Art In This Cultural Moment
In mid-2014, Brothers' Network Board Member and Tony-nominated actor Colman Domingowas summoned to play a role in a film by Ava DuVernay, an established filmmaker who was working on a film about Martin Luther King. At the time, Mr. Domingo was scheduled to star in a three-week run of his own autobiographical one-man show, "A Boy and His Soul," at the Philadelphia Theatre Company. After much reflection and lots of thought, Mr. Domingo postponed the engagement in order totake the role.
At left: Brothers' Network Creative Director Gregory T. Walker with Ava DuVernay, director of the new film "Selma," at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia.
The change of engagement left his friends, admirers and fellow Brothers' Network members in Philadelphia a bit bereft, for the opening of the show was to have been the centerpiece of The Brothers' Network's annual Black-Tie Gala Fundraiser, featuring a performance of the show and an exclusive post-performance conversation with Mr. Domingo.
Nonetheless, we were excited over Mr. Domingo's change of plans, and the reason why will open in New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta on Christmas Day.
Colman Domingo (second from left) plays The Rev. Ralph David Abernathy in "Selma."
The Ava DuVernay film "Selma," produced by Oprah Winfrey and featuring Colman Domingo as The Rev. Ralph David Abernathy, opens in New York and Los Angeles on , in theaters across the United States , and later in the year in Europe and the United Kingdom. The film received four Golden Globe nominations, including Best Picture-Drama, Best Actor-Drama, and Best Director for Ms. DuVernay, the first black woman to be so honored.
For more information about this film, follow @TheBroNet and @avaetc on Twitter and search on #SELMAmovie and #BlackArtMatters.
Above: Mike Dennis of Reelblack, Christopher Norris of Techbook Online Corporation and Gregory T. Walker.
The Brothers' Network has worked in conjunction with Reelblack and Ms. DuVernay's company, AFFRM, to build audiences for the work of this gifted filmmaker, and I recently had the opportunity to sit and talk with her about her own career from publicist to film producer, her filmmaking process, and the brilliance of Colman Domingo.
The genius of "Selma" arises from its capturing of the intellectual discourse and dialogue among the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. Listen as they carefully plan the strategy for the movement and the march. No other film has captured the intellectual capacity of not only Dr. King, but also The Rev. Ralph Abernathy, James Farmer, John Lewis, and Bayard Rustin as they prepared for what became a watershed moment in the history of the Civil Rights Movement and a spur to the passage of the Voting Rights Act. Ms. DuVernay gets the language right.
This is another moment in time that reinforces and re-emphasizes the importance of The Brothers' Network's mission, vision and values, which underscore the intersection of art, life and culture through works that engage and examine the thinking of black men such as Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement leaders and organizers featured in "Selma."
The cast of "Selma" engages in a unity exercise during filming.
We could not be happier or more proud of Ava DuVernay selecting Mr. Domingo to play The Rev. Ralph David Abernathy in the film "Selma." He is seen by Dr. King's side in nearly every frame of the film. We encourage you to see "Selma," listen to its language, and learn about the role of history as it relates to the matters of today. On Christmas Day, we invite our brothers and friends in New York, Atlanta and Los Angeles to see this informative, engaging, and enlightening film that you can view alone or with friends.Do not miss this film. Purchase your tickets now for screenings on Christmas Day in Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta.
The Brothers' Network will invite its members and friends to a conversation about the film shortly after it opens in cities across America in January.
-Gregory T. Walker, Creative Director, The Brothers' Network