The Pitt Jazz program, in collaboration with City of Asylum, will present a two-day film, music and discussion event, “The Honest Struggle: Living as a Target,” focusing on the life of Sadiq Davis, a Muslim convert who re-entered society in the South Side of Chicago after 25 years of incarceration.
The event kicks off at 7 p.m. Feb. 4 with a screening of the documentary “The Honest Struggle” by Justin Mashouf, a film about Davis’ struggles, followed at 7 p.m. Feb. 5 with a panel discussion organized by Nicole Mitchell Gantt, Pitt’s director of Jazz Studies, and a performance of original music by Davis, a vocalist/pianist, and vocalist Aquilla Sadalla.
The discussion will focus on the stereotypes that follow people after incarceration and the difficulties in trying to make a decent and honest life for themselves, along with the role of institutional racism in the prison industrial complex. The project is also a testament to music as a saving grace for those facing extreme challenges.
Davis and Mashouf will be joined on the panel by Richard Garland, director of Pitt’s Reimagine Re-entry program, and James Badue El, founder of the People’s Right to Obtain Our Freedom (PROOF).