Director Julie Dash has signed on to helm the upcoming biopic on Rosa Parks, which will center on the decade before her seminal moment on a Montgomery bus. At the time Parks was already an activist who famously sought justice for 24 year old wife and mother Recy Taylor, who was gang-raped by seven white men in Alabama in 1944.
The project comes from Invisible Pictures with Audrey Rosenberg and Jess Jacobs producing along with Gary Riotto and Rachel Wantanabe-Batton. The film is based on Danielle McGuires novel, At the Dark End of the Street, which has been adapted as a screenplay by Lisa Jones.
Recy Taylor was on her way home after church when seven white men, armed with knives and shotguns ordered Taylor into their Chevrolet, raped her and left her for dead. Rosa Parks took on Taylor’s case and launched a movement that exposed the history of sexual assault against black women and fought for change.
Dash, who directed the 2002 CBS TV movie The Rosa Parks Story starring Angela Basset was brought on to direct since having experience telling the story of the famous civil rights activist. She also plans on revisiting the stories of Jo Anne Robinson and Claudette Colvin, women whose stories are often forgotten in changing the course of history.
The film is still in its early stages, with production due to start in 2018. The filmmakers are optimistic, hoping it will be an uplifting festival movie.
Dash is best known for her 1991 film Daughters of the Dust, which landed her with the honor of becoming the first African American woman to have her feature released in theaters in the U.S. Most recently she has directed multiple episodes for the series Queen Sugar.
This was first reported by Deadline.
April Dawn | Editorial Intern