I missed the civil rights movement, but at the third March on Washington Film Festival, I was transfixed.
That decades old history is so much a part of our present.
Those 20th century moments are sending shout-outs to this one: Here’s how it was, here are our stories — don’t they sound familiar — and Lord, it’s good to see you.
Of course, that last part is just the old movement folks in the audience having their little reunions during the festival, which ends Saturday. FULL STORY
Occurring from July 15-25, 2015, the March on Washington Film Festival enters its third year. Originated in Washington D.C. on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the march itself, it now exists with the express goal of maintaining a social and cultural link to the civil rights movement. Now, three years later the festival’s goals — much like the civil rights movement’s goals — encompass everything from creating positive spaces to discussing troubling issues surrounding race and racism to improving the presentation of the movement as an educational tool.
Brightest Young Things had the opportunity to speak with Beth Lynk, a Senior Associate at The Raben Group and an Associate Producer at the March on Washington Film Festival. With a compassionate eye aimed at awareness, education and preservation of the movement’s legacy, she does well in addressing the importance of the festival. FULL STORY
Not all heroes of the civil rights movement became household names. Consider Harry T. Moore.
On Christmas night in 1951, a bomb ripped through Moore’s house, killing him and his wife. Moore, the president of the NAACP in Florida, was helping defend three young black people accused of raping a white woman. No one was ever indicted in Moore’s death, and though the incident is considered by some as the start of the civil rights movement, his name doesn’t carry the same recognition today as leading movement figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.
“Moore’s name is kind of forgotten as a martyr of the civil rights movement,” Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gilbert King told a packed house at the third annual March on Washington Film Festival. FULL STORY
“Mention Fannie Lou Hamer in many of the nation’s classrooms, or in some offices on Capitol Hill, for that matter, and chances are the civil rights icon’s name might garner more blank stares than recognition.
“Hamer, a Mississippi sharecropper with a sixth-grade education who became a voting rights advocate at a time when registering meant risking your life, was the focus of Wednesday’s opening night of the March on Washington Film Festival. The festival runs through July 25 and is free, but the required reserve tickets have been in high demand.” FULL STORY
“The 1960s, a pivotal decade for the progress of African-Americans will be remembered, discussed and celebrated through independent lens focusing on the storied events and often overlooked individuals of the civil rights movement.
“The March on Washington Film Festival kicked off Wednesday with a screening of ‘This Little Light of Mine: Fannie Lou Hamer,’ at Metropolitan A.M.E. Church in Northwest.” FULL STORY
Clarence Jones writes in the Huffington Post:
“Attending The March on Washington film Festival here in DC has provoked lots of memories and reflection. The Festival presents films on civil rights related subjects over a period of several days. It challenges participants to think about our nation’s history of struggle for civil rights in relation to subsequent events such as the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, police chokehold death of Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York, the death of Freddie Gray in police custody in Baltimore, and the alleged jail suicide of 28-year-old Sandra Bland following her earlier arrest by police for a traffic infraction.” FULL PIECE
The New York Times’ Jada Smith writes about our opening night:
WASHINGTON — Septuagenarians from the era of the civil rights movement slowly climbed the steps of Metropolitan A.M.E. church here, some receiving kisses on the cheek from the young man at the door. They mingled with other generations — throngs of government workers, young law students inspired by recent protests, and even a few lesser-known legends of that struggle.
They gathered for the opening of the March on Washington Film Festival, which focuses largely on the midcentury struggle for civil rights and is intended as much to kindle activism as to showcase new films. The festival began Wednesday at the church with the new documentary “This Little Light of Mine: The Legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer,” directed by Robin N. Hamilton. FULL STORY
“A film festival focused on increasing awareness of the events and heroes of the civil rights movement is under way in Washington.
“The March on Washington film festival opened Wednesday and runs through July 25. Screenings will be held at sites across the city, including at memorials, museums and the Capitol Visitor Center.” LINK
The Clarion-Ledger, from Jackson, Miss., covered our opening night, featuring Mississippi hero Fannie Lou Hamer.
WASHINGTON – Civil rights activists, lawmakers and others gathered Wednesday night in a historic black church in Washington, D.C., to honor the work of the late Fannie Lou Hamer, a Mississippi native.
“She made it very plain for the people,” said Dorie Ladner, a Hattiesburg native who worked with Hamer. “We’re continuing to see what she’s contributed.”
The Wednesday night tribute to Hamer kicked off a week of events celebrating the civil rights movement, including a film on Louisiana’s Ruby Bridges this Saturday and an event next Tuesday honoring women involved in the movement. The events are part of the March on Washington Film Festival.