For Immediate Release                                                                                   
Contact: Kristin Tutino, (585) 258-0253

Screenings are Free, Open to the Public and Held Every Saturday in February

(Rochester, New York) January 16, 2008 – An African American Educational Awareness Film Series, featuring five award-winning films, will screen at WXXI’s Studios, 280 State Street in Rochester, every Saturday in February from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. beginning February 2nd. Hosted by WXXI in partnership with Pothos Productions, Operation Higher Learning, Freedom Trail Commission, USA Soccer, WHTK-AM 1280 “What’s Going on with Brown & Allen”, and Families & Friends of Murdered Children & Victims of Violence, the film series is in celebration of Black History Month. The screenings, followed by a discussion moderated by a special guest, are free and open to the public, but reservations are required. To make a reservation, call Shelley Figueroa at (585) 258-0278 or email her
The featured films and presenters are:

·          The Pact, screening on Saturday, February 2 at 1 p.m. This gritty, provocative film tells the true-life story of three friends from the 'hood, who made a pact in high school to find a way to go to college and then medical school. They not only accomplished this, but they're now spreading the word to inspire other inner-city kids to stay off of drugs, out of gangs and to take the educational route to a better life. This film and discussion will be presented by Nyree Strong, Rochester City School District, Director of African and African-American Studies.

·          American Blackout, screening on Saturday, February 9 at 1 p.m. In this Sundance prize-winning indictment of the election process, guerilla journalist Ian Inaba follows the efforts of Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney to expose the disturbing tactics that systematically disenfranchise black voters and silence dissent. This film and discussion will be presented by Lovely Warren, Rochester City Council.

·          A Panther in Africa, screening on Saturday, February 16 at 1 p.m. This is the story of Pete O'Neal, one of the last exiles from the time of Black Power, when young rebels advocated black pride, unity, community service and sometimes violence. Facing gun charges in Kansas City in 1970, O'Neal fled to Algeria, where he joined other Panther exiles. Unlike the others, however, O'Neal never found his way back to America. This film and discussion will be presented by Wade Norwood, Finger Lakes Health System Agency. This event is a collaboration with P.O.V., PBS’ award-winning nonfiction series. Visit

·          Fannie Lou Hamer:  Courage & Faith, screening on Saturday, February 23 at 1 p.m. This film chronicles the extraordinary life of Fannie Lou Hamer. This film and discussion will be presented by Arlette Miller-Smith of St. John Fisher College.  Also screening is Malcolm's Echo: The Legacy of~Malcolm X., whichcenters around the pilgrimage to Malcolm X's burial site that has taken place every year on his birthday since his assassination in 1965. This film and discussion will be presented by Nate Brown, Jr., Piney Woods School, Operation Higher Learning.


WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to for more information about our services and programs.

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