In the midst of 2020, the need to face the truth as it relates to racial injustice and systemic racism is more needed than ever. Yesterday, Netflix released the new movie The Trial of the Chicago 7.
Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, the movie stars award-winning actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II who plays Black Panthers chairman Bobby Seal and Kelvin Harrison Jr. plays Fred Hampton. Imagine it’s 1968 and the United States is in turmoil. Martin Luther King Jr. is gunned down by an assassin in Memphis, Robert F. Kennedy is shot and killed in Los Angeles. The Vietnam War is at its height with over 30,000 American casualties and 1,000 more U.S. troops killed each month. In August, scores of antiwar protestors gather outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago and are tear-gassed and beaten by police and the National Guard.
The following year, eight activists Tom Hayden and Rennie Davis of the Students for a Democratic Society, counter-culture Yippies Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, MOBE organizers David Dellinger, John Froines, and Lee Weiner, and Black Panther Party Chairman Bobby Seale are put on trial for conspiring to incite a riot outside the Democratic Convention. Noted civil rights attorney William Kunstler works to defend this odd lot of antiwar activists against charges brought by a new Republican administration aiming to stifle and silence the movement. The whole world watches as the defendants face an unjust judge in one of the most bizarre and momentous trials in American history, The Trial of the Chicago 7.