The purpose of this series is to honor and celebrate the history of black filmmakers, storytellers, actors and creatives during Black History Month. The series aims to go a step beyond the traditional use of film to highlight historical figures and present film as part of the celebration by looking at the history of black cinema.Taken in its entirety the series will present a history of cinema and the African American experience with cinema in a thoughtful and thorough way. As in many other industries, African Americans have made their mark in film narratively, stylistically, historically, topically, financially and artistically and this series will aim to highlight the route of these significant contributions. In year two, we will celebrate the career of the legendary and magnificent Lena Horne.
Lena Mary Calhoun Horne (June 30, 1917 – May 9, 2010) was an American singer, dancer, actress, and civil rights activist. Horne’s career spanned over 70 years appearing in film, television, and theater. Horne joined the chorus of the Cotton Club at the age of 16 and became a nightclub performer before moving to Hollywood, where she had small parts in numerous movies, and more substantial parts in the 1943 films Cabin in the Sky and Stormy Weather. Because of the Red Scare and her political activism, Horne found herself blacklisted and unable to get work in Hollywood.
Feb 26 @ 7pm
The Wiz is a 1978 American musical adventure fantasy film. A reimagining of L. Frank Baum’s classic 1900 children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz featuring an all-black cast, the film was loosely adapted from the 1974 Broadway musical of the same name. Upon its original theatrical release, the film was a critical and commercial failure, and marked the end of the resurgence of Black People films that began with the blaxploitation movement of the early 1970s. Despite its initial failure, it became a cult classic, particularly among black audiences and Oz enthusiasts. Lena Horne plays Glenda the Good Witch.
Post film discussion will feature special guest Mabel Robinson, former artistic director of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company from 2007 to 2015. Robinson originated the role of Mary in Langston Hughes’ “Black Nativity” on Broadway in 1961 and went on to dance with such well-known companies as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, the Martha Graham Dance Company and Talley Beatty. Robinson also appeared in such films as “Cotton Comes to Harlem,” “Funny Lady” and “The Wiz.”
Not Rated, 78 minutes
All tickets $12.50
Black Cinema is a joint collaboration with Tonya Sheffield and Shef-Tales Productions. Tonya Sheffield is a filmmaker and graduate of UNCSA School of Filmmaking. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of The Dream School.
This program recieved support from