02.21.2018

Q&A: Yance Ford on race, justice and making Oscar history

Q&A: Yance Ford on race, justice and making Oscar history (Photo by Christopher Smith/Invision/AP)

In the Oscar-nominated documentary “Strong Island,” Yance Ford stares back at the camera with profound sorrow and calm resilience.

“Strong Island,” a Netflix release, is Ford’s investigation into the killing of his brother, William Ford, in 1992 in Central Islip, New York. Ford, a 22-year-old black man, was shot and killed by a 19-year-old white man — a mechanic named Mark Reilly — after a verbal altercation. But an all-white grand jury declined to indict Reilly and the investigation has remained sealed.

“I’m not angry,” Yance Ford says into the camera. “I’m also not willing to accept that someone else gets to say who William was. And if you’re uncomfortable with me asking these questions, you should probably get up and go.”

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