CodeBlack Films is gearing up to develop an Angela Davis biopic. The biopic will be based on the book, Angela Davis: An Autobiography, originally published in 1974.
The project will be produced by Nina Yang Bongiovi, whose previous films include Dope and Fruitvale Station. Davis will exec-produce, alongside her Pulitzer prize-nominated niece, Eisa Davis, who will write the script.
Davis was an assistant professor of UCLA’s philosophy department in the 1960s before being dismissed due to her political affiliation with the US Communist party. In 1970, she was charged with murder, kidnap and criminal conspiracy for her suspected involvement in a courtroom shootout. She was acquitted of all charges. She later returned to academia and wrote books on feminism and race. In 2014, Davis returned to UCLA, who defended her right to teach at the institution when she was first urged to leave. “I never in my wildest imagination would have thought accepting the position here at UCLA would have led to that kind of notoriety,” said Davis. “I wasn’t seeking notoriety. I just wanted to be a teacher and an activist.”
Davis has also published several books, including Women, Race, and Class (1983), Are Prisons Obsolete? (2003), and Freedom is a Constant Struggle (2015).
The film is one of several projects that aim to redress the lack of biopics revolving around women of color.
Next year will see the release of Hidden Figures, which stars Taraji P Henson, Janelle Monáe and Octavia Spencer which tells the untold true story of African-American women mathematicians, Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan, who worked at NASA during the Civil Rights era. Oprah Winfrey is set to star in an HBO movie entitled The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, based on the life Henrietta Lacks whose cells became instrumental in medical research.