The mission of The Department of Afro-American Research Arts and Culture to identify the global significance of the creative contributions pioneered by an international diaspora of Blackness
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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Deacons For Defense (2003)

"Deacons for Defense" (2003) was a made-for-television historical drama aired on Showtime. Bill Dukes directed the movie, and Richard Wesley and Frank Military wrote the teleplay based on the story by Michael D'Antonio. The film features an incredible cast starring Forest Whitaker, Ossie Davis, Paul Benjamin, Jonathan Silverman, Chris Britton, Gene Mack, and Tyrone Benskin.

The Deacons for Defense and Justice was an armed African-American self-defense group founded in November 1964, during the Civil Rights era in the United States, in the mill town of Jonesboro, Louisiana. The first affiliated chapter was in Bogalusa, Louisiana, where the film takes place. The Deacons for Defense consisted of World War II and Korean War vets dedicated to protecting their communities from violent attacks from the Klu Klux Klan. 

The movie offers a lot of historical context and does an excellent job highlighting the story of The Deacon for Defense and Justice. Bill Duke's incredible direction captures some of America's darkest moments and the perseverance of a group of people who would no longer accept injustice. I highly recommend this movie for viewing. It may sometimes be challenging to watch, but it's the truth of American history.

Director: Bill Duke
Writers: Richard Wesley, Frank Military, Michael D'Antonio

Starring Forest Whitaker, Chris Britton, Jonathan Silverman, Michael Deane, Ossie Davis, Gene Mack, Tyrone Benskin, Paul Benjamin, Mpho Koaho, Melanie Nicholls-King, Serena Lee, Khafre Armatrading, Adam Weine, Beau Starr, Paulino Nunes, Aaron Walpole, Boyd Banks, Timothy Burd

In a nearly forgotten true story, "Deacon for Defense" is about a group of Black men who boldly took up arms against the Klu Klux Klan to protect their community during the Civil Rights era.