City of Asylum @ Alphabet City
Wendell Grimkie Freeland was an important but little known African American leader, civil rights attorney, activist, and Tuskegee Airman who worked quietly but effectively on all of the significant civil rights battles of his time.
A powerful advocate for the poor and disenfranchised, Wendell G. Freeland devoted 70 years to fighting injustice wherever he found it – from the age of Jim Crow to the presidency of Barack Obama. He served as Chairman of the Urban League of Pittsburgh’s Board of Directors and as a Senior Vice President of the National Urban League Board of Trustees. He blazed a trail for racial equality by working largely behind the scenes in America’s courtrooms, boardrooms, and political backrooms. This is his inspirational story and a significant piece of American history.
Filmmaker Billy Jackson will lead the Q&A after the screening!
Billy Jackson is a national award winning documentarian and principal owner of NOMMO Productions, which has produced more than 50 documentary, dramatic, and promotional films. A devoted educator, Jackson was an associate professor at Emerson College, taught film courses at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, and worked as a consultant/designer on educational curricula. He earned his undergraduate degree from Northeastern University and M.Ed. from Harvard University, and has made a lifelong study of youth education in media arts. He has served on panels for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and on the boards of corporations and many media, social service, and arts organizations. He remains committed to documenting and teaching the history and culture of Africans in America, to increasing resources for media arts and multicultural programming, and to providing greater opportunities for developing artists.
Sembène – The Film & Art Festival – is a group of scholars, activists and film aficionados. Our mission is to celebrate the life, showcase the work and honor the legacy of African Filmmaker Ousmane Sembene, through film and other complementary cultural events.
The Festival serves both as a vehicle and catalyst: to honor the life, work and legacy of Ousmane Sembene and to showcase film makers and other art/cultural events that speak, unflinchingly, to the important issues facing the modern African Diaspora.