08-20-2017  4:49 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' Screens at New Performing Arts Center, Federal Way

Free screening follows the day after official ribbon cutting of the arts center ...

Join a Book Club at Your Neighborhood Library

At North Portland Library, Pageturners Black Voices focuses on books written by and about African and African American authors ...

Meeting of the NE Community Development Oversight Committee

The fourth meeting will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 23 ...

Health Share of Oregon Invests $3M in Community Health Workers

Investment will improve health care access, quality and outcomes for Oregonians who face barriers to care ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

SEIU’s President: No Place for White Supremacists in the White House

Mary Kay Henry makes following statement on Trump’s remarks after violence in Charlottesville ...

It’s Time to Show “Middle Neighborhoods” Love, Before It’s too Late

Middle Neighborhoods, School Rehabilitation and Food Insecurity are key action items for the policy agenda of the CBC. ...

Despite Unequal Treatment, Black Women Will Rise

NNPA Newswire Columnist Julianne Malveaux talks about Black Women’s Equal Pay Day ...

PCC Cascade President on Free Tuition Program

Any student who qualifies for the Oregon Promise can attend most in-state community colleges tuition-free ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Writer James Baldwin, featured in new documentary I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO

In recent years, the studio system has come under fire for its glaring lack of diversity.  

Remember Oscar night 2015? Not a single person of color was nominated across all four acting categories. While it’s only slightly improved for minorities amidst the top ranks of Hollywood, the often independent yet nevertheless bona fide Black film industry, continues to persevere.

So leave it to Portland’s Hollywood Theatre to ring in a new year by toasting excellence in African American filmmaking. The annual 2017 Portland Black Film Festival will run for two weeks (February 9 – 22) at the historic cinema, presenting a host of old classics, new documentaries and one very special guest.

“As with every year, the Portland Black Film Festival strives to showcase a diverse and eclectic selection of films that speaks to the complexity of the Black experience in America,” festival curator David F. Walker told The Skanner. “We have always worked to include films from the past and the present, to make sure people understand the rich history of African American cinema.”

Walker, a comic book writer, filmmaker, journalist and educator, will be presenting “Black Images Matter,” an informative and entertaining free lecture that explores how the perception of Blacks in America has been shaped by images in mass media.

As 2017 breaches new political territory, Walker commented on the immediacy of having an audience for Black issues.

“The Trump presidency and the current political climate have merely reinforced the need for Black people to assert their humanity in a nation that has historically dehumanized us,” Walker said.

Among the line-up is “Sign o’ the Times,” a 1987 concert film directed by Prince that brings to life the fervor of the artist and his band during a live show at the Rotterdam Music Hall; “Soul on Ice,” a new documentary that chronicles the virtually unknown contributions of Black athletes in ice hockey; “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise,” an intimate rendering of the prolific life of the storyteller and activist; the digital restoration of Spencer Williams' 1941 masterpiece “The Blood of Jesus,” a  tale of an atheist who accidentally shoots his Baptist wife; “The New Black,” which tells the story of gay marriage, homophobia and civil rights in the African American community; and the Samuel L. Jackson-narrated “I Am Not Your Negro.” Director Raoul Peck’s new documentary envisions the book that writer James Baldwin never finished, about the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends – Malcom X, Medgar Evers, and Martin Luther King Jr.

Yet perhaps the most anticipated event of the fest is a Q&A with 1970s Blaxploitation star, Pam Grier. Grier herself will be in attendance on Feb. 11 to present a 35mm screening of Jack Hill's 1973 classic “Coffy,” the story of an unassuming nurse who moonlights as a one-woman avenger by night.

Tickets for the festival will go on sale Jan. 6. Hollywood Theatre members will receive exclusive pre-sale ticket access to the Pam Grier event beginning on Jan. 4.

The 2017 Portland Black Film Festival is made possible through the support of the Fred W. Fields Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation. 

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