Home news The new Netflix documentary analyzes his murder

The new Netflix documentary analyzes his murder

Singer Sam Cooke, 1960

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Netflix of Remastered series of documentaries, which devotes every single episode to tell the story of a musical icon, has just got its last episode in the form of The Two Killings by Sam Cooke.

The film incorporates footage of interviews of those who worked with him and knew him better, recording his rise to fame along with his passion for fighting social injustice and involvement in the civil rights movement, as well as the circumstances shocking of his death.

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The Soul Stirrers, Sam Cooke, JJ Farley, SR Crain, RB Robinson, Paul Foster, 1950

Getty ImagesGilles Petard

Cooke began his musical career in the gospel choir group The Soul Stirrers, but found himself attracted to the emergence of rock & # 39; n & # 39; roll. After dipping the tip into the water, releasing a trace under a pseudonym, he decided to take the plunge and pursue the domination of the world map.

It succeeded and became a household name, but the documentary also deepened some of the complexities surrounding Cooke's experience with fame in the 50s and in the 1960s in America.

At one point he was invited to the window of Dick Clark but, as the only black singer on the billboard, this triggered threats from the Ku Klux Klan. The National Guard was called for protection, though later Clark admitted that many of them were considered Klan members. It was a courageous but decisive moment for Cooke's ascent to the stage.

He also did a tour in the South which, during this period, was still segregated. In a 1960 interview embedded in the documentary, Sam remembers losing an engagement in Georgia because he refused to "sit on a Jim Crow bus." He also explained that no white taxi drivers would take him to the city, and that black taxi drivers were not allowed to do so.

Civil rights protesters gather to demand equal rights for black Americans in Constitution Avenue in Washington, in August 1963

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He was following these experiences that Sam decided to boycott the concerts with a segregated audience. "I hope that by refusing to play to a segregated audience, this will help to destroy racial segregation here," Cooke explained in an archive interview.

The 70-minute episode also explored the idea that many people in positions of power seemed threatened by Cooke's popularity and growing political awareness. For example, the second stanza of Cooke's protest song "A Change Is Gonna Come" – which included the texts that faced segregation – was actually modified by the record company for its first release.

The American civil rights leader Malcolm X (1925 - 1965) at an open meeting,

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Related: what could we expect from Committing a murder season 3?

The Two Killings by Sam Cooke also discussed at the 1964 meeting between Sam, Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X and soccer player Jim Brown. According to the documents mentioned in the documentary, the FBI was overseeing both Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, and it is assumed that Sam Cooke was involved in this because of his friendship with Malcolm.

Offering this historical background, the film celebrated Cooke's broader legacy, as well as painting a picture that some conspirators believe could have performed in his death.

(They follow spoilers for the series, but then, they are documenting historical events, so …)

At the age of 33, Sam Cooke was shot dead by Bertha Franklin, the manager of Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, California.

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He claimed that the singer had entered his office the night in question and that, following an altercation, he had shot him in self-defense. Franklin claimed that Cooke had behaved in an angry way while looking for a woman who had removed her pants.

The film presents the emergency call of this woman, called Elisa Boyer in the documentary, who claimed to have been kidnapped by Cooke. Fearing he was raped, he had had the first chance to get out of the Cooke motel room.

The court ruled that Cooke's death was a justifiable murder, even if those who knew him insisted that circumstances were suspicious from the beginning.

"Part of his legacy has been hijacked by the way he died," says director Kelly Duane de la Vega. "He was an incredible musical artist, but just as important was the way he contributed to the civil rights movement and embodied the idea of ​​an African-American artist who had power in the recording industry: it was a sleazy end, and for some people, that's where the conversation ends. "

The Two Killings by Sam Cooke is now available for streaming on Netflix.


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