The Wright Museum


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Black Cinema Café presents a free film screening and discussion of The Scroll, sponsored by Fifth Third Bank, at 2 pm and again at 5 pm at The Wright Museum.


The problem with preachers is that they preach. Their strength is their stories. Filmmaker Parrish Smith introduces viewers to the difference in a new documentary trilogy, “The Scroll: Evidence of Life Unseen.”  “Dad told stories and they held my attention,” says Smith, 36, who grew up in Newark as a preacher’s kid. “And that taught me to teach other people.”  Smith screened his documentary trilogy during the recent American Black Film Festival. The three films showcase some of the best-known ministers in America: T. D. Jakes, Al Sharpton, Jeremiah Wright, Hezekiah Walker, Frederick K. C. Price and many others.  Even some leaders better known for their singing are included, such as Della Reese and Shirley Caesar. Also among the five women on the list are Vashti McKenzie, the first female bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.


Rather than recording sermons, Smith recorded stories. Some of the stories talked about sinful lives, such as drug dealing, from which the ministers themselves were saved. They also may offer metaphors like T.D. Jakes’ theme on “living suspended.”  “He was saying that you don’t know if you will succeed or reach a goal,” Smith says. “God keeps you suspended until you reach the goal. But faith pulls you through.”  


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The Black Cinema Café (BCC) is a national film screening and discussion series showcasing films written, produced or directed by persons of or that offer fresh perspectives and non stereotypical portrayal of the culture or lifestyles of people from African descent.  The BCC brand is an original and unique concept as it features screenings of independent and studio films in a café or lounge like environment and provides an alternative to the typical movie going experience. Each event features a film screening, a networking component and a Q&A. Black Cinema Café’s have been held in various venues and in the following markets: New York, NY, Brooklyn, NY, Washington, DC, Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Oakland, Cleveland, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Houston and Newark, NJ.  Sponsors have included Grand Marnier, Motorola, Gentle Treatment, and Black Starz! Ford Motors, Vibe, A/X Armani Exchange, Kenneth Cole, American Airlines, Nielsen Media Research, Nextel. Media coverage has included The New Yorker, Variety Magazine, The New York Magazine, Daily News, The New York Times, Vibe, Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Hour Magazine, Detroit Free Press, Michigan Citizen, Sister 2 Sister, Metro Connection, Tastemaker’s Magazine and Rolling Out Magazine.