(JTA) — Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign has debuted a television ad produced by award-winning African-American filmmaker Spike Lee that features support from people of color.
Lee, who was born in the same Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood as the Democratic candidate, has been a longtime supporter of Sanders, an Independent senator from Vermont. The ad was released Saturday ahead of the April 19 New York primary.
Sanders’ rival for the nomination, Hillary Clinton, has been attracting the lion’s share of African-American support among Democratic voters.
“People of color have a deeply vested interest in what Bernie Sanders brings to us in this election,” the singer Harry Belafonte, a civil rights movement activist, says in the opening of the 30-second spot.
“People like Michael Brown, Sandra Bland and my father Eric Garner,” says Erica Garner, whose father died in 2014 after being put in a chokehold by a New York City police officer.
Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King says, “They’re not just hashtags and trending topics. But these are mothers and fathers, sons and daughters.”
Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, says of the candidate: “Bernie Sanders sees all of me. He sees all of you. He sees us a whole people, as a whole country. That’s why I’m voting for Bernie Sanders.”
Sanders appeared Saturday at Harlem’s historic Apollo Theater at an event featuring African-American celebrities and politicians who back his campaign.