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American Justice on Trial

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Bay Saint Louis, MS – The 100 Men Hall will screen Directors Andrew Abrahams’ and Herb Ferrette's "American Justice on Trial: People v. Newton" on Thursday, February 9, 2023 at 6PM. The documentary revisits Black Panther co-founder Huey Newton's 1968 murder trial, a powder keg that exposed deep-seeded racism and details how Newton's defense team bravely fought during their client's trial in the 1967 killing of an Oakland cop and the wounding of another. "American Justice on Trial" is one of 15 short-form documentaries on the 95th Academy Awards short list. (SF Gate)

The film is based on part-time BSL resident Lise Pearlman’s book, The Sky’s the Limit: People v. Newton, The REAL Trial of the 20th Century?  [Regent Press 2012], an 800-page book which compared the 1968 Newton death penalty trial to better-remembered “trials of the century“* to argue that it had the most impact. A shorter companion book to the documentary was written later by Pearlman and includes quotes from the folks who were interviewed in the film. Pearlman also wrote a biography of the pioneering woman criminal defense lawyer who was co-counsel for Newton and wrote the brief that freed him on appeal, Call Me Phaedra: The Life and Times of Movement Lawyer Fay Stender [Regent Press 2018]. 

Lise Pearlman will be present for a Q&A after the screening. Pass Christian Books will have available both Pearlman’s The Sky’s the Limit: People v. Newton, The REAL Trial of the 20th Century? [Regent Press 2012] and Call Me Phaedra: The Life and Times of Movement Lawyer Fay Stender [Regent Press 2018] for purchase. If you would like to have your book signed by the author, only books purchased from Pass Books will be signed by the author at the event.

The screening is free to the public, but event coordinators ask that attendees secure a free ticket online at https://the100menhall.com/products/american-justice-on-trial to make sure adequate seating is available. 

Doors at 100 Men Hall and a cash/credit bar will open at 5:30PM.

The iconic and historic 100 Men Hall was founded in 1894 by 12 civic-minded African American Bay Saint Louis residents whose goal was to “assist its members when sick, bury its dead in a respectable manner, and knit friendship”. The Hall now owned by Rachel Dangermond, grew to become a robust performance venue included on “the Chitlin Circuit”, an historic nationwide network of performance spaces, and a stop on the Mississippi Blues Trail map.

Located at 303 Union Street in Bay Saint Louis,  the 100 Men Hall is a 501c3 nonprofit organization (Hundred Members Debating Benevolent Association), supported by tax deductible donations. Additional information about the venue’s history and other activities can be found on the100menhall.com or by emailing 100menhall@gmail.com.

*Trials of the Century: The Scopes “Monkey” Trial, Leopold and Loeb, the Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping, the Scottsboro Boys, O J Simpson trial, Chicago Seven trial.