10 years ago today Renata, Venice, Patreese and Terrain defended themselves and each other against an attack in the West Village.
They were vilified, charged, convicted and incarcerated for it.
Yet their consistent resistance and resilience remain as strong as ever – even with the daily battle of an ever present violent felony.
Over the passed ten years we’ve experienced the gutting of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, both police brutality and rape on college campuses taking center stage in the news, a mass shooting at a gay night club, and we learned the names of thousands of black men, ciswomen and transwomen murdered by police and vigilantes with impunity.
We have also experienced the first black president and the legalization of marriage equality. But these monumental events, important as they are, are fraught with the reality that in 2016 alone, 676 people have been murdered by police officers in the US. Most of the murdered are black men.
As you know, Terrain, Venice, Renata, and Patreese have been touring the country speaking out for the right to defend oneself – for the right of black queer women to defend themselves. They speak for those who are still incarcerated and for those they’ve lost. Their courage, passion, and insights are a necessary force.
Patreese Johnson just purchased her first car (& got her driver’s license!). She is working part-time, will start school again in the fall and travels consistently speaking for the women still imprisoned for defending themselves. She has become an advocate and a voice for those whose voices are temporarily muffled.
Venice Brown is working full time at a salon in North Carolina (do you live in Wilmington? – look her up!) with her girlfriend and son (who is learning karate). She is also going to school part time and speaks for the LGBTQ communities struggles and accomplishments in recent years.
Terrain Dandridge works full time as a TSA Officer at the Newark International Airport. So, if
you’re traveling through, give her a shout out! Her and her mother have just moved into a beautiful new home. She has become a caretaker, student and outspoken against police brutality.
Over the last year, Renata Hill received a scholarship for her second year at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, conceived and is working toward creating a center for previously incarcerated students and applying to four year colleges for next year with her eyes set on receiving a masters degree in social work. Last year, she interned at the Fortune Society. Her and her son travel the country passionately speaking about intersectional identities and have become a tireless advocate for queer folks of color who are over policed, incarcerated and murdered each day.
Out in the Night and the NJ4 have traveled across the globe from festival to university to community screenings and on television in your homes. We’ve screened at close to 200 festivals and universities combined, winning dozens of awards.
If you would like to plan an event or schedule any of the NJ4 to speak after a screening or questions about the subtitles, please email:DVDsales@outinthenight.com