Why I Believe ‘Free Meek’ Is A Must-Watch For Young People Of Color
"Meek’s journey depicted within 'Free Meek' is reflective of so many different Black and brown young people."
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Upon visiting rapper Meek Mill’s Instagram page, his audience will not see a profile image promoting the docuseries that focuses on his long-term battle with the criminal justice system. Instead, they are greeted by a photo of the late, great Nipsey Hussle. "The marathon continues" is a glorious statement that can be applied to this very moment in time on so many levels. That same sentiment can be applied to Mill’s profound journey to becoming the face of the many Black and brown men who are either incarcerated or on parole sentences. August 9, 2019 marked the release of the docuseries Free Meek on Amazon, produced by Roc Nation and The Intellectual Property Corporation (IPC).
Each episode is beautifully produced and has several moments where they focus on the lyricism and vivid imagery from the rapper's album Championships, released back in 2018. We even caught a few gems off of precious bodies of work such as Dreams and Nightmares II.
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The entire docuseries takes you on a riveting journey to that day back in 2007 when Robert Rihmeek Williams was wrongfully beaten and arrested. That moment in time, would subject the hip-hop artist to being tied forever to a system that does not hold justice to its highest level. Like many young Black and brown people, the rapper thought the parole sentence he was given was a gift. But he would soon find out that it would chain him continually in a courtroom and eventually prison until the age of 30 years old.
Upon his last release, he had several allies and fans who were passionate about advocating for his freedom. The docuseries gives an insightful perspective as to how his most recent release and bail came to be. But most importantly, how he has now become a poster child for Criminal Justice Reform. The Reform Alliance is now the rapper’s tool that will facilitate the change that this broken system desperately needs.
Meek’s journey depicted within Free Meek is reflective of so many different Black and brown young people. It exemplifies how one moment in front of a judge can either give someone a second chance or keep them mentally and physically behind bars. Police officers, parole officers, prosecutors, the district attorney and everyone in those roles have a job to do, and unfortunately, when people become a number in that system, there is no one in their corner. Meek Mill’s story is truly reflective of that, and now he's educating the masses on the facts surrounding it. Therefore, I believe it's imperative that young men should not only watch Free Meek, but learn their rights and the elements surrounding the law, in hopes they aren’t sentenced to probation based on their lack of knowledge — like what happened to Mill at the age of 18.
I have a grandfather that's a police officer and working alongside him was my first internship in high school. While in college, I interned for my member of Congress in her district office. During that position, I read the letters that inmates wrote to the Congresswoman, advocating for themselves and asking for assistance with their casework. I found it ironic and unfortunate that Black and brown men have this immense knowledge of the criminal justice system after they become a part of it. Some young people sitting behind bars never had the opportunity to study law, but inside is when they become aware of several resources and discover how much access they have to people in the criminal justice field.
Overall, Free Meek shows the rapper's highest and lowest moments. But most importantly, it exhibits how he was able to overcome these obstacles, shaping him into the man he is today. The series features cameos from Jay-Z, Van Jones, Michael Rubin, Kevin Hart and multiple keys players in his court trials. Definitely a must watch!