Documentary Film and Book Discussion with Dr. Betty Gilmore
Thursday, January 22, 2015
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Vanderbilt University, Furman Hall 114
We live in the age of racialized mass incarceration. An age in which tens of thousands of human beings are caged in solitary confinement every day. Some for decades at a time. The documentary film, “The Darkest Hour” exposes the inhumane impact of extreme isolation experienced by those incarcerated nationwide.
Through intimate interviews with death row survivors like Nanon Williams, now serving life in general population, and the last words of men Napoleon Beazley before he was executed by the state of Texas, these stories reveal the savage inner workings of our justice system. Narrated in hip hop and spoken word by artist/activist Bryonn Bain, creator of the groundbreaking multimedia production Lyrics from Lockdown (executive produced by Harry Belafonte), the film’s soundtrack, the Life After Lockdown: Digital Mixtape, features founding hip hop DJ Kool Herc and an all-star cast of legends.
“The Darkest Hour” is a call to action for a complete paradigm shift. We will either be ruled by passionate cries for punishment, or heal ourselves with the compassion required to repair a broken nation.
Dr. Betty Gilmore is director and faculty for the Center for Dispute Resolution at Southern Methodist University where she teaches in both the counseling and dispute resolution graduate programs. She is also a lecturer at Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine University School of Law and the Werner Institute at Creighton University School of Law.
Nanon M. Williams, writer and human rights activist, was born August 2, 1974. Nanon grew up in Los Angeles amidst the violence and poverty that plagued the city. In 1992, when Nanon was only seventeen years old, he was wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to death by the state of Texas. As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Roper vs. Simmons, Nanon’s death sentence was converted to a life sentence in 2005. Through writing, Nanon has found a way in which to endure daily life in prison, connect with and enrich the world beyond prison walls. Nanon’s message is a message of peace and nonviolence.