Who is Patrisse Cullors? All you need to know about the BLM co-founder and subject of Meghan Markle docu
Meghan Markle is reportedly pitching a documentary about Black Lives Matter (BLM) co-founder Patrisse Cullors as part of her and Prince Harry's Netflix deal. Cullors is one of the three individuals who started the BLM movement and she would reportedly be the focus of Meghan’s documentary. The activist is said to have “hugely inspired” Meghan and she pitched the idea to Netflix, as per Daily Mail.
“She thinks her story needs to be told – and she would love to be the one to make it,” a source told The Mirror. If the pitch is approved, it would be part of their deal – rumored to be worth upwards of $100 million – with Netflix. As reported earlier, the couple has founded a yet-to-be-named production company and signed the deal with the streaming giant under which they will be paid for making documentaries, docuseries, feature films, scripted shows, and children’s programming. “Our focus will be on creating content that informs but also gives hope. As new parents, making inspirational family programming is also important to us,” the pair said in a statement as they added that Netflix’s “unprecedented reach will help us share impactful content that unlocks action.”
So, if the reports are true and a documentary is made about Cullors, it can be expected that a lot of viewers will be interested to know about her, given the situation in the country. Here’s what we know about Cullors.
Who is Patrisse Cullors?
As per LA Weekly, Cullors grew up in 1990s Pacoima, a low-income northeast San Fernando Valley neighborhood. It was a period of the heightened federal war on drugs that imprisoned thousands of minorities. Cullors’ father and brother were in and out of prison for most of her adult life. “That really shaped my understanding of what it meant to be black in this city,” Cullors says. “I had a lot of anger. And I was clear that I wanted to do something about it.”
She studied religion and philosophy at UCLA. At 17, she joined the Bus Riders Union, a somewhat iconoclastic advocacy group in LA that pushes for more funding for the bus system and less funding for light rail, according to the report. This was Cullors’ entry into activism. She later co-founded Dignity and Power Now, which fought brutality by sheriff’s deputies who work inside the county jails.
Along with friends Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi, Cullors founded Black Lives Matter in 2013. It was started months after Black teenager Trayvon Martin was killed on his way home from picking up Skittles at his local central Florida 7-Eleven. People flocked the streets in protest sporting hoodies to symbolize the sweatshirt Trayvon was wearing when George Zimmerman shot him in the chest. The movement again came to focus in 2014 due to the chaotic days-long protests in Ferguson, Missouri, following the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. And the conversation around BLM is getting intensified due to the nationwide protests, following George Floyd's death in May this year. In an interview with Teen Vogue last year, Cullors said, “So while we started Black Lives Matter out of response to Trayvon Martin and [his] death, folks need to remember that we’re the generation that grew up with the War on Drugs and the war on gangs and laws that were leveraged against us as young people, that really decimated our communities. So Trayvon Martin happens and that’s really the tipping point for us.”
Recently, during an appearance on CNN’s 'The Lead', Cullors was asked how Democratic presumptive nominee Joe Biden fared against President Donald Trump with regards to issues that were essential to the BLM movement. “Hands down Trump not only needs to not be in office in November but he should resign now,” Cullors replied. “Trump needs to be out of office. He is not fit for office. And so what we are going to push for is a move to get Trump out while we're also going to continue to push and pressure Vice President Joe Biden around his policies and relationship to policing and criminalization,” she continued. “That's going to be important.”
In 2018, Cullors published her first book titled ‘When They Call You A Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir’. She identifies as queer and in 2016, she married Janaya Khan, a social activist who co-founded Black Lives Matter Toronto.