One Perspective on “Free Angela”
By Dustin Wilson
It was a great night on May 29th as Hannah (my wife) and I got the chance to attend the viewing of “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners” with our good friends Anthony and Toni Smith. This documentary was about a professor and activist Angela Davis who took a stand for justice for the oppressed in the midst of difficult times in the 60s and early 70s. This documentary was beautifully painted by the film’s director Shola Lynch.
Here are the few things that stood out to me.
HERO or TERRORIST?
Growing up in the 90s as a young white boy, I never heard stories about Angela Davis. I did hear stories about Ronald Reagan and also Richard Nixon but not like I heard them in this documentary. As I watched the story of Angela, my eyes were opened once again to the fact that when someone goes against the powers that be, to some that person might be a terrorist but to others, a hero. In this case, I believe that Angela Davis was a hero to the oppressed in the face of angry, power-hungry white males that did not want to see things the way that they were during the 60s and early 70s.
In a way, what Angela Davis did was read the story of society as it was displayed during her day and then wrote a new story of how it should be. Her story was for justice and for freedom. She used her well-educated words to speak out for equal rights. Just like when you are reading a book that you do not like, you close it and put it down, the folks that were in power tried to do the same thing by closing the book. They wanted Angela Davis quiet. They wanted to shut her book. But just like a book that cannot be put down, people wanted to hear Angela Davis. Through the “new” story telling of Angela Davis, a revolution was birthed and lived out.
Race Issues/Women Rights Issues
Angela Davis challenged white men and people of power to see things through different eyes. She spoke up for the voiceless. The 60s and early 70s were full of racism in the deepest form and women were also not viewed the same as men. As I see it, we live in a society where race is still an issue and justice is sometimes one sided. We, like Angela, need to see the story of our society and call for justice. Not only do we need to call for it, but also, as Angela, do our part to rewrite the story.
I would like to thank Tonya Miller Cross with “The Vine Events” for organizing this event. There was a great turn out and I look forward to
future events by The Vine.
Dustin Wilson lives in East Spencer, NC. Dustin is co-organizer/missionary of Freedom Journey – a missionary effort in Rowan County journeying toward reconciliation of people to God, neighbor to neighbor and church to community. Dustin is also apart of a kingdom experiment in Salisbury, NC called Mission House.