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Black Cinema Night event puts spotlight on impact of mass incarceration

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Posted at 8:43 AM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-25 09:17:48-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An event Friday night in Kansas City, Missouri, will shine a light on how the prison and justice systems have disproportionately impacted Black Americans.

The Blakk Company is hosting its Black Cinema Night with special guest Na’im Al-Amin Friday.

Al-Amin is the founder of SWAGG, INC., a Kansas City-based nonprofit focused on ending recidivism by building career paths with incarcerated people before they even leave prison.

Friday, he will play a short docufilm entitled “Don’t Rodney King Me,” which details how mass incarceration shaped his life from entering foster care as a child, to going to prison, to now helping returning citizens.

He said the goal is to “eliminate ignorance and elevate knowledge on mass incarceration’s impact on Black histories and Black futures.”

After the film, Al-Amin will host a workshop where no question is off the table.

“Now, since I’m on to social entrepreneurship, I can build what I wish I had,” Al-Amin said. “What that looks like is mentors in an entrepreneurial ecosystem and employment opportunities that allow one to grow with the organization and not be alienated from their labor.”

The Blakk Co is a social club for Black men. One of the cofounders, Christina Williams, said part of her mission is to promote self love because when you love yourself, you love others, creating a better community.

“Because [Na’im Al-Amin] has a positive outcome for men that are in the prison systems, getting that message out into our community just completely makes sense,” Williams said. “When men come out of the prison system, we want to be able to provide them with a safe space in which they can connect and continue to grow in community.”

The Blakk Co is located at 3634 Main Street in Kansas City, Missouri. Friday’s event begins with a VIP meet and greet at 8 p.m. The film begins at 9 p.m. For information and to purchase tickets, visit the event’s website.