Barry Jenkins premieres ‘Beale Street’ to tears and applause

TORONTO (AP) — Director Barry Jenkins says that even at the height of the sensation surrounding his best picture-winning “Moonlight,” he was subjected to crude racism.

At the premiere Sunday night of his James Baldwin adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk,” Jenkins related a story of when a driver who was to take him from the after-party of the film academy’s Governor Awards referred to him with the n-word.

Jenkins said if that can happen to him at such a privileged moment, worse is happening to “some dude working a shift at the factor or some dude walking down the block.”

Such an incident reconfirmed for Jenkins why it’s essential to tell stories like “Beale Street,” about two lovers in 1970s Harlem torn apart by a racial injustice.

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