Syracuse organizations come together to host Black History Month movie nights

Syracuse organizations come together to host Black History Month movie nights

Several organizations are joining hands to celebrate Black History Month by providing the Syracuse community with Saturday movie nights.

Event attendees will receive a Black History refresher and a performance. Every Saturday from 4-8 p.m., Syracuse residents of all ages can enjoy snacks while watching biographical films and documentaries depicting the lives of prominent black people in history.

Films to be released include “Just Mercy”, “Eyes on the Prize”, “Something God Made” and “Queen of Katwei”.

Jackie Lasonde, one of the organizers of the event, said movie nights will kick off with a screening of “Selma” this Saturday at the Brighton Academy at 309 W. Brighton Ave.

“Hopefully there will always be that learning element,” Lasonde said. “Come just for the information; stay for entertainment, snacks and adults too. Really when we say inclusive, it’s open to everyone because it’s part of our whole history. And so we’re just starting a conversation.

A handful of local organizations, such as the Greater Syracuse Southside Neighborhood Association, Project SOUL., Book of Job, 100 Black Men of Syracuse, and Beauchamp Library, helped organize the film event and also helped organize choose the films that will be screened.

According to Lasonde, Syracuse Schools Superintendent Anthony Davis was a big help in planning the film series and getting the word out to students and families.

“We are delighted to join the superintendent who has graciously allowed us to use the school and facilities just to bring the children back to a familiar place where they go to school; therefore, we think they will likely be more comfortable in their own school,” Lasonde said.

Choosing uplifting films about black history was the priority. When deciding which films to show, Lasonde said it’s important to show films that inspire and allow viewers to take away something insightful. For this reason, it was decided not to show any films including slaves.

“Don’t make our beginning and ending chapter about slavery because there are so many stories to be told and so many things left unsaid,” Lasonde said. “So we’re trying to shine a light here because of all the things besides this bad thing that happened.”

This is the first year the film series will take place, but hopefully not the last. Lasonde said the goal is to have cohesive community outreach events that are informative and fun.

“That’s our goal,” Lasonde said. “Certainly, during and even after Black History Month, so that we can continue. Anyway, it shouldn’t be just us, but we will join other interested groups.


What: Black History Month Movie Nights

Where: Brighton Academy at 309 W. Brighton Ave.

When: Every Saturday in February from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

How much: Free

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