Trai Byers, who stars in the new movie The 24th, sat down for a new uInterview to discuss “unfortunately how timeless” the story of the film is – and how it resonates with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement today.

The movie is based on a the true story of the 24th infantry in the United States Army, who had been sent to Houston, Texas to oversee the creation of a new military base that was set to train new recruits during WWI.

“While the soldiers were there, the back soldiers were overseeing the building, they were being brutalized by white civilians and police officers alike,” explained Byers to uInterview’s Erik Meers. “In turn they robbed the armory of the military base and went on a killing spree and a night of violence, which resulted in the largest murder trial and court-marital in U.S. history.”

Byers plays William Boston, who is based on a real soldier named Charles Baltimore, who was at the center of events leading up to the riots.

“In our film he is the son of former slaves turned abolitionists,” Byers said. He explained that Boston wanted to “live out the legacy his parents began” and “be a part of change in terms of race relations” and to give back some of the education he had acquired in school in France.

Byers explained that movie doesn’t only explore the racism felt by black people, but it also explores racism within the black community, or “intra-racism.”

“I think just in life when you really dig deep in the stigmas of what it means to be black, not just from across the racial line, but within you do deal with dark skin, light skin. You know? Who has the privilege? And who has the opportunities? And there’s a bit of a frustration within as you’ve seen play out in our film.”

“All these different themes that are playing out then are playing out in our time as well,” he said of the ideas in the movie.

“This event was something I’d never heard of,” the actor said. “It breaks my heart that A, I didn’t know about it and B, what happened there and the history that we’re left with and the mystery that we’re left with, if you will.”

The 24th is available for rent on on demand and on Google Play Movies & TV. Check out the trailer below:

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