SXSW 2021

Judas and the Black Messiah: On Art and Activism


Last year, our national conversation around racial justice reached a renewed urgency, pushing the ongoing movement into the mainstream public consciousness. In this historical moment in particular, the new film, JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH, provides invaluable context for what we’re seeing and experiencing today in the movement for Black Lives, and is an at times all too familiar reminder of just how far we have to go. In this collective moment of necessary upheaval and reckoning in our country, this panel will explore the history and impact of the Black Panther Party and the late Chairman Fred Hampton, the invaluable legacy they left in communities across the country and beyond, their intentionally misconstrued history, and how all of these factors informed today’s movement, as well as the making of the blockbuster new film.

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  1. The entertainment industry has the unique opportunity of using good storytelling to make lasting cultural change by investing in art and activism.
  2. Entertainment companies that are focused on creating impact are most successful when they follow and trust artists and advocates to lead the work.
  3. Content that seeks to make an impact—whether it be the 2020 election or COVID-19—should support/provide a platform for advocates doing the work.



Rosalina Jowers, Communications Manager, Participant

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