This screening is part of the Newark Black Film Festival.

  • Black Terror (excerpts), directed by Richard Lawson. (60 min of excerpts). Not rated
    Fifty years after the original production of Richard Wesley’s Black Terror, Richard Lawson directs a bi-coastal cast of revolutionaries on a daunting mission to free their people. As the Black Comrades Keusi, M’Balia, Geronimo, and Ahmed fight on the edge of life and death, the divide between them intensifies and widens. This collaboration between Wesley, Lawson’s Waco Theater Center, and Newark Symphony Hall combines theater and film as it weaves together the pulse of liberation struggles both past and present. It calls upon audiences to ask: What does it truly mean to be for the people?

Excerpts of the film will be accompanied by a panel discussion about the making of the film and the continued relevance of the story, featuring Richard Wesley, Richard Lawson, and others.

Moderator: Talia Young, Newark Symphony Hall

The film was featured as a special presentation at the Cannes Film Festival’s African Pavilion, 2023.

Location: Billy Johnson Auditorium

Meet the Filmmaker

Richard Lawson

Director, 'Black Terror'

Richard Lawson is a prolific African American actor, director, and producer whose career has transcended stereotypical casting. Born in Loma Linda, California, Lawson served in the Army for a tour of Vietnam, returning to attend Chabot Junior College. It was the attention he received for his dramatic style on the debate team that led Lawson to pursue acting. His first on-screen appearance was an uncredited role in the 1971 police feature “Dirty Harry.” In 1973, he played the man who resurrects the black vampire in “Scream Blacula Scream,” and in 1974, he starred as a street fighter in the blaxploitation feature “Bogard.” By the mid-70s, Lawson was appearing regularly in guest spots on television, and he continued to rack up credits over the next three decades. His recurring parts include a role as geologist Nick Kimball on the nighttime soap “Dynasty” (1986) as well as a recurring love interest for the lead in 1988’s “The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd,” a rare interracial TV romance. In 1992, he began a regular stint on the daytime soap opera “All My Children,” playing architect Lucas Barnes. He also played heroic doctor Ben Taylor in the popular 1983 sci-fi mini-series “V.” Among his motion picture roles are a paranormal investigator in the 1982 Steven Spielberg-produced hit, “Poltergeist,” and the role of the fickle Frank in Tyler Perry’s 2010 adaptation of the play “For Colored Girls.” Lawson has worked extensively as an acting coach and as a director at the Beverly Hills Playhouse.