“Black women have had to develop a larger vision of our society than perhaps any other group. They have had to understand white men, white women, and black men. And they have had to understand themselves. When black women win victories, it is a boost for virtually every segment of society.”
Angela Davis has stood at the forefront of many struggles and tensions for people of color since the ’60s as a leader of the Civil Rights Movement. Throughout her extensive life’s work, she has unapologetically advocated for the oppressed and remains one of the most prominent Black activists and scholars of the century.
CodeBlack Films has recently acquired the rights to Angela Davis: An Autobiography (1974) and will be producing a long overdue Angela Davis biopic film. A division of Lionsgate, CodeBlack’s mission is to “serve the global black community through a diversified content portfolio targeted to the underserved African-American consumer.”
The talents working to develop the film include CEO Jeff Flanagan, Nina Yang Bongiovi, Sidra Smith, and Eisa Davis. Angela Davis will serve as executive producer alongside her Pulitzer prize-nominated niece Eisa Davis, who is also writing the script. Combined, the project’s team offers credits to Dope (Bongiovi), Fruitvale Station (Bongiovi), Angela’s Mixtape (Eisa Davis), Free Angela and All Political Prisoners (Smith), and more. The developing biopic will cover Davis’ 72-year history as a radical leader in the Civil Rights movement, which includes her studies as a UCLA student and professor and her time in jail in the early ’70s.
In her teenage years, Davis experienced racial injustice and discrimination first-hand. She organized interracial study groups herself (which were broken up by the police) and also knew several of the young Black girls killed in the ’63 Birmingham church bombing. In the ’60s, Davis was a leader in the all-black branch of the Communist Party, the Che-Lumumba Club. In 1969, UCLA fired Davis as an assistant philosophy professor after her political allegiances became known. She later brought them in court and got her job back. In 1970, she was “charged with murder, kidnap and criminal conspiracy for her suspected involvement in a courtroom shootout” and was ultimately acquitted of all charges. Since then, Davis has spent her time writing books on feminism and race, including Women, Race, & Class, Are Prisons Obsolete?, and Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement.
No announcements have been made about a release date or cast, but we will patiently wait as the gracious and legendary Black Power icon brings the still-untitled project to the big screen.