Angela Davis quickly became a figure for social justice and political freedom at the pinnacle of her young activism career. When her name was paired with revolution, Communism, the world was torn between American justice and real freedom.
In the latest documentary, “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners,” the feminist studies professor gives a candid recount of her experiences during the height of theBlack Liberation Movement in the 60s and 70s.
It’s been a little over 40 years since then 28-year-old Angela was acquitted for murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges stemming from an incident she had little to do with.
On Aug. 7th, 17-year-old Black militantJonathan Jackson, brother of author George forced his way into a California courtroom and kidnapped Judge Harold Haley, a prosecutor, and three female jurors while freeing two inmates on trial for murder, as Newsone.com reports. A sawed off shotgun was taped to the judge’s neck.
Angela was pinned as the party responsible for purchasing the guns in the hostage situation.
After a 13-week trial and tons of protest from around the world, an unmoved Angela burst into tears as her freedom was announced. Today she continues to educate and advocate for basic human rights and equality for oppressed people.
Produced by Will and Jada Smith, Jay-Z and Sidra Smith, the movie is set to release in AMC theaters in Atlanta, New York City, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, and Oakland on April 5th. Check out thetrailer below.
I had the chance to chat with Sidra about the film. A sweet spirit, we laughed about how many people don’t know she’s an identical twin of Tasha Smith. During our chat, she beamed with excitement about this project, emphasizing the importance of telling Angela’s story.
Brittney M. Walker: What drew you to the story?
Sidra Smith: I’ve always been an Angela Davis fan. But I really knew why. There was just something about this woman’s strength that attracted me. So when I met the director, Shola Lynch, she had just finished a documentary on Shirley Chisholm, which was one of the best documentaries I had ever seen. So when she told me she was doing a story on Angela Davis, I was like, “Oh my god, it’s about time. If as a producer I can do anything to help, please let me know.” And when she needed to put a team of people together and came to me, I was just acquitted to be a part of it. I just felt that, Angela’s story was long overdue.
BMW: From what I understand, this is the most candid Angela has been since the trial.
SS: This is the first time she’s ever given anyone full rights to her story. She also narrates the documentary. She’s telling her story, it’s coming from her words.
BMW: What was the biggest challenge for the project?