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The Whole Staircase: Films Celebrating 400 Years of African American History & Culture

MoonlightMoonlight (2016)

Kevin Kelly, professor of theatre at Florida School of the Arts, selected this film for inclusion in The Whole Staircase Film Series. When asked why he selected this film, Professor Kelly explained, "A number of years ago I had the great fortune to be involved in the New York premiere of a set of plays by Tarell Alvin McCraney, whose early play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue was adapted by the director Barry Jenkins into the film we’ll be watching together. Tarell is a unique talent, a tremendously gifted and exciting author who can capture lightning in his writing.

Moonlight is an example of the quality and artistry that can come from artists having the means to telling their own stories. Moonlight is a Florida story, an African American story, an AMERICAN story told by a tremendously gifted company of filmmakers. It won the Oscar for Best Picture for a reason."

Professor Kelly earned his M.F.A. from New York University

Screening Dates and Locations

April 17, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. presented by Kevin Kelly
Palatka Campus, Building A, Valhalla Hall

Facia Lee, a student from Florida School of the Arts, will join Professor Kelly to moderate a post-screening discussion.
All are welcome!

September 12, 2019 (no presenter)

5:30 p.m., Palatka Campus Library

Members of the Race Issues Study Circle will be in attendance.

All are welcome to this free event!

If you need an interpreter, please email Dr. Will at least 2 days before the event.

Film Information: Moonlight

"Oscar-winner for Best Picture, MOONLIGHT is a moving and transcendent look at three defining chapters in the life of Chiron, a young man growing up in Miami. His epic journey to adulthood, as a shy outsider dealing with difficult circumstances, is guided by support, empathy and love from the most unexpected places.

Winner of multiple Oscars including Best Picture, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role and Best Adapted Screenplay. Golden Globe winner for Best Motion Picture - Drama. Winner of Best Feature, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Editing at the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

"If you think art should challenge us, then you will embrace writer-director Barry Jenkins' exquisitely crafted drama "Moonlight." It's a true American masterpiece and one of the best films of the decade." - Tirdad Derakhshani, Philadelphia Inquirer" - distributor's synopsis

Run time: 111 minutes

This film is rated R for some sexuality, drug use, brief violence, and language throughout.

Licensed through Kanopy

Celebration • Education • Reflection

H.R.1242/Public Law 115-102, the 400 Years of African American History Commission Act, establishes 2019 as a year of "commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Africans in the English colonies, at Point Comfort, Virginia, in 1619."  The commemoration is intended “to recognize and highlight the resilience and contributions of African-Americans since 1619; to acknowledge the impact that slavery and laws that enforced racial discrimination had on the United States; and to educate the public about the arrival of Africans in the United States; and the contributions of African-Americans to the United States.” In recognition of this commemoration and with the Act serving as a guide, the SJR State Library has organized a year-long series of events that will provide educational experiences and resources to students and the community that celebrate the history and culture of African Americans.

Site created and maintained by Dr. Christina Will. Pages will be added and maintained throughout 2019.
Maintenance will cease at the end of 2019 but this site will remain accessible.