“FREE ANGELA & ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS”
THE VOICE OF A WOMAN FESTIVAL
On November 5th, 2016, just 3 days before the US election, THE VOICE OF A WOMAN FESTIVAL was priviledged to screen the film "Free Angela & All Political Prisoners," a portrait of the remarkable life of activist, scholar and political icon, Angela Davis, as part of its Festival 2016 Program.
The screening of "Free Angela And All Political Prisoners" was to say the least timely, the film presents a gripping historic account of the events that catapulted a young University of California philosophy professor into a controversial and iconic figure in the turbulent America of the late 1960's. A character study on activism, integrity, courageously standing for what you believe in and confidently 'speaking truth to power.'
Filmmaker Shola Lynch's earlier work, Chisholm '72: Unbought and Unbossed, featured an equally bold figure, Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman elected to the United States Congress, who later became the first black candidate to run for President of the United States in 1972.
Shola Lynch's film leaves no stone unturned as it explores every remarkable detail of Davis' life, and allows her to tell her own stories through a series of intimate interviews and archive footage.
The film, and Angela Davis herself - who recently turned 73 - is a reminder to each of us of what humanity, integrity and courage is and what it looks like in a woman uncompromisingly raising her voice on behalf of the 'voiceless.'
Below is Angela Davis' speech at the Women's March on Washington on January 21st:
"At a challenging moment in our history, let us remind ourselves that we the hundreds of thousands, the millions of women, trans-people, men and youth who are here at the Women's March, we represent the powerful forces of change that are determined to prevent the dying cultures of racism, hetero-patriarchy from rising again.
"We recognize that we are collective agents of history and that history cannot be deleted like web pages. We know that we gather this afternoon on indigenous land and we follow the lead of the first peoples who despite massive genocidal violence have never relinquished the struggle for land, water, culture, their people. We especially salute today the Standing Rock Sioux.
"The freedom struggles of black people that have shaped the very nature of this country's history cannot be deleted with the sweep of a hand. We cannot be made to forget that black lives do matter. This is a country anchored in slavery and colonialism, which means for better or for worse the very history of the United States is a history of immigration and enslavement. Spreading xenophobia, hurling accusations of murder and rape and building walls will not erase history.
"No human being is illegal.
"The struggle to save the planet, to stop climate change, to guarantee the accessibility of water from the lands of the Standing Rock Sioux, to Flint, Michigan, to the West Bank and Gaza. The struggle to save our flora and fauna, to save the air—this is ground zero of the struggle for social justice.
"This is a women's march and this women's march represents the promise of feminism as against the pernicious powers of state violence. And inclusive and intersectional feminism that calls upon all of us to join the resistance to racism, to Islamophobia, to anti-Semitism, to misogyny, to capitalist exploitation.
"Yes, we salute the fight for 15. We dedicate ourselves to collective resistance. Resistance to the billionaire mortgage profiteers and gentrifiers. Resistance to the health care privateers. Resistance to the attacks on Muslims and on immigrants. Resistance to attacks on disabled people. Resistance to state violence perpetrated by the police and through the prison industrial complex. Resistance to institutional and intimate gender violence, especially against trans women of color.
"Women's rights are human rights all over the planet and that is why we say freedom and justice for Palestine. We celebrate the impending release of Chelsea Manning. And Oscar López Rivera. But we also say free Leonard Peltier. Free Mumia Abu-Jamal. Free Assata Shakur.
"Over the next months and years we will be called upon to intensify our demands for social justice to become more militant in our defense of vulnerable populations. Those who still defend the supremacy of white male hetero-patriarchy had better watch out.
"The next 1,459 days of the Trump administration will be 1,459 days of resistance: Resistance on the ground, resistance in the classrooms, resistance on the job, resistance in our art and in our music.
"This is just the beginning and in the words of the inimitable Ella Baker, 'We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.' Thank you."
- Shola Lynch, The Voice Of A Woman Talks, November 5th, 2016
Stay tuned for THE VOICE OF A WOMAN 2017, we look forward to seeing you there