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'Out of Omaha' documentary highlights racial inequality

Posted at 10:44 AM, Jun 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 11:44:22-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - Protests stemming from George Floyd’s death have grown into a much larger movement.

People are now looking to educate themselves on systemic racism in the United States, and it has one documentary on Hulu trending.

"The timing of everything that's going on in this country, people gradually waking up to the systemic injustice and racial injustice. I’m just thrilled and honored that our film is part of that conversation in Omaha,” said Ryan Johnston, one of the producers of Out of Omaha.

Johnston says when the crew started filming, they wanted to highlight the inequality in Omaha. But after meeting Darcell Trotter and his twin brother Darrel, the story took a more personal route, illustrating the actual struggles of young black men trying to break barriers in North Omaha.

"It's pretty segregated in Omaha,” said Darcell Trotter. “I lived here all my life and it has been like that ever since I can remember. There are certain demographics in certain areas where people barely even cross paths so there is always a misunderstanding."

Trotter's life shows real racial-inequity in parts of Omaha as well. This is something current protesters are also talking about in cities across the country, many wanting to give more platforms to their black neighbors.

During the eight years of filming Out of Omaha, Johnston says he saw a completely different side to city he was raised in.

"There is a massive void of black/brown leadership in Omaha because people aren’t being elevated into leadership positions,” he said.

Johnston says this inequality is true in corporate Omaha, and the non-profit sector where many of the leaders are not from North Omaha.

The up-and-downs of Trotter's life are now turning into much larger conversations, something Darcell and the film crew welcome.

"I'm just glad that for the first time ever, us as a country all experience the same thing and we are just like, ‘Woah enough is enough man,’” Trotter said. “At some point there has to be some accountability.”

"Watching the film, you really get to walk in that person's shoes,” Johnston added. “And hopefully have some empathy for them and to see those barriers that they have to face that other people just don’t. I think that challenges some of the more simplistic notion of pulling yourself up by the bootstraps."