This Is Us writer Kay Oyegun has been tapped to pen the biopic of civil rights activist Angela Davis for Lionsgate. The producers are Nina Yang Bongiovi (who produced Dope and Fruitvale Station) and Sidra Smith, while Forest Whitaker is executive producing, as is Davis.
Davis began making waves as a member of the Communist Party USA and associate member of the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s. She made headlines when she was fired from her job as assistant professor at UCLA by the Board of Regents, urged by Ronald Reagan, then governor of California. The ensuing drama saw her regain her post, then lose it again.
In 1970, Davis gained national notoriety when a shotgun she purchased was used in a tragic hostage situation in Marin County, Calif., that led to the death of a judge. Davis found herself on the run and on the FBI’s most wanted list, only the third woman ever to be placed on it, while President Richard Nixon called her a terrorist. Her incarceration led to a national protest and in 1972 an all-white jury found her not guilty.
Davis’ activism led to songs from The Rolling Stones and John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Oyegun wrote on Ava DuVernay’s OWN series Queen Sugar and is a staff writer on NBC’s hit drama This Is Us.