ALBANY, GA - Lena Baker Film highlights an episode of injustice in Southwest Georgia history
During Black History Month Albany State University will present a special showing of a film that chronicles one of the greatest injustices imposed upon an African American woman in the state of Georgia. "Hope and Redemption: The Lena Baker Story," a film about the only woman to be executed in the Georgia electric chair, will be presented Feb. 3, at 6:30 p.m. in the ACAD Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.
Lena Baker, a maid and mother of three in Cuthbert, Ga., in the 1940s, was sentenced to death by electrocution in 1945 after an all-white male jury convicted her of murdering her employer. In 1944, Baker's employer, Ernest Knight, forced Baker into an unwanted sexual relationship. That relationship ended when Knight was shot to death during an altercation between the two. Baker was found guilty of murder, in spite of overwhelming evidence of self-defense.
The film, first released by Southwest Georgia's Film Commission and Lionsgate in 2008, has captured public interest since Baker's descendants and sympathizers placed a fitting headstone at her Cuthbert, Ga., gravesite on Jan. 12.
"Lena Baker's heart-breaking story must be told over and over again to current and future generations," said Dr. Raquel Henry, civil rights fellow and assistant professor of history at ASU. "It's important to ensure that Georgia's African American past will not be forgotten."
"Hope and Redemption: The Lena Baker Story," is presented to the community through a collaboration of the Albany State College 1961 Civil Rights Celebration and the ASU Housing and Residence Life Office.