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Baton Rouge activist, filmmaker premiering documentary detailing his struggles, hopes to inspire change

4 weeks 2 hours 42 minutes ago Friday, May 24 2024 May 24, 2024 May 24, 2024 4:36 PM May 24, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE — A Baton Rouge activist is showcasing a free early screening of his upcoming documentary showcasing his rise from a feared gang leader to an award-winning film director.

The documentary is called "Life or Death: the Silky Slim Story," and follows the story of Arthur "Silky Slim" Reed.

Reed wanted to showcase the film here in Baton Rouge to give back to the community and provide a special message for the youth of this city.

"It's to give inspiration to young kids that's growing up in Baton Rouge to let them know that there is a way out and there's always hope out there," Reed says.

Reed grew up in south Baton Rouge and was involved in a gang from a young age. Throughout his life, Reed had been a witness to violence, but even in his darkest times, the one thing that kept him going was his faith.

"My film deals with suicide," Reed explained. "My film deals with drug addiction, my film deals with incarceration, so if it wasn't for God being by my side in all of those things John, I wouldn't have made it out."

After a series of events that changed his outlook on life, he found a new purpose, eventually landing a job as a civil rights investigator. In this role, he led investigations of the deaths of African Americans to acts of violence like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.

Now, Reed is returning home to showcase this new documentary about his life. He wants his story to not only talk to the youth, but their parents as well. To Reed, change starts at home.

"You could teach a kid anything and then have the kid go home to that home, a dysfunctional home, and have everything that you put in the kid extracted out of them," Reed explained. "So we're trying to make sure that we put it in the parents first."

Reed wanted to do a premiere in Baton Rouge for free before it is actually released because Baton Rouge has done so much for him.

In addition to showcasing the film, Reed has a special event planned for June 9th. His non-profit organization he founded called Stop the Killing Inc. will host "A Mothers Cry." The event will bring in the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Tyre Nichols and Baton Rouge mothers who have lost their children to violence.

"What we're trying to show individuals in the streets, no matter who pulls the trigger, the pain is the same," Reed says

One hope that Reed has, is that the lesson people of Baton Rouge takeaway is that if he could change, so can others.

The documentary will be shown at the AMC 15 at the Mall of Louisiana on Saturday, June 8 at 6:00 and 8:30 p.m. "A Mother's Cry" will take place from 1:00 to 4:30 p.m. at the BREC Headquarters. Both of those events will be free to the public.

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