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5 Things To Know About 'Storm Over Brooklyn,' A New Doc On Yusuf Hawkins - Essence

Originally Published on by Britni Danielle on June 20, 2018

At this year’s American Black Film Festival (ABFF), Muta’Ali’s documentary, Storm Over Brooklyn, won the inaugural ABFF Lightbox Documentary Initiative and was greenlit by HBO.

The film will center on the 1989 murder of 16-year-old Yusuf Hawkins, who was shot to death after being attacked by a mob of white teens in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Hawkins’ death shined a light on New York’s tense racial climate and paved the way for David Dinkins to become the city’s first, and so far only, Black mayor.

Muta’Ali, whose last film, Life’s Essentials With Ruby Dee, said he hopes Storm Over Brooklyn will deal with the “regret, sorrow, and questions” since Hawkins’ death.

“I’m delighted that Yusuf Hawkins, the effect his murder had on the public, and the locked away regret, sorrow, questions and history that those involved have held onto for nearly 30 years, will finally see the light of day in the context of our time,” he said. “It’s due to the courage of Yusuf’s loving family, as well as the visionary talent at HBO, Lightbox, and ABFF.”

As Muta’Ali works on bringing Hawkins story to the screen, here are 5 things to know about the slain teen.

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