Music Center offers Lewis doc watch party

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From City News Service

LOS ANGELES — The Music Center is among more than five dozen arts and cultural institutions collaborating on a nationwide watch party and live virtual conversation for “John Lewis: Good Trouble,” a newly released documentary which chronicles the life of the late Democratic lawmaker and civil rights icon.

The film’s $12 rental fee includes a $5 donation to the Music Center and is available for streaming through Sept. 30. Patrons can visit the Music Center Offstage — https://www.musiccenter.org/tmc-offstage/john-lewis-good-trouble/ — to rent the Magnolia Films documentary and sign up for the free live virtual conversation on Sept. 21.

John Lewis is a larger than life figure whose resolve and many sacrifices gave rise to a righteous movement,” said Rachel S. Moore, the Music Center’s president and CEO. “His resonating voice forever rings loud as a reminder for each of us to get into ‘good trouble, necessary trouble’ to make sure America becomes a more perfect union. The Music Center is proud to join our peers in the arts for this important nationwide watch party to honor the legacy of this American legend.”

Lewis — who served in Congress for more than three decades — was an organizer, along with Martin Luther King Jr., of the March on Washington in 1963, a seminal moment in the civil rights movement that led to the passage of voting rights for Blacks two years later.

The son of Alabama sharecroppers, Lewis was an original Freedom Rider challenging segregation, discrimination and injustice in the Deep South. He died of pancreatic cancer on July 17 in Atlanta at the age of 80.

Directed by Dawn Porter, “John Lewis: Good Trouble” chronicles and celebrates his 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health care reform and immigration.

Featuring both rare archival footage and exclusive interviews, the documentary explores Lewis’ childhood experiences, his inspiring family and his fateful meeting with King in 1957.

In addition to her interviews with Lewis and his family, Porter’s film also includes interviews with political leaders, congressional colleagues and others who figured prominently in his life.

The rental includes two extra features: film of an interview Lewis conducted with Oprah Winfrey shortly before his death, as well as a one-hour panel, recorded in July, between Porter and two of Lewis’ fellow original Freedom Riders, Dr. Bernard Lafayette and Dr. Rip Patton.

On Sept. 21 at 4 p.m., after screening the film, audiences are invited to join the free, live interactive Zoom-based panel discussion about Lewis’ history and impact on the social justice struggles of today. Porter will be joined by panelists Ras J. Baraka, mayor of Newark, New Jersey; Khalil Gibran Muhammad, a professor of history, race and public policy at Harvard Kennedy School and director of the Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Project; and Lonnie G. Bunch III, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, who worked extensively with Lewis to establish the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

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