The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Black History Month Film Festival celebrates Black film, facilitates discussion

The+Black+History+Month+Film+Festival+includes+the+screening+of+six+movies+and+documentaries+throughout+February.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+the+Lafayette+College+Libraries%29
The Black History Month Film Festival includes the screening of six movies and documentaries throughout February. (Photo courtesy of the Lafayette College Libraries)

If you missed Sundance, don’t worry — Lafayette will be hosting its own film festival throughout February in recognition of Black History Month.

The Black History Month Film Festival is sponsored by the Lafayette College Libraries, Association of Black Collegians (ABC), Office of Intercultural Development (OID), Africana Studies (AFS) and Film and Media Studies (FAMS).

The festival will screen six films that were suggested and voted on by Black students at Lafayette. The films being shown include blockbuster hits like “Get Out” and “BlacKkKlansman,” as well as the documentaries “The Darker Side of Black,” “Unmarked,” “I Am Not Your Negro” and “Is That Black Enough For You?!?” Each film screening will also include a discussion on important themes and takeaways.

The idea started after the library reached out to ABC, OID, AFS and FAMS about collaborating on the film festival. According to library administrative and access services specialist Kate Pitts, since the library has existing relationships with film licensing agencies, they were able to handle the logistics of researching what films could be screened publicly and obtaining public performance licenses for those films. ABC event coordinator Ariana Welch ’26 facilitated film suggestions and voting from ABC members. AFS professor Wendy Wilson-Fall and FAMS professor Katherine Groo also provided film suggestions.

“Part of the library’s mission is to encourage the Lafayette community to engage critically in all types of information; we felt that a Black film festival would be a great way to get the community interacting with Black voices and stories,” visual resources curator Sarah Beck wrote in an email.

ABC president Matwos Tadesse ‘24 said that he and the rest of the organization loved the idea of the film festival.

“This is also a way to expose our club because this is not exclusive to our club members; it’s open to everybody else,” Tadesse said. “So we love the idea of exposing people to what ABC is, what we do and how long we’ve been here.”

According to director of intercultural development Rob Young ‘14, OID was also excited to participate in the collaboration.

“Selfishly, in my bias as a FAMS major, I always think that art, food and entertainment is the gateway to culture … If it doesn’t feel like a lecture, if it doesn’t feel like class, that is a great opportunity for people to connect and engage,” Young said.

In addition to the film festival, OID will host Lehigh art and design professor Berrisford Boothe ‘83 as the month’s keynote speaker. Boothe’s interests include “the intersectionality of art as it relates to identity,” according to Young.

Ultimately, the film festival’s organizers hope that the spirit of Black History Month will carry past February.

“Black History should not only be recognized or celebrated one month during the year, and anyone interested in learning more can search the Library catalog for books, films, and digital archives about the national and local history of the black experience,” Pitts wrote in an email.

“This is … Lafayette’s Black history, but it’s also a history of Lafayette history as a whole,” Tadesse said.

Those who are interested can watch “I Am Not Your Negro” on Wednesday, Feb. 15, “Is That Black Enough For You?!?” on Monday, Feb. 20 and “BlacKkKlansman” on Tuesday, Feb. 28. All films will be screened at 4:15 p.m. in Hugel 103.

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Shirley Liu, Managing Editor
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