“Get In The Way: A Journey Of John Lewis” Film Screening

Start Date:February 18, 2017

Time:8:00 pm To 10:00 pm

Location: Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 West Washington Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA

The first major documentary biography of Lewis, Get in the Way is a riveting, highly personalized narrative of an epic chapter in U.S. history that touches audiences deeply. Showing no sign of stopping soon, this U.S. Congressman and human rights champion demonstrates an unflagging insistence on standing up to injustice wherever he finds it using strategy, legislation and direct action.

The son of sharecroppers, John Lewis grew up in rural isolation, seemingly destined to a bleak, segregation-imposed future. But his fate took a different turn, and Lewis rose from Alabama’s Black Belt to the corridors of power on Capitol Hill, his humble origins forever linking him to those whose voices customarily go unheard. A man of the people, a Congressional elder statesman, Lewis is as exceptional as he is ordinary.

A film by Kathleen Dowdey, “John Lewis – Get in the Way” is the first biographical documentary about John Lewis, an inspiring portrait of one man cast into extraordinary times and his unhesitating dedication to seeking justice for the marginalized and ignored. The film spans more than half a century, tracing Lewis’ journey of courage, confrontations and hard-won triumphs.

At the age of 15, John Lewis’ life changed forever when he heard Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the radio. It was 1955, during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and Lewis listened with rapt attention as the young preacher called for resistance to the harsh injustice of segregation. Notably, Dr. King exhorted those listening to fight not with weapons but with proven tools of nonviolence.

Lewis embraced Dr. King’s spiritual call with a fervor that would determine the course of the rest of his life. A student activist in the vanguard of the Civil Rights Movement, Lewis was arrested and jailed for the first time during the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins in 1960. A front-line general during the 1961 Freedom Rides, he was repeatedly assaulted by angry, unrestrained mobs.

More About “John Lewis – Get in the Way”

He was the youngest speaker at the historic 1963 March on Washington, where Dr. King delivered his legendary “I Have a Dream” speech. And in March 1965, Lewis led the Bloody Sunday march in Selma, where Alabama State Troopers attacked peaceful protesters with billy clubs, bullwhips and tear gas. Their horrific actions were broadcast on nightly news reports into living rooms across America; eight months later, the Voting Rights Act was signed into law.

Through never-before-seen interviews shot over 20 years, Lewis, a masterful storyteller, tells the gripping tale of his role in these history-making events. Other key interviewees include civil rights activists Andrew Young, C.T. Vivian, Juanita Abernathy and Bernard Lafayette, plus Lewis’ congressional colleagues Eleanor Holmes Norton, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Emanuel Cleaver and Amory Houghton.

Once an activist pushing from the outside, Lewis, now 76 years old, has become a determined legislator making noise on the inside. Considered by many to be the conscience of Congress, with equal measures of modesty and forcefulness, Lewis strives to persuade D.C. powerbrokers to hear the voices of the unheard. He fights for those suffering from discrimination, poverty, poor education, police brutality, inaccessible healthcare and limitations on voter rights. Despite setbacks – and there have been many – John Lewis’ eyes remain on the prize.

SPMG MEDIA – SUBSCRIBE TODAY! 

 

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SPMG Media- Today in History: 1920 – 1st Black baseball league, National Negro Baseball League, organizes

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Baseball was originally played by men in rival athletic clubs for recreation. After the Civil War in 1865, baseball’s popularity increased dramatically. At this early time it was still an amateur sport that attracted all races. There were all-white and all-black teams as well as some integrated teams. The integrated teams were abolished when, on December 11, 1868, black ballplayers were barred from participation by the National Association of Baseball Players. The association’s governing body voted unanimously to forbid any club which was composed of one or more people of color from participating.
 
When baseball achieved professional status the next season, professional teams were not restricted by the amateur association’s ruling and thus allowed integrated teams. By the 1890s African Americans were increasingly excluded from the professional teams, and by the start of the 20th century no black players were in professional baseball. In spite of their exclusion, black baseball players formed and played in all-black teams.
 
The first black professional team was the Cuban Giants, formed in 1885. The newly formed black teams played as independent ball clubs until the organization of the first black league in 1920. That year Rube Foster, known as the father of black baseball, founded the Negro National League. In 1923, Ed Bolden formed the Eastern Colored League. These two leagues thrived for several years, but eventually declined because of financial difficulties. In 1933, a new Negro National League was formed and the Negro American League was chartered in 1937. These two leagues prospered until the color line was broken. At their height the Negro Baseball Leagues held World Series and all-star games. They were especially successful in World War II when black urbanites, flush with cash from well-paid defense jobs, crowded into stadiums across the nation. The Negro Baseball Leagues provided African Americans their own American pastime.
 
The end of Negro League Baseball came quickly after World War II. In 1947 the reintegration of the baseball leagues started with the signing of Jackie Robinson by the Brooklyn Dodgers (New York). Robinson became the first 20th Century black baseball player allowed in the all-white professional leagues. After that signing, this was soon followed by the signing of other leading Negro League players, the Negro Baseball Leagues quickly and quietly folded.
 
Sources:
Donn Rogosin, Invisible Men: Life in Baseball’s Negro Leagues (New York : Athenaeum, 1983) Pat McKissack and Frederick McKissack, Jr., Black Diamond : The Story of the Negro Baseball Leagues (New York: Scholastic, 1994) Bill L. Weaver, “The Black Press and the Assault on Professional Baseball’s ‘Color Line,’ October, 1945-April, 1947.” Phylon 40.4 (1979): 303-317
 

Eight years ago today we elected Barack Obama President of the United States.

 

“The road ahead will be long… our climb will be steep… We may not get there in one year or even one term… There will be setbacks and false starts.”

This week we should think about Barack Obama’s words on this night 8 years ago, “As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, ‘We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.’” #SPMGMedia

SPMG Media: Today in History – 1973 President Nixon tells AP “…people have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook”

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On this day in 1973, in the midst of the Watergate scandal that eventually ended his presidency, President Richard Nixon tells a group of newspaper editors gathered at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, that he is “not a crook.”

Nixon made the now-famous declaration during a televised question-and-answer session with Associated Press editors. Nixon, who appeared “tense” to a New York Times reporter, was questioned about his role in the Watergate burglary scandal and efforts to cover up the fact that members of his re-election committee had funded the break-in. Nixon replied “people have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook. I’ve earned everything I’ve got.” He did, however, admit that he was at fault for failing to supervise his campaign’s fund-raising activities.

At one point during the discussion, Nixon gave a morbid response to an unrelated question about why he chose not to fly with back-up to Air Force One when traveling, the usual security protocol for presidential flights. He told the crowd that by taking just one aircraft he was saving energy, money and possibly time spent in the impeachment process: “if this one [plane] goes down,” he said, “they don’t have to impeach [me].”

Nixon was trying to be funny, but in fact the scandal was taking a toll on his physical and mental health. In Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward’s book All the President’s Men, Nixon is described at this time as being “a prisoner in his own house—secretive, distrustful… combative, sleepless.” Nixon’s protestations of innocence with regard to the Watergate cover-up were eventually eroded by a relentless federal investigation.

Richard Nixon resigned on August 8, 1974.

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