Downtown Mall : Vinegar Hill Theatre
Birth of a Movement2017. USA. 75 min.
Director: Bestor Cram, Susan Gray Featuring: Vincent Brown, Dolita Cathcart, Jelani Cobb.
Preceded by the short film Legacies of Slavery (10 min.)
When D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation was first released in 1915, African American newspaper editor and activist William M. Trotter ignited efforts to stop the Ku Klux Klan-friendly film from reaching audiences. Trotter organized protests against the harmful blockbuster in the Boston area, condemning the regressive images of African Americans in the film. Based on Dick Lehr’s book The Birth of a Movement: How Birth of a Nation Ignited the Battle for Civil Rights, this documentary illuminates the beginning of long-waged battles over media representation, freedom of speech, and the influence of Hollywood. Discussion with Hasan Kwame Jeffries (Ohio State University)
Presented by James Madison’s Montpelier