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Why Is We Americans?

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Why Is We Americans?
Directed by
  • Udi Aloni
  • Ayana Stafford-Morris
Produced byUdi Aloni
Music by
  • Lauryn Hill
  • Raymond Angry
Edited byYuval Shapira
Release date
  • June 19, 2020 (2020-06-19)
Running time
100 minutes[1]

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Why Is We Americans? is a 2020 documentary film directed and produced by Udi Aloni, and co-directed and co-produced by Ayana Stafford-Morris. It follows Newark's Baraka family, featuring renowned poet and activist Amiri Baraka as well as his wife, Amina Baraka, and son Ras Baraka, the Mayor of Newark. Lauryn Hill and Oren Moverman serve as executive producers.


By turns kinetic and intimate, ‘Why is We Americans?’ is an in-depth, cinematic exploration of Newark's legendary Baraka family. Spanning decades of social activism, poetry, music, art, and politics, this kaleidoscopic family saga is illustrated by on-camera interviews with Lauryn Hill, rare archival footage and revealing personal testimonials. As we connect with the iconoclastic poet Amiri Baraka, his wife, Amina Baraka, and their son, the current mayor of Newark, Ras Baraka, a portrait of a city emerges with an inspiring call to arms in the fight for class and racial justice.


The film will have its world premiere at the Lighthouse International Film Festival on June 19th, 2020.[2] Ahead of the release of the film, a music video directed by Stafford-Morris, produced by Aloni, and featuring Ras Baraka delivering a spoken word performance of the film's theme song "What We Want" was released.[3]


  1. O'Shea, Patrick (June 10, 2020). "'Why Is We Americans?': A question -- and a film -- for these times". NJ.com. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
  2. McNary, Dave (June 2, 2020). "Film News Roundup: Lionsgate Executive Corii Berg Named to USC Board of Trustees". Variety.com. Retrieved June 10, 2020.
  3. Martoccio, Angie (June 4, 2020). "Mayor Ras Baraka Drops Timely Spoken Word Video, 'What We Want'". RollingStone.com. Retrieved June 11, 2020.

External links[edit]

Category:2020 films Category:American films Category:American documentary films

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