Daveed Diggs of "Blindspotting" and "Hamilton" tells the complex story of his gentrifying hometown
Tony and Grammy Award winner and original “Hamilton” cast member Daveed Diggs uses gentrifying Oakland as a backdrop for his new film. Diggs wrote and co-stars in “Blindspotting” with longtime friend Rafael Casal. The film takes on the realities of gentrification, including the turning over of historic homes, rising racial tensions, the availability of good food and education and changes in policing—all through the eyes of the characters who are witnessing their old neighborhood change. Diggs and Casal joined Salon’s D. Watkins to share how their experiences growing up in Oakland inspired the screenplay.
“When you start to get a new demographic of people moving in with more money, realistically, the way your neighborhood is policed often depends on who is creating the most capital in the neighborhood, right?” Diggs explained. Casal told Watkins, “This is why it's hard to paint this with some broad brush. There's so many great things that come with trying to enhance a neighborhood and an area, right? It's just done with no consideration for the people there.”Watch the video above to learn what Casal and Diggs think has changed in Oakland and check out the full interview to hear more about why the movie theater is the perfect place to have conversations about race and inequality. Tune in for SalonTV's live shows, "Salon Talks" and "Salon Stage", daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT, streaming live on YouTube, Facebook and Periscope.