BET’s Award-Winning The Truth Series Returns with the Premiere of an Original Documentary on the Rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement

at 9 PM ET/PT on BET

The Original Documentary is Produced and Directed by Acclaimed
Filmmaker Laurens Grant

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dubbed the new “civil rights movement”, #BlackLivesMatter launched a
transformative grassroots movement that moved from social media to the
streets across America. As news and images of the senseless deaths of
Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Freddie Grey and others
spread online, a new generation of civil rights activists came together
demanding institutional change. From scheduled marches, to assembled
sit-ins and to heated rallies across the country, protesters and
communities pushed the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter into a worldwide
rallying cry. This is the real story of brave young people who have
found their voice to lead a powerful social movement. Now these
activists face the daunting challenge of turning protest – into lasting
change. Directed and produced by Laurens Grant (Black Panthers
– Vanguard of the Revolution
) and executive produced by
actor/activist Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anatomy) the BET
will have its broadcast premiere on Thursday, May 26 at 9 PM ET/PT.

“I’m personally inspired by the people that construct today’s movement
and we so easily forget that movements are not magic, they are led by
people, often making great sacrifice. I wanted to lift up not only their
voices but their experiences, and catalog this place and time. The
movement for Black lives is claiming its place in history by building
the future it knows we damn well deserve.” said Executive Producer Jesse
Williams, “We can make progress with gratitude, all the while demanding
more of ourselves and humanity.”

“While there is no easy answer on how to address or solve the systemic
issues of race and justice across our nation, we have a commitment to
bringing these conversations and stories of social change to light
through platforms like our ‘Truth Series’. BET is determined to
encourage meaningful dialogue that galvanizes change.” said Stephen
Hill, President of Programming, BET Networks.

Directed by Peabody and three time Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Laurens
the evolution of the Black Lives Matter movement through the first
person accounts of local activists, protesters, scholars, journalists
and celebrities including Jesse Williams, Nelly, Deray McKesson,
Michaela Angela Davis, Wesley Lowery, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors,
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Johnetta Elzie, Brittany Packnett

KEEANGA-YAMAHTTA TAYLOR on the Black Lives Matter movement:

“The Black Lives Matter movement is the most important development in
black life in the last 40 years and the most important aspect of it is
that it’s ordinary people fighting this fight. It is something that we
have been responsible for getting out onto the streets and I think the
movement is here to stay.”

ALICIA GARZA on where the inspiration to #BlackLivesMatter came from:

“Many people were trying to make sense of what happened, but I felt like
the ways that people were trying to make sense of what happened and what
we needed to be doing about it were actually destructive… and so I wrote
a letter to black people on Facebook saying that there was nothing wrong
with us and we deserved dignity and respect.”

MICHAELA ANGELA DAVIS on the death of Trayvon Martin:

“Trayvon Martin was that tragedy that broke us open. He was our
Emmett Till but there was no one around with a Twitter account around
Emmett Till to tell what really happened, right, but there is now.”

JESSE WILLIAMS on the creation of #BlackLivesMatter:

“The moment was electric. Black Lives Matter was a brilliantly framed
set of marching orders-slash-slogan-slash-plea. Young black people, they
are plugged in and they’re moving.”

DERAY MCKESSON on running for Mayor of Baltimore:

“So I am running for Mayor in Baltimore because we need to implement
changes on the inside. It’s about concrete things that can happen at the
policy level to structurally end police violence.”

by Jesse Williams and produced & directed by Laurens Grant.

Launched in July 2015, BET’s The Truth Series features original
documentary films, directed by award-winning filmmakers that showcase
stories about the African-American experience. The 2015 BET Truth
documentary film ALI: The People’s Champ was recently
honored with the 2015 NAACP Image Award for best documentary and Katrina
10 Years Later: Through Hell and High Water
was awarded the 2016
NAMIC Vision Award for best documentary film.

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About BET Networks

BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B), is the
nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and
public affairs television programming for the African-American audience.
The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can
be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom
and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer
brand with a diverse group of business extensions:, a leading
Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news;
CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American
Woman; BET Music Networks – BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home
Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile,
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and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.


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Luis Defrank, 212-205-3156