The Washington, D.C.-based group Black Women for Positive Change has released a short film that seeks to address the epidemic of violence in communities across the United States.

“We want to change the culture of violence in America,” Stephanie E. Myers, national co-chair of the civic organization, said in an interview with the AFRO. “Youth violence, domestic violence and abuse of any type, we want it all to stop and we want it to stop now.”

Produced by Harbor View Filmworks and directed by Chaka Balamani, “On 2nd Thought” urges young people and violence-prone adults to think twice before committing a violent act. Based on a true story out of Boston, the 15-minute film tells the tale of a love triangle involving two young women and one young man that resulted in the death of a young mother and the long-term incarceration of the two murderers. The movie features two endings: one in which the murder is committed and an alternative in which a “second thought” prevents the tragedy.

“Our message is to reach out for an intervention, stop and think before you engage in a violent act because you ruin your life and the life of others when you think irrationally and emotionally,” Myers said.

The film premiered as part of the National Summit on Non-Violence on Aug. 22, an event held in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King’s commitment to nonviolence.

According to FBI crime statistics, law enforcement agencies throughout the nation reported a 1.2 percent increase in the number of violent crimes last year. Blacks suffered disproportionately from violence; in 2008. Violent crimes involving Black victims occurred at a rate of 26 per 1,000 persons, compared to a rate of 18 per 1,000 persons among Whites, according to the latest Bureau of Justice Statistics figures.

The “tragedy” of violence in Black neighborhoods, Myers said, “is why it’s so important for our young people to find vision and goals in life to improve their communities. They have to realize that their destiny is in their own hands. So, instead of joining a gang, why not form a coalition and start a business?”

Myers said the movie is meant to inspire that type of positive change, and can be shared among youth groups, schools, faith-based groups and community-based organizations.

The movie is available as a free download on tablets and cell phones and can be viewed on YouTube, at and DVDs can also be ordered from those sites.

For a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the docu-drama, click here (


Zenitha Prince

Special to the AFRO