Friday, February 14, 2014

We Lift You Up (Rhoades)

“We Lift You Up” Celebrates Black History Month

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Back in 1926 the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History chose the second week in February as Negro History Week, because it marked the birthday of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas. This was the precursor to Black History Month, the event we currently celebrate.

This expansion into Black History Month was recognized in 1976 as part of America’s Bicentennial,. President Gerald Ford urged that we "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

The United Kingdom officially recognized Black History Month in 1987 and Canada came on board in 1995.

Key West’s Tropic Cinema is in the midst of its annual homage to Black History Month, a program that includes a series of Spike Lee films. While you may have missed “Do the Right Thing,” coming up on successive Monday nights is “Get on the Bus” and “Inside Man.”

However, the centerpiece of this Black History Month celebration is an event called “We Lift You Up,” a partnership between Trinity Presbyterian Church and Tropic Cinema.

Beginning at 2:30 this coming Sunday is a “Soul Food and Caribbean Feast Like None Other” at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Fellowship Hall and Garden. That’s followed at 4 p.m. at the Tropic by a performance of the Heavenly Express Gospel Group of Miami. And at 4:30 the Tropic will host a screening of “A Family Thing,” a dramedy starring James Earl Jones and Robert Duvall.

This poignant little film tells of a Southerner (Duval) who learns that he is half-black and has a brother living in Chicago. The pilgrimage to meet his black family doesn’t go smoothly, as his half-brother (Jones) blames that side of the family for his mother’s death during childbirth. The confrontations are expected and the outcome predictable … but when you get two old pros like James Earl Jones and Robert Duvall on the screen, you can be sure you’ll be riveted by their performances.

Tickets to the “We Lift You Up” event include supper, concert, and the film.

No comments: