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From The Vault

On the Heels of Nate Park­er’s 2016 Sun­dance Film Fes­ti­val suc­cess with his film Birth of a Nation, chron­i­cling the life of Nat Turn­er, the icon­ic man who led the 1831 Slave Rebel­lion in Vir­ginia, we thought this was the per­fect moment to tell the sto­ry of the Nat Turn­er film that was almost made in 1968.

At stake, one of the hero’s of the African Amer­i­can strug­gle for Free­dom in Amer­i­ca was told from a White” per­spec­tive. Includ­ed in this fic­tion­al char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of Nat Turn­er cre­at­ed by Sty­ron was Nat Turn­er’s thoughts of rape and oth­er harm to the White com­mu­ni­ty which enslaved him. To hear the incred­i­ble polemics used by Ossie Davis to push back on this project is priceless.

Nate Park­er’s film Birth of A Nation takes the sto­ry of Nat Turn­er and the Slave Rebel­lion he led to the screen from the African Amer­i­can per­spec­tive. We imag­ine Ossie Davis and James Bald­win smil­ing down on this moment.