18 Sep To & From 1967: A Rebellion with Martin Sostre
Saturday, November 18, 2-4pm
Sunday, November 19, 1-3pm
Free and open to the general public
A two day series of screenings and discussions, with Karima Amin, Max Anderson, Ephraim Asili, Brett Story, the United Melanin Society, and others.
On the 50th anniversary of the Long Hot Summer—an urban rebellion that took place around the United States, including on Buffalo’s East Side—Squeaky Wheel presents To and From 1967, a two-day series of screenings, discussions and events inspired by prison justice activist Martin Sostre (1923-2015). Featuring filmmakers, journalists and storytellers from Buffalo and beyond, the event remembers Sostre, the African-American owner of a political bookstore on Buffalo’s East Side, who was falsely imprisoned during the rebellion, and, from jail, taught himself law, won two landmark cases and worked tirelessly on prisoners’ rights. Sostre was imprisoned for nine years—six of which were served in solitary confinement—and was deemed a “political prisoner” by Amnesty International in 1972, his name resounding in rallies around the world demanding for his release.
Sostre’s story and commitment act as a prism for this event series, refracting the ways in which incarceration envelops society at large, situating 1967 in Buffalo, and exploring possible futures rooted among a celebration of the African diaspora, among other discussions. Screenings will include a 1974 documentary Frame-up! The Imprisonment of Martin Sostre by Pacific Street Films; Bretty Story’s feature documentary, The Prison in Twelve Landscapes (2016), which excavates the hidden world of the modern prison system and explores lives outside the gates affected by prisons; and a program of Ephraim Asili’s short films, including his most recent, award-winning work Fluid Frontiers (2017), which serve as a historical and speculative framework, exploring forms of resistance and freedom in the African diaspora both in and outside of the United States.
Accompanying the screenings will be panel discussions with local scholars, artists, storytellers and activists who respond to Sostre’s work and history with stories and conversations on local prison issues and Buffalo’s living history of racism. Guest speakers include storyteller Karima Amin (Prisoners are People Too), Max Anderson (Open Buffalo), and Elisa Peebles of the United Melanin Society. More details here!