ANDERSON -- Black History Month will come to a close with the Madison County Community Health Center’s first film festival.
The Health Center will show three PBS documentaries over three days, with a panel discussion following each film.
Viewers will see “Slavery by Another Name,” “Eyes on the Prize” and “The Power Broker” on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, respectively.
The Health Center conducted a focus group and decided showing the movies would add to the culture of Anderson, said Anthony Malone, president and chief executive officer.
“We hope what it would do is No. 1: give an educational insight to all attendees about the rich heritage, as well as the suffering the blacks have endured in building this country and why they should not feel entitled to, but earned a right to a piece of the American pie,” he said. “We want it to be an educational experience in an entertainment venue, and an event to remember the progress made in this community.”
The festival will kick off Thursday with a black tie reception before showing “Slavery by Another Name,” a film that challenges most Americans’ belief that slavery ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. It was shown at the 2012 Sundance Festival and is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book.
On Friday, “Eyes on the Prize” will show how people, organizations and the press affected the civil rights movement from the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1954 to 1985.
The Black History Film Festival will conclude Sunday with “The Power Broker,” a documentary about the little-known role Whitney Young Jr. played in the civil rights movement.
Malone said the films were chosen based on their political, economic and social impacts, as well as their various talking points for the panel discussions. The films are thought-provoking and give insight into the growth of African Americans in the United States, he said.
While the films may focus on history, Malone said they can also help people examine current issues African Americans face in the country. He noted the racial issues surrounding high- profile court cases such as the George Zimmerman trial in Florida and its implications on the public.
Lelia Kelley, program coordinator, said she hopes people of all ages and backgrounds attend the festival.
“Youth participation in civic society is a process that empowers youth to shape their own future,” she said via email. “However, many times they are left out of the very processes that impact their lives.
The film festival is an opportunity to inform the public through entertainment, Malone said.
“It will show why black Americans, such as the Jewish, must never forget their struggles and their heritage,” he said.
All showings are free and open to the public at the Madison County Community Health Center, 1547 Ohio Ave.
The festival will open with “Slavery by Another Name at 6 p.m. Thursday. “Eyes on the Prize will play at 6:30 p.m. Friday, and “The Power Broker” will show at 3 p.m. Sunday.
Like Kelly Dickey on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @KellyD_THB, or call 640-4805.
If you go... The festival will open with "Slavery by Another Name" at 6 p.m. Thursday. A discussion moderated by Edward Foggs will follow with Rodney Cummings, Geoff Yelton, Sylvia Bogle, Shania McNutt and Chelsea Phillips. "Eyes on the Prize" will play at 6:30 p.m. Friday, followed by a discussion moderated by Primus Mootry with a panel comprising of Judy Streeter, James Burgess, Bill Jackson, Da'Prielle Fuller and Ivana Morgan. The festival will conclude with a showing of "The Power Broker" at 3 p.m. Sunday, with a discussion moderated by Anthony Malone. Lyndsey Brown, John Bostic, Manual Hunt and Freddie Thurman will be on the panel. The panel lineups for the discussions are subject to change.