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November 21, 2013

Homeless Black Man Creates Groundbreaking Film, Inspires Community

Ira McKinley The Throwaways documentary. <a href=" height="204" src="" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-style: none; font-style: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;" width="270" />

Ira McKinley

Ira McKinley’s story is one that is oftentimes ignored by mainstream media. The 49-year-old man has faced some of the most traumatic experiences known to man. He lost his brother to suicíde and his father to police brutality. He also found himself homeless after serving nine years in the federal penitentiary on non-violent drug charges.

Contrary to what most people believe about ex-felons, Ira sought to uplift himself and his community upon his release from prison. He sought aid from the state, but was rejected time and time again because of his criminal history. Frustrated by the cat and mouse chase that he was sent on for assistance, Ira turned to Unitarian Universalist Church of Albany, NY, which he says “I chose to attend this church because of their commitment for social change in my area. They are based on the concept that love is the key.” The church’s love and commitment to the community and Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow were the inspiration behind his decision to create The Throwawaysa timely and provocative look at the impact of mass incarceration and police brutality on black males in America.  More than a simple illumination of marginalized people at their weakest moments; this film is a call to action, a story of directly engaging in the fight for justice.Read More Here