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A documentary which centers around one of the most prolific African American figures of our time was shown in select cities this past weekend. “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners” by filmmaker, Shola Lynch , focuses on the trial that started a movement to free the former Communist Party USA leader and social activist. The trial that rocked a nation saw Angela Davis, convicted of kidnapping, murder, and conspiracy. Although Davis was not at the crime scene, the guns that the activist purchased were. The crime landed Davis on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list.
As a result, “Free Angela” movements popped up all over the world. With the help of producers, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and Jay-Z, the documentary received a big boost. Davis was acquitted of all charges but her image has sustained its popularity within the hearts of feminist and the African American community. Of her famous status Davis said that her relationship with pop culture is “complicated.” She said, “It took me quite a long time to feel comfortable in my relationship with that image, because I always insisted, ‘Well, it’s really not me. It’s an image that’s been produced and that circulates in a certain way.” She adds. “But I’m not all that is ascribed to that image.”
In an interview with EURWeb Davis recalled her encounter with a young woman wearing a t-shirt with her image on it. She said, “This young woman knew very little about the history ah but I asked her why are you wearing this t-shirt and she said ‘because it makes me feel empowered , because it makes me feel as if I can do anything I want to do.’ And so at that point I reconciled myself to the work that the image performs and at the same time I have to recognize that it is not me it is a constructed and created image that does have an enormous amount of power.”
Asa Lovechild is an accomplished actress and singer out of New York City and a supporter of One Billion Rising