Black August Trailer from firstname.lastname@example.org on Vimeo.
Director: Samm Styles
Stars: Gary Dourdan, Darren Bridgett, Ezra J. Stanley
The George Jackson story has now been developed into a movie entitled Black August. It depicts the last 14 months of George Jackson's existence under the subjective and objective conditions of captivity. Sentenced to one year-to-life at age 18, for a $70 gas station robbery in 1960, George Jackson would spend the next 11 years in California's industrial prison complex, 7 years of which were in solitary confinement.
The movie encompasses the infamous Soledad Brothers case in which George Jackson, Fleeta Drumgo, and John Clucheette are accused of murdering a Soledad prison guard, in retaliation for the killing of three Black inmates involved in a fight with White inmates on an exercise yard in Soledad State Prison, Soledad, California.
The movie also reflects on the general prison movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the role the Black Panther Party would play in organizing both the outside communities in America as well as their influence on prisoners across the country.
George Jackson would be moved and inspired as a result of the Panther Party activities. As a prison organizer, George was recruited by Black Panther Party founder Huey P. Newton to head the Peoples Army, a euphemism which would become synonymous with the name Black Guerrilla Family.
The film points out the conspiratorial nature of occurrences, which surrounded the events of August 7, 1970, where Jackson's 17-year-old younger brother, Jonathan Jackson, would be killed at the Marin County Courthouse, at San Raphael, California, during an alleged hostage takeover attempt to leverage against the release of the elder Jackson, and the other Soledad Brothers. The younger Jackson and thre others would be killed, including Superior Judge, Harold Haley. and August 21, 1971, where George Jackson himself, and five others would be killed at San Quentin State Prison, California, during what is discribed as a prison break attempt.
After a nation wide manhunt, Angela Davis would be captured and stand trial in connection with the Marin County Court House liberation attempt by Jonathan Jackson, accused of conspiracy in supplying 17-year-old Jonathan Jackson with the weapons used.
George Jackson is accused of smuggling a 9mm pistol and extra clips concealed under an Afro-wig, into the prison cellblock following a visit by Attorney Stephen Bingham. Stephen Bingham would leave the country, not returning to face charges until 14 years later. Both, Davis and Bingham would be acquitted. Others possibly involved in connection with the events of August 21, 1971 would never be questioned. With the history of slavery and repression in this country as a backdrop, every whip lash, every lynching, every humiliation finds its ultimate reaction in the events chronicled in the movie Black August.