400th Anniversary Anti-Slavery Cinema Commemoration in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES—On August 20, 1619, continental North America’s first African captives arrived as slaves at the Jamestown colony, Virginia. On Sun., Aug. 25, 2019, the 400th Anniversary Anti-Slavery Cinema Commemoration remembers enslavement and resistance to slavery through a day-long offering of movies and TV shows produced over a span of more than a century.

Screenings of scenes and of some complete productions are introduced by film historians, activists, filmmakers, celebrities, scholars, etc., such as African-American actress Tina Andrews, who co-starred in Roots and wrote the TV mini-series about the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. The commemoration is curated by activist film historian and critic Ed Rampell. The screenings include:

2017’s Jamestown; 1977’s mini-series Roots introduced by Tina Andrews; and the 2000 mini-series Sally Hemings: An American Scandal, introduced by screenwriter Tina Andrews and Evelia Jones, great-granddaughter (many times removed) of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings.

Also to be screened are Nate Parker’s 2016 The Birth of a Nation about America’s bloodiest slave uprising; Thomas Edison’s 1903 Uncle Tom’s Cabin; and 1955’s Seven Angry Men about abolitionist John Brown.

Nate Parker and Aja Naomi King in ‘The Birth of a Nation’

The day-long cinematic commemoration includes the 1979 TV movie Freedom Road, starring Muhammad Ali as a Reconstruction era ex-slave elected to the legislature who fights the Klan, with actor/journalist Erik Washington as his son. Based on the novel by former Communist Party member Howard Fast, who also wrote the novel for the movie that broke the Hollywood Blacklist, 1960’s Spartacus, with a screenplay by the Hollywood Ten’s Dalton Trumbo, Freedom Road was Czech director Ján Kadár’s final film.

The 400th Anniversary Anti-Slavery Cinema Commemoration takes place from 12:00 noon to 10:00 pm, on Sun., Aug. 25, at the Los Angeles Workers Center, 1251 S. St. Andrews Pl., Los Angeles  90019. The all-day film festival will be broken up into segments separated by meal, snack and stretch breaks. Attendees are encouraged to bring potluck contributions to share. Donations to offset the cost of purchasing the films, supplies and building expenses will be requested.

Please note that the address on St. Andrews Pl. is only accessible from Pico Blvd. It is located two blocks west of Western Ave.

For further information contact: 70HollyBL@gmail.com.


Special to People’s World
Special to People’s World

People’s World is a voice for progressive change and socialism in the United States. It provides news and analysis of, by, and for the labor and democratic movements to our readers across the country and around the world. People’s World traces its lineage to the Daily Worker newspaper, founded by communists, socialists, union members, and other activists in Chicago in 1924.