The Inequitable Dynamic of Long Island
Throughout the course of Strong Island, filmmaker Yance Ford uses multiple elements of strategic sequencing in order to capture the audience’s attention. The criminal act that took place in Central Islip, on Long Island New York, was thoroughly interpreted by Ford family as well as close friends. This detailed interpretation covered all aspects from William Ford’s personal diary; as well as the history of their family growing up in a racially unjust society. It was essential that Yance, William’s brother , delved into the racial injustice and the level of significance location has for a person of color in America. Ford’s use of location allowed him to describe the series of events with another added level of context to provide for the public. There are many areas throughout this documentary where location allows one to gain a better understanding of the situation in its entirety.
The first ten minutes of the documentary served as an introduction to Yance’s mother and the origins of the Ford family. Within this portion of the film, the topic of redlining was brought up for discussion. Redlining is a detrimental concept that has been instilled since the early 1930’s; which is a discriminatory practice that puts standard human services out of reach for residents based on race or ethnicity. As a result, this creates a huge separation between wealthy and low income neighborhoods. In relation to the film, Long Island is notoriously known for one of the most redlined areas in America. One town will be filled with low income families who are seriously struggling; you are then able to drive two minutes in any direction and see homes that are worth millions of dollars. This concept was deeply incorporated into this documentary, serving as a reference point for the social standings throughout Long Island, especially during this time. Harvey, one of William’s friends, explained the dynamics of Long Island during this time. “The neighborhood you lived in was a safe haven, however, you leave that neighborhood and you might be running back for your life.” This definitely served as a reinforcement to allow the audience to understand William’s situation.
My connection to this documentary is significant because I was born and raised on Long Island. Furthermore, I understand the dynamics of where I am from and how it is a person of color in America. It was apparent that justice was not served; based on the color of William Ford’s skin as well as the location of where the murder took place.