The Angela Davis Biopic Is Overdue, But Will Be Done Right

Photo: Paul Morigi/WireImage.
Angela Davis. I have to give myself pause at the very mention of her name because everything about her is so big. Her story, her influence, her legacy, her afro, her life — all big. She’s one of the most prolific Black feminists of our time, responsible for iconic texts like Are Prisons Obsolete? and Women, Race & Class. Her radical activism and affiliation with the U.S. Communist Party had the entire country shook during the '70s. She was charged with murder and imprisoned for over a year before she was found not guilty. She recently retired as a professor at the University of California Santa-Cruz, even though Ronald Reagan himself tried to ban her from ever teaching at a California university. Her life means so much to so many people, and now we are finally on the precipice of biopic about her life.
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For every moment that made the lives of figures like Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Malcolm X film-worthy, Davis has had one, too. Any source of inspiration that you can draw from these men, you can also tap into with Davis. Unfamiliar with the history of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements? Read up on Angela Davis. Want to talk about the significance of the afro and the political undertones of having natural hair? Read up on Angela Davis. Are you interested in prison and justice reform? Read up on Angela Davis. Do you need a primer on intersectional feminism? Read everything Angela Davis has ever written.
Truth be told, I’m not even sure how a single film can do Davis justice — as I said before, her life is big. However, I am relieved to know that some of the most capable people are undertaking the job. According to Variety, Davis herself is acting as an executive producer of the film, which is already a promising sign. Black people telling their own stories is always lit, and how you avoid casting debacles like the one surrounding Nina. Codeblack Films, the production company that purchased the rights to her autobiography, is a division of Lionsgate that focuses specifically on creating content for Black consumers. And they recently tapped Forest Whitaker to join as a producer as well.
This is going to be movie event of my life, and I am beyond ready.
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