Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn

In August 1989, the Black 16-year-old Yusuf Hawkins traveled from his home in East New York to Bensonhurst, then a largely Italian-American neighborhood, with three friends to look into buying a used car on sale. At the time the group traveled to the area, a large mob of white men had gathered in Bensonhurst with plans to attack a group of African Americans, one of whom was rumored to be dating a white girl they knew. Hawkins and his friends walked into the mob without knowing they were waiting for a Black person to attack. Hawkins’ friends who were with him at the time of the attack recall in the movie that several white men surrounded them, with some carrying baseball bats. Amid the chaos, Hawkins was fatally shot by someone in the group, and the perpetrators dispersed quietly into their neighborhood.

 

Available on HBO

Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn

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