in America.

Throughout the film, Valrey makes a point to consistently speak the names of the victims slain by police bullets and beatings to keep the spirit of their injustice alive. He keeps their memories existent by immortalizing and memorializing their stories where mainstream media allows them to be forgotten. The same passion for his cause that he exemplifies in the film is the same passion that he evokes on his radio show and in the streets of Oakland.

After the well accepted presentation of Block Reportin 101, JR disclosed that this was the first official viewing of the film and no other city had been privy to view it yet. The audience was pleased and honored to have been in attendance for such a monumental moment.  The floor was open to a Q and A discussion forum which overflowed with lengthy questions and accolades for the film.

JR Valrey brings a voice and a platform to the citizens of Oakland, CA who have grown despondent and outraged due to police injustice. Valrey is destined to make a major impact on a national level in his political movement to fight police brutality.  Reminiscent of a Tupac in his heyday, Valrey speaks expressively, exercising his freedom of speech and bringing prominence to real black issues that we face on a day-to-day basis. When he speaks, people listen. He has the ability to hold your undivided attention as he educates the masses on a cause that he is well informed and passionate about.  JR Valrey is currently on a city-to-city tour promoting his film, Block Reportin 101”, and his book as well.  We wish him much success.  -Kristina Rose (TPMCA)