Dean Jannette L. Dates said:
Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee are exemplars for us all. Their dedication to the communities in which they lived was the driving force in their professional lives as well as their private lives. They felt the need to give back to those who respected them for their activism and loved them for their work.
In September 2001, I was working on a documentary about the Florida election debacle. In the wake of 9/11, people who had made pledges to support the film were suddenly nowhere to be found. People like Barbra Streisand who removed anti-George W. Bush rants from her website.
But Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee kept the faith. As lifelong voting rights activists, they understood the importance of telling the untold story of the 2000 election. So they narrated the film without compensation.
In addition to screening classics such as “Cotton Comes to Harlem” and “Jungle Fever,” there will be the world premiere of “Slap the Donkey.” Narrated by Danny Glover, the documentary tracks Al Sharpton’s 2004 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion on black politics in the 21st century. The panelists will include Cornel West, Ron Daniels, and my friend, Herb Boyd, who recently interviewed President Obama on Air Force One.