“We featured programming around Muhammed Ali at the March on Washington Film Festival because he exemplifies courage, tenacity and spirit: the very thing it takes to move this nation to the freedom promised us all. We will miss him, and appreciate his fight.”
-Robert Raben, March on Washington Film Festival Founder
As our community continues to mourn the death of Muhammed Ali—a man who brought his power not just to boxing, but also to the fight for freedom for African Americans and civil and human rights causes around the world—we’re thinking back to the 2014 Festival. That year, we screened The Trials of Muhammed Ali, a powerful film that looks at Ali’s battle to overturn his five-year prison sentence for refusing the Vietnam draft. It was just a moment the legend’s lifetime of speaking truth to power, but one that encapsulates his singular voice and influence.
You can view the 2014 panel in full below, and the trailer for The Trials of Muhammed Ali here.
“On behalf of The March on Washington Film Festival, I want to extend my condolences to the family of Julian Bond. Our nation has lost a true hero, a brilliant organizer, and a tireless champion of civil rights. At each stage of his life, Mr. Bond acted with boldness and courage; as one of the original leaders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and then the Southern Poverty Law Center, as a Georgia legislator for 20 years, as chairman of the NAACP, and as an advocate for same-sex marriage. He was among the most joyful and engaged participants on the opening night of our film festival this year, at Metropolitan A.M.E. Church in Washington, D.C. We are saddened at his passing, and we are determined to uphold his legacy and continue his work,” said Robert Raben, founder of The March on Washington Film Festival and president of The Raben Group.
I missed the civil rights movement, but at the third March on Washington Film Festival, I was transfixed.
That decades old history is so much a part of our present.
Those 20th century moments are sending shout-outs to this one: Here’s how it was, here are our stories — don’t they sound familiar — and Lord, it’s good to see you.
Of course, that last part is just the old movement folks in the audience having their little reunions during the festival, which ends Saturday. FULL STORY