Documentary on Maya Angelou to headline CW’s Black History Month

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Jeanna Moutoussamy-Ashe took and hand-colored this photograph of Maya Angelou in 1993, after which Angelou kept it in her personal collection. The Muscarelle's Board of Directors won their bid for the image last month. (Courtesy Muscarelle Museum of Art)
Jeanna Moutoussamy-Ashe took and hand-colored this photograph of Maya Angelou in 1993, after which Angelou kept it in her personal collection. The Muscarelle’s board of directors acquired the image in 2015. (Courtesy Muscarelle Museum of Art)

A new documentary about poet-activist Maya Angelou will headline Colonial Williamsburg’s Black History Month.

“Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise” will screen at the Kimball Theatre at 7 p.m. on Feb. 10 as part of the “Films of Faith and Freedom” series, according to a release. The documentary will premiere nationwide on PBS on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

Other films scheduled for the series include: “Loving,” which was released in 2016; “Moonlight,” which won the 2017 Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture in drama; “Rejoice and Shout,” a 2010 documentary about American gospel music; “Black Girl,” a 1966 French-language film about a woman from Senegal working as a servant in France; and “Free Angela and all Political Prisoners,” a 2012 documentary about scholar-activist Angela Davis.

Tickets for “And Still I Rise,” “Loving” and “Moonlight” cost $8.50 for adults and $7 for students and senior citizens. Tickets to the other films are $5.

Williamsburg’s historic First Baptist Church, 727 Scotland St., will celebrate Black History Month with the theme, “Let Freedom Ring: The Journey Continues.” Members of the public are invited to ring the congregation’s Freedom Bell, which rang last year for the first time since segregation. The bell also went to Washington, D.C. last fall to mark the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

“This year during Black History Month, we join with the Church again to invite the nation to ‘Let Freedom Ring,’ and to experience year-round a wide range of films, programs and exhibits at Colonial Williamsburg that confront the complexity of our nation and its founding,” Colonial Williamsburg President and CEO Mitchell B. Reiss said in the release.

Last year, more than 4,000 people rang the Freedom Bell.

“The thousands who answered the call and rang the bell over the past year have not only made a statement affirming justice and peace, but they have helped heal themselves and the nation we compose,” Rev. Dr. Reginald F. Davis, pastor of First Baptist Church, said in the release. “We invite others from near and far to follow in their historic footsteps, and ‘Let Freedom Ring.’”

Black History Month at the Kimball will also bring “Journey to Redemption,” which explores the challenges faced by actor interpreters in Colonial Williamsburg when they portray 18th-century enslaved people and slaveholders.

A featured performer in “Journey to Redemption” is Katrinah Lewis, the artistic director for actor interpreters. She plays the roles of Lydia Broadnax and Jenny.

“It gives us a deeper understanding of who we were to help us continue to determine who we want to be,” Lewis said in the release.

Other Black History month programs at the Kimball include: “God is My Rock,” which features James Ingram as Rev. Gowan Pamphlet, the founding pastor of First Baptist Church; and “Faith, Hope, Love,” a musical program.

Throughout February, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum will host its ongoing exhibit, “A Century of African-American Quilts.” The exhibit continues through May 2018 in the Foster and Muriel McCarl Gallery.

To find out more about Black History Month in Colonial Williamsburg, call 855-296-6627 or visit colonialwilliamsburg.com.

Movie tickets for the Films of Faith and Freedom series can be purchased here.

To register to visit First Baptist Church and ring the Freedom Bell, go here.