Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-11-15
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

UChicago screens Angela Davis film
by Yasmin Nair, Windy City Times
2013-03-13

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


The Chicago premiere of the film Free Angela and All Political Prisoners was held at the University of Chicago's (UChicago's) Logan Center for the Arts March 6.

The screening was followed by a panel discussion with Joy James, professor at Williams College; Mariame Kaba, founder director of Chicago's Project Nia; and local human-rights attorney Standish Willis. Tracye Matthews, associate director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, moderated.

Free Angela and All Political Prisoners focuses on the storied activist and academic's turbulent period when she felt compelled to go underground after police charged that she was directly involved in an attempted 1970 prison break which resulted in several deaths, including a white judge and three Black men. The hunt for Davis went nationwide and her trial remains one of the best-known in contemporary history.

As demonstrated in the film, the long trial resulted in a massive campaign to "free Angela," drawing supporters from around the world in a powerful global effort. Thousands of letters and testimonials flowed in support of Davis, from 6-year-olds in Germany to the French philosopher Jean Genet. It was Davis who insisted that the slogan "Free Angela" should be expanded with "and all political prisoners," reflecting her political views on the prison industrial complex (PIC). Davis is best-known for her work on prison abolition and her analysis and critique of a system that she—along with many other prison abolitionists—believes is not only unjust and harsh but systematically racist in its targeting and killing of African-Americans.

Period film clips and photos trace Davis' childhood in Birmingham, Ala., her university education in Europe and the United States, and her early career, but the film's focus is on reconstructing the events that led up to the trial, its duration and its aftermath.

Following her release, Davis became even more of an iconic figure, making invited appearances all around the world and even showing up to a jam-packed Madison Square Garden, perhaps the first and last time that an ex-political prisoner in the United States has been treated like a rock star.

The panel discussion afterwards dwelt upon such issues of fame and iconicity, as well as questions about feminism in relation to matters of race, and the complicated and ongoing legacy of Davis, who retired from her position as professor in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California-Santa Cruz in 2008. (She came out as lesbian in 2005.)

With regard to Davis and her ongoing work and influence on feminist thought, panelists spoke to the way she is often conceived or reduced in terms of gender and appearance—famous for her hair, Davis herself has been critical of such fetishization. Kaba pointed out that Davis' insistence upon asking for all political prisoners reflected a feminist impulse that "it wasn't just about her and understanding that 'it wasn't just about me all the time.'" Kaba also addressed the importance of Davis's work on the PIC, and stressed the need for creating alternatives to incarceration.

Speaking about the current and growing conversation around prisons, Joy Davis pointed out that it's easier to mobilize around mass incarceration than against repression in a democracy, and pointed out that Ruchell Magee, Angela Davis' co-defendant, is still in jail; Magee has referred to what happened in 1970 as akin to a slave rebellion. He has been in jail for more than 45 years.

The event's location became part of the the discussion, given that four activists, students amongst them, had recently been arrested for protesting the lack of an adult trauma-care facility at UChicago's medical center. Panelists reflected upon the larger implications of the PIC in the context of a system that incarcerates vast numbers of people, particularly people of color, while simultaneously whittling away at or simply not providing basic community resources. Standish Willis contextualized the events of the past and Davis' trial alongside such contemporary events, pointing out that it has become more difficult to contest false charges and that the the rights of protesters and political prisoners have sharply deteriorated since 9/11.

Free Angela Davis and All Political Prisoners begins its nationwide run April 5. Angela Davis will appear at UChicago in May.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

PASSAGES Local lesbian businesswoman Donalou Hendon dies 2017-11-15 - Donalou Hendon, 46, died Nov. 10 and at the time of this publication, the cause of death is unknown. Hendon was the co-owner ...


Gay News

FILM REVIEW Lady Bird 2017-11-15 - Director: Greta Gerwig. Starring: Saoirse Ronana, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts Time: 93 minutes. Release Date: Nov. 10 The new movie Lady ...


Gay News

THE AMAZON TRAIL Dorky dykes 2017-11-15 - I suppose I'm at my dorkiest about my stuffed animals. I have my first teddy bear, Buzz. I have the two cats Carol ...


Gay News

WNBA player marries in 'Dream Wedding' 2017-11-15 - The online wedding brand The Knot hosted a wedding for Olympic gold medalist and 2015 WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne and fiancee Amanda ...


Gay News

Chicago film part of Wayward fest 2017-11-14 - The neo-noir short film Lakeshore Drive is part of The Wayward Film Festival that runs through Thursday, Nov. 16. The film's plot ...


Gay News

Showbiz news: Aguilera, Robbie Rogers, 'Jane the Virgin,' Gal Gadot 2017-11-14 - The American Music Awards has a packed performance lineup, including a special tribute to Whitney Houston, ABC13.com noted. Christina Aguilera will commemorate the ...


Gay News

Astraea Foundation Celebrates 40 Years of Activism at Gala 2017-11-14 - On Monday evening, the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice hosted a gala to celebrate the Foundation's 40th anniversary. The annual event brought together ...


Gay News

NCLR Fellow Alex Chen Makes Forbes 30 Under 30 for Trans Youth Work 2017-11-14 - National Center for Lesbian Rights ( NCLR ) Equal Justice Works Fellow, Alexander Chen, was named one of Forbes 30 Under 30 today ...


Gay News

NBA referee Violet Palmer to be honored by Truth Awards 2017-11-13 - LOS ANGELES — The Better Brothers Los Angeles ( BBLA ) in association with award-winning actress/activist Sheryl Lee Ralph and her non-profit organization, ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Longtime gossip writer Liz Smith dies 2017-11-13 - Longtime gossip columnist Liz Smith, who started her column at the New York Daily News more than four decades ago, has died at ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.