Ode To Ava Duvernay

And why white discomfort is the only way to make Black lives matter

Rebecca Stevens A.
2 min readFeb 26, 2022


Photo credit: Ava Duvernay Instagram

There are very few people that I admire in the world, Ava Duvernay, the prolific film director, producer, and rapper is one of them. For me, she epitomizes an intelligent, beautiful, and classy Black woman who naturally commands authority and respect. I absolutely adore this woman.

What I admire most about Duvernay is her courage. From the film Selma, to When They See Us to Colin in Black and White, wherever Duvernay puts her mark, there is excellence.

She tells our stories, she tells Black and African-American stories from our perspective, as raw and painful as they may be. She doesn’t sugarcoat or compromise on the story to accommodate white comfort. She tells the story like it is, even if it generates white discomfort. Her courage is indomitable, it is exemplary.

As I walk into the second part of my life, I feel so privileged to finally be able to see movies that recount history from the point of view of a Black person.

Of course, I had read about historic events like the Selma march or the story of the unjustly accused Central Park 8, but these stories were recounted through the perspective of a white person, and there was always something missing. Like when people talk about an experience someone told them about rather than an experience they actually had, it just feels detached and less genuine.

We need more Ava Duvernays telling our stories. We can no longer live in a world where everything is viewed and analyzed through a white man or woman’s perspective.

There are brown and Black people in the world and they deserve to recount their stories with their voices. We must stop triangulating our stories through the white lens. Continuing to do that puts us at the risk of white supremacy censoring the parts of our stories that they do not like.

I’m on the lookout for what Duvernay will do next.

But as I do that, I am strongly cognizant of the fact that to get more Black and brown film producers, we need to fill the talent pipeline by ensuring that those that are interested in the field get into films schools and are given internships to hone their craft.

I am of the firm opinion that Black Lives will only start to Matter when we can get more of our stories out into the world. We need to be seen as human beings — and it is only by recounting our stories full of life and humanity and emotions that we will get there.

Thank you for reading my perspective.



Rebecca Stevens A.

I write about racism, but there are so many other things I would like to write about instead. Help me dismantle racism so that I can get to that.


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