top of page

Unit Three, Weeks Twenty-One & Twenty-Two. We Convene in Honor of Daunte Wright

Updated: May 18, 2021

Teach Out Gathering Time

Sunday, April 25 5:00 - 7:00 pm PST (Parts One & Two)

Sunday, May 2 5:00 - 7:00pm PST (Parts Three & Four)

Meeting ID: 984 4028 7294

diving the sunken place: intersectional histories, black aesthetics, and violence in american cinema

weeks twenty-one & twenty-two

Daunte Wright called his mother. The tremble in his voice told her something was wrong. The police had stopped him, he told her nervously.

She tried to keep him calm, as he spoke with her on the phone while he was being pulled over in the Minneapolis, Minnesota suburb of Brooklyn Center.

He had told her the reason for the traffic stop had something to do with the air fresheners dangling from the rearview mirror, and she asked him to take them down and to let her speak with the officers over the phone.

Mr. Wright, 20, she said, asked the officers, “Am I in trouble?” Then Ms. Wright heard scuffling and a woman screaming in the background. The call dropped abruptly, and Ms. Wright feared that her son had become another victim of police brutality in America.

Before that day, Mr. Wright had been a young Black man unknown to the world, but known and loved by his friends and relatives in the Minneapolis area. He was a young father of a toddler who was almost 2, Daunte Jr. He loved basketball. As a freshman at Thomas Edison High School, he was voted a “class clown.”

But in the moments that his mother overheard in horror, her fears were realized, Ms. Wright later said on “Good Morning America” and at a news conference in Minneapolis. Her son was shot by the police in what officials described as an accidental discharge, after a veteran white officer pulled and fired her firearm instead of her Taser as officers tried to handcuff him.

George Floyd’s girlfriend, Courteney Ross, was one of Mr. Wright’s former teachers, his family said.

“This was the worst day of my life,” Ms. Wright said during a news conference outside a Minneapolis courthouse several days after his death.

Mr. Wright graduated from Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis in 2018, said the school principal, Yusuf Abdullah.

“He was just like any other kid,” Mr. Abdullah said.

He had also attended Edison High School in Minneapolis, where he was voted class clown as a freshman, according to the school’s 2015-16 yearbook.

“He loved to make people laugh,” said Emajay Driver, a friend of Mr. Wright. “He was just great to be around. There was never a dull moment.”

Tenzing Chime, 21, of Minneapolis, recalled befriending Mr. Wright when they were basketball teammates at Northeast Middle School. Later, at Edison High, Mr. Wright played on both the ninth-grade and junior varsity teams.

Mr. Wright, Mr. Chime recalled, “really wanted to win, and after we lost we’d be upset.” “Not at other people, but at ourselves,” he continued. “He loved playing sports.”

Mario Greer, a cousin, said Mr. Wright was also a sensitive soul who enjoyed lighting Roman candles with him.

“I didn’t get the chance to tell my cousin I love him,” Mr. Greer said, holding back tears. “I got to go every holiday now without my cousin, my baby cousin.”

Family members created a GoFundMe page to raise money for his burial, and by Tuesday afternoon after his death nearly $500,000 had been raised. Kristie Bryant, one of Mr. Wright’s aunts who helped draw attention to the page, wrote on Facebook, “I never imagined this happening to someone in our family.”

The police said that Mr. Wright was stopped because of an expired registration tag, and that the officers noticed something dangling from the rearview mirror after they pulled him over. There was an arrest warrant for Mr. Wright after he missed a court hearing on two misdemeanor charges that he had illegally possessed a pistol and fled from Minneapolis police officers in June.

In a graphic clip of body camera video from Sunday’s traffic stop, police officers are seen outside the vehicle trying to detain Mr. Wright, who suddenly moves back into his seat as a struggle ensued. Officer Kimberly A. Potter, a 26-year veteran of the department who resigned on Tuesday, then pointed a weapon in his direction and yelled, “Taser! Taser! Taser!” She fired a gun instead.

An autopsy revealed that Mr. Wright died after he was struck by a single bullet in the chest.

“My son was laying there, unresponsive,” she said in tears outside the courthouse. “That’s the last time I have seen my son and that’s the last time I have heard from my son. And I have had no explanation since then.”

We dedicate this week's study and gathering to the memory of Daunte Wright. May he rest in power.

*Parts of Wright's biography here were taken from The New York Times, 4/13/21.


our week twenty-one & twenty- two viewing

exterminate all the brutes (2021)

parts one & part two (april 25)

parts three & four (may 2)

Exterminate All the Brutes is available exclusively on HBO Max.


our weekly provocations

1. "Concerning Violence" from Wretched of the Earth (1963) by Frantz Fanon

(we can discuss this piece across our gatherings in weeks twenty-one and twenty-two....we will focus on p. 1-52)

Download • 18.46MB

outro, our weekly intention

Today I believe in the possibility of love; that is why I endeavor to trace its imperfections, its perversions...

When we revolt it’s not for a particular culture.

We revolt simply because, for many reasons, we can no longer breathe.

--Frantz Fanon



bottom of page