The Brother’s Network, a non-profit arts organization is showcasing The March on Washington Film Festival.
The festival started Sunday, Sept. 20 and will run virtually for the first time through Sept. 27. The Brother’s Network is an arts presenting and theater-producing organization that melds artistic, archival, curatorial, and editorial practices to signify, solidify and sustain the humanity of Black men locally and globally.
“What’s important for people to know is that The Brother’s Network is mostly a contribution of Black men because they’re often not discussed,” said co-founder Gregory T. Walker. “We want to re-articulate the authenticity of men who are Black. We do that through film, through painting, through sculpture, through wood carvings. People don’t know that there are Black men who blow glass or carve wood professionally.
“People make false assumptions about people who are Black, men and women and then people repeat those false assumptions. We want to stop the lie. We have to eradicate those false assumptions.”
He said some of those false assumptions include that Black men not or less likely to be involved in their family’s and children’s lives and that the majority of Black men are incarcerated when in fact statistics prove that there are actually more Black men enrolled in University than there are in the criminal justice system and more Black men are involved in their family and children’s lives than any other race.
The March on Washington Film Festival aims to provide a unique opportunity to learn and explore history and culture. Viewers will have an opportunity to see and hear leaders of the nation’s civil rights and social justice movement. Passes range from a $25 “all access pass” to a “pay what you can” pass.
The film festival was founded in 2013 in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. The co-founder, Robert Raben, started the festival to “tell the truth about our history.”
The flagship festival, usually held in Washington, D.C., uses film screenings as a platform for panel discussions featuring filmmakers, academics and activists bringing together an audience that is diverse in age, class, and ethnicity.
Over the years, the festival has proven to be a successful civil rights legacy project: connecting with thousands of attendees, attracting celebrities and civil rights icons like Ta-Nehisi Coates, Dorie Ladner, Julian Bond, Judge Damon Keith and many others.
Some of the streamed screenings include “The Baldwin and Buckley Debate Reimagined,” a recreation of the 1965 debate that illuminated the United States’ racial divide. The debate showcases political commentator and staff writer at “The Atlantic” David Frum, and Harvard Kennedy Center’s Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, with rebuttal questions from the Howard University Debate Team.
In a world premier, The late U.S. Rep. John Lewis will be honored with a performance commissioned by dancer Jamal Robert.
Raben said he hopes that viewers will gain a new truthful awareness and knowledge about African-American history. “Everyone should walk out and ask what do I want to fight for and in addition to ‘why didn’t I know that’,,tell the story. I want you to walk out of the experience and say that’s that story I want to tell. I want other people to know that, I want my teachers to teach it and I want my kids to learn it.”