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Yusuf Hawkins: Storm over Brooklyn - A Haunting Reminder of Racial Injustice

This film is a powerful documentary shedding light on the tragic story of Yusuf Hawkins, the racial tension his murder sparked, and the civil rights activism it spurred in the U.S

Keywords: Yusuf Hawkins, Storm over Brooklyn, racial violence, civil rights activism, systemic racism, 1980s Brooklyn. Three words: Heartbreaking, Revealing, Powerful.


"Yusuf Hawkins: Storm over Brooklyn" is a powerful documentary released in 2019, directed by Muta'Ali Muhammad. It tells the chilling story of Yusuf Hawkins, a black teenager who was brutally murdered by a group of young white men in Brooklyn in 1989. In today's context, where racial inequality and systemic racism are still pervasive issues, this documentary serves as a potent reminder of the human cost of prejudice and bigotry.


The documentary unfolds the tragic story of Yusuf Hawkins, whose senseless murder sparked a wave of racial tension in New York and ignited civil rights activism across the U.S. It delves deep into the personal, societal, and legal aftermath of this horrific event.

More Film Analysis



"Yusuf Hawkins: Storm over Brooklyn" adopts an investigative approach, offering an in-depth look at the circumstances surrounding Yusuf's murder. The documentary stands out for its meticulous research, comprehensive exploration of the subject, and compelling narrative style.

Historical and Factual Context


To better understand the gravity of Yusuf's murder, it's essential to delve into the racial dynamics of 1980s Brooklyn and the broader context of racial violence in America.

Key themes in the film

  • The lasting impact of racial violence on communities and individuals
  • The struggle for justice in the face of systemic racism
  • The power of activism in driving societal change

Film Comparisons

Unlike other documentaries on racial violence, "Yusuf Hawkins: Storm over Brooklyn" offers a deeply personal perspective, focusing not only on the societal implications but also on the personal devastation caused by Yusuf's murder.

Noteworthy Moments

The heartbreaking testimonies from Yusuf's family and the poignant moments of community solidarity stand out as significant moments in the documentary.


The documentary was generally well-received, with critics praising its powerful storytelling and insightful exploration of racial tension in America.


"Yusuf Hawkins: Storm over Brooklyn" is a crucial watch for anyone seeking to understand the historical context of today's racial injustices. It offers a heartbreaking yet necessary insight into the human cost of racism.

More film information:


  • IMDB Score: 7.3
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score: Not available
  • Metacritic Score: Not available
  • Film festival awards: 1 nomination



  • Yusuf Hawkins: The victim of the tragic murder
  • Muta'Ali Muhammad: The director of the documentary



  • Brooklyn, New York: The location where the murder took place.

Key Questions Raised by the Film

  1. What systemic issues allowed for Yusuf's murder to occur?
  2. How has the fight against racial violence evolved since Yusuf's murder?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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  1. A famous book, it would be "To Kill a Mockingbird" for its examination of racial injustice.
  2. A famous song, it would be "Strange Fruit" by Billie Holiday for its haunting depiction of racial violence.
  3. A famous piece of art, it would be Picasso's "Guernica" for its portrayal of the horror and tragedy of violence.
  4. A famous celebrity, it would be Martin Luther King Jr. for his fight against racial injustice.
  5. A colour, it would be black for its depiction of grief and mourning.
  6. A music style, it would be blues for its expression of sorrow and hardship.