You know her name, and you may think you know her story. You’ve heard her voice on hip-hop interludes, you may even own a t-shirt with her name on it, but you might be surprised how much you really don’t know about Angela Davis. In the stunning new documentary film, ‘Free Angela!’, director Shola Lynch provides a compelling, sensitive and powerful story about Davis, whose name has become synonymous with revolution, power and radical change. As the object of a national manhunt that turned in to a trial that captured the nation and the world, Davis became only the third woman ever to be placed on the FBI’s most wanted list.
1. She is woman power personified. In a time where we’re forced to debate the politics of our teen idols and pop stars, “Free Angela!” reminds us of what it means to truly live a life of political commitment, that wars were fought, lives were lost and change did not come by the type of outfit women wore at Superbowl games.
2. There’s an amazing love story involved. The prosecutors made Angela’s relationship with George Jackson, and the love letters sent between them, the central motive implicating her willing involvement to buy the weapons used in the Marine County Courthouse shooting. Angela, who gave her own opening argument at her trial, vehemently rejected that assertion, calling it sexist and ludicrous, despite admitting that she was deeply connected to George Jackson.
3. Angela’s interview is incredibly powerful. For a woman who was the most wanted woman in the nation, Angela Davis presents as an incredibly healed, whole and free from contempt. It’s striking to see the softness in her eyes, the calmness in her speech, and yet, the pain that is clearly still present when she recalls some of the more humiliating aspects of the ordeal. The stereotypical sort of fierceness one might expect her to have is entirely absent, making her all the more interesting.
4. The legal drama makes Law & Order seem like a Disney movie. The actual legal case (if you’re a bit of a law nerd, like myself) is quite interesting. That she fled from the authorities, only to be caught, have the trial changed jurisdictions and managed to be found innocent by an all white jury is simply incredible. Listening to how it all plays out surely makes you rethink the art of the possible.
5. Her Afro is epic. Take it from a girl who doesn’t much believe in natural hair, after watching this documentary, you may rethink your stance on the Afro. Besides just looking aesthetically amazing, Angela Davis afro became a criteria for racial profiling while she was on the run. She physically redefined what a rebel looked like: light skin, afro and a gap–imagine all the mugshots of Black women who fit the profile. Now that is a reason to feel empowered by rocking your natural do.
Check out the trailer below:
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Celebs Tweet Their Thoughts About #JusticeForSandraBland
1. Jesse Williams
#SandraBland's treatment while attempting to travel freely on HER public roadways has been acknowledged as unlawful. She is already dead.
2. Taraji P. Henson
"SAY HER NAME #SandraBland"
3. Ava DuVernay
"'Why are you arresting me?' Because you know your rights. Because I can. Because no one'll believe you. #SandraBland"
4. Kim Kardashian
#WhatHappenedToSandraBland We need answers!!!! This is NOT ok! This is all shady! They need to own up to this & tell the truth!
5. Jussie Smollet
"A loss 4 words. #SandraBlandMatters #BlackLivesMatter 👈🏿tell me this should change once the nation shows that we do. "
6. Snoop Dogg
🙏🌹. Sandra. Rip. 🌹🌹
7. K. Michelle
R.I.P to this queen. This could've been any of us. My prayers go out to her family. #sandrabland https://instagram.com/p/5fvlO_AhCf/
8. Gabrielle Union
SAY HER NAME!!! #SandraBland #SandraBland #SandraBland #SayHerName
"We must get to the cause of #sandrabland death because this CANNOT happen again #deathorfreedom"
10. David Banner
"When will we fight back. A man's duty on earth is to protect women and children. Where are the gangsters? Preachers? We need you. Please."
11. Nicki Minaj
"Rest In Peace #SandraBland"
12. Talib Kweli
"We the people ask @LorettaLynch to investigate #SandraBland #KimberleeRandleKing RETWEET "
Signs. Signs. Signs all around us. The Message is Here. #SandraBland
14. Missy Elliot
"When I look at the #SandraBland traffic video it brings so many emotions😳😢😡😡😤!"
15. Jessie J
"God bless your soul Sandra | #sandrabland | Change needs to come |Justice needs to be served | Heart… https://instagram.com/p/5fV79mQ0aw/ "
16. Jackee Harry
"It's time y'all, it's time.." #SandraBland #BlackLivesMatter
"In memory of #SandraBland these things don't make no kinda sense "
18. Holly Robinson Peete
I really don't look forward to having ANOTHER difficult conversation w my kids tonight...but here we go again😧💔 #SandraBland #SayHerName 😢
19. Jeffrey White
Sadly, doesn't matter by whose hand she died. Unjustified arrested set the outcome in motion. The state murdered her. #JusticeForSandraBland
Sandra could have been your mother, sister, aunt, friend or if she wasn't killed the community outreach advisor A&M. #SandraBland
21. Joan Smalls
"My heart is broken. Sending my deepest condolence to her family and friends. May you find Strength, Peace and Justice. When will this stop? #EqualityForAll #RIP #Why #SayHerName
22. Gladys Knight
Sandra Bland.... #SayHerName #SandraBland
23. Cara Delevigne
Things need to change NOW #SANDRABLAND #Justice #Equality
24. Meek Mill
"Rip to that young lady that lost her life about a traffic stop! 🙏 ima make sure I pray for her and her family! 🙏😄😄😄"