Deacons for Defense (film)

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Deacons for Defense
Directed by Bill Duke
Produced by Robert Rehme
Written by Michael D'Antonio (story)
Richard Wesley (teleplay)
Frank Military (teleplay)
Starring Forest Whitaker
Christopher Britton
Ossie Davis
Jonathan Silverman
Adam Weiner
Marcus Johnson
Music by Michel Colombier
Editing by Harry Keramidas (editor)
David Rosenberg (assistant editor)
Country United States
Language English
Release date
  • 2003 (2003)
Running time 95 minutes

Deacons for Defense is a 2003 American television drama film directed by Bill Duke. The television film stars; Forest Whitaker, Christopher Britton, Ossie Davis, Jonathan Silverman, Adam Weiner, and Marcus Johnson.

It is loosely based on the true story of the Deacons for Defense and Justice, an African-American militia that was formed in 1964 to protect activists working with the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE), as well as others working with the civil rights movement.


In 1965 Louisiana, war veteran Marcus (Forest Whitaker) works in the town's mill for meager wages, and must endure the ongoing humiliation meted out by his white supervisors. Encouraged by an idealistic white Northerner (Jonathan Silverman), his daughter becomes a civil rights activist. When his daughter is abused at a nonviolent demonstration, Marcus is pushed too far. Marcus organizes the Deacons for Defense and Justice, an all-black defense group dedicated to patrolling the black section of town and protecting its residents from the aspects of "white backlash".

Main cast[edit]


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