Directed and Edited by Sean Gallagher Presented by Jonathan Demme
September 4, 1992: An elderly woman in a small town in upstate New York reports an attempted rape by a young black man who cut his hand during the altercation. While looking for suspects, police contact officials at SUNY Oneonta, a nearby college, and a school administrator reacts by handing over a list of names and residences of 125 black male students. For the next several days, those students are tracked down and interrogated by various police departments under a presumption of guilty until proven innocent.
In Brothers of the Black List, director Sean Gallagher tracks this story of racism that became the longest litigated civil rights case in American history. The now grown students and their school counselor, Edward “Bo” Whaley, recount the disturbing events that the college and police department tried sweeping under the rug for many years thereafter. An emotional story of social justice, this unsettling documentary is also a cautionary tale of equal rights gone wrong that is relevant today more than ever.