Below we present a list of recommendations from Rev. Kym McNair, MaryAnn Carr and Stephanie McCaine. 

Rev. Kym McNair Viewing Suggestions
Rev. Kym McNair is an organizer who believes these movies express the universality of the human experience as seen through the eyes of people whose stories are often not told.

Carmen Jones – Starring Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte and Pearl Bailey
Available on iTunes, Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu
This 1954 version of Carmen is set during World War II and is my favorite telling of this story. Otto Preminger’s retelling of Bizet’s well-known opera with an all-Black cast doesn’t miss any of the love and tragedy of the human experience. On the contrary, the casting reveals the universality of these themes.   

Black Panther 
Available Disney+, iTunes, Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play, FandangoNOW, Vudu
This seems like the obvious choice, but there is more to this movie than the story of a prince named T’Challa turned ruler of the mythical Wakanda. Ruth Carter, the amazingly creative woman behind the costume design, deserves her own place in the Marvel Comic Universe. Through her vision, Wakanda becomes a mixture of cultures and colors that bring the story to life and gives many of us an enormous sense of pride.

MaryAnn Carr Viewing Suggestions
MaryAnn Carr is the Supervisor for the Town of Bedford

Ray
Available on HBO, HBO Max, iTunes, Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu
Ray Charles overcame three major adversities: a physical disability, substance abuse, and intense racial/social injustices.  One would think going blind would have been the most challenging of the three, but it wasn’t.   He didn’t allow himself to be defined by his disability or conform to the Jim Crow rules –by performing before segregated audiences. This is a story of great pain and triumphs.  “#Georgia On My Mind” 

42 
Available on  iTunes, Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu
The Jackie Robinson Story-42 is not just another predictable biopic of the legendary famous Black baseball player that made it to the National League.  The dignity, grace and performance by which is expected, is impossible to meet, except  #42 is grace personified on and off the baseball field. 

American Son
Available on Netflix
Race, gender and class are at the forefront of this movie, when a young student has an encounter with a police officer.   Lots of assumptions are made initially.  The father shows up about halfway through the movie and the atmosphere and tone in the room shifts dramatically.

Antwone Fisher
Available on iTunes, Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play, FandangoNOW, Vudu
This true story is about abuses endured, that manifests into mental illness.  When mental illness is left untreated, it becomes a dangerous weapon for anyone within striking distance.    The irony here is who’s helping who?!

Marshall
Available on Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu
Marshall tells the true story of a young Thurgood Marshall long before his notoriety of serving as Justice on the US Supreme Court.  The film starts-when the young attorney, Thurgood Marshall is sent to CT to  defend a Black man that has allegedly committed a heinous crime. This movie has some interesting  twists and turns, that will keep you guessing until the very end.  The other treat is seeing this beautiful trusting relationship develop between two attorneys from different backgrounds and cultures working on a common cause they believe in.

The Hate You Give
Available on Prime Video
A family strives to make a better life for themselves, while combating the neighborhood Drug Lord, to get caught up in the national news over a fatal shooting.

Stephanie McCaine Viewing Suggestions
Stephanie McCaine is the Associate Director of Admissions and DEI Committee Chair at The Harvey School and is currently serving on the Bedford Town Board.

Hidden Figures
Available on Disney+, iTunes, Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu, FuboTV
In a year where we are celebrating how a black woman can propel a whole movement it seems fitting to watch the story of other Black women who moved our country forward from behind the scenes.

Beyonce’s Homecoming
Available on Netflix
A celebration of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) black culture past and present and offers a look at one aspect of black cultural expression that most are not privy to. On top of that, it is an embodiment of black joy which is so important to bring forward as we look back on African American history and uplift Black resilience and fortitude.

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
Available on  HBO, HBO Max, Prime Video, Kanopy
Timely and relevant – from the recent passing of its star Cicely Tyson to the story of a black woman and the fight for racial justice, it offers American history from the perspective of a former black slave.

Remember the Titans
Available on Disney+, iTunes, Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu
One of my all-time favorite movies no matter the month but it also offers a glimpse into some aspects of life after Brown v. Board Education and how that was experienced by both Blacks and Whites. 


Recorded Q&As

Say Her Name- The Life And Death Of Sandra Bland  – Q&A with Directors Kate Davis and David Heilbroner, moderated by Lawrence Otis Graham.

This compelling film and discussion focuses on one of the more controversial cases in recent times in an attempt to uncover the truth behind what really happened to Sandra Bland.

Recorded June 6, 2019 at Bedford Playhouse

Click Here to watch the Q&A

Click here to stream the film


Reading Suggestions: