This story is long overdue!
The new film, Spark, will tell the story of Claudette Colvin, one of the little-known heroes responsible for igniting the civil rights movement. Colvin was just 15 years old when she refused to give up her seat for a white passenger on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama, nine months before Rosa Parks. While Parks became the face of the movement, Colvin’s contributions were all but forgotten, recently reignited by those like Mackie, intent on saying her name. As a result, Colvin is finally receiving her long overdue roses and was even granted a recent expungement of her juvenile record by an Alabama court judge.
Mackie, who said he discovered Colvin’s story during a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, felt that her story needed to be told and has worked to obtain the life rights of Colvin’s story and the rights to the book Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose. The film will be co-produced by Make it with Gravy Productions, Mansa Productions, Mandalay Pictures in Association with Ambergreen Entertainment, with Niceole R. Levy who worked with Mackie on The Banker, serving as screenwriter.
“Not only was I moved, I was inspired. It’s great to be a superhero in movies but she’s a real live one living amongst us and I’m honored to tell her story,” said Mackie.
This will be Mackie’s directorial debut and he has already cast Saniyya Sidney as Colvin. Sidney is fresh off of her breakout performance as Venus Williams in King Richard and has received a lot of praise for her performance. The young star is also set to play Sasha Obama in Showtime’s The First Lady, starring Viola Davis. Mackie will also serve as producer alongside Kellon Akeem, Jason Michael Berman and Marc Ambrose.
Colvin spoke about the new film saying, “67 years ago, when history glued me to the seat of that bus in Montgomery, I could never have imagined that standing up for my rights could spark a movement that would change the course of history. It is really an honor to have my story retold, by Mr. Mackie, for future generations to learn about our past so they can move forward knowing that progress is possible, and things do get better. I hope my story will inspire youth to continue to fight for civil rights and human dignity.”
No word yet on when Spark will be released but it’s already on our required viewing list!
Photos Courtesy of Michael Tran/FilmMagic; Craig Barritt/Getty Images