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

WXXI HOSTS AN AFRICAN AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL AWARENESS FILM SERIES WITH COMMUNITY PARTNERS IN CELEBRATION
OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Screenings are Free, Open to the Public and Held February 19 & 26

Rochester, New York (January 27, 2011) – WXXI presents two poignant films as part of its annual African American Educational Awareness Film Series on Saturdays, February 19 and 26 at 1 p.m. at WXXI’s Studios, 280 State Street in Rochester. 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 at sfigueroa@wxxi.org.

The first film, Flight to Freedom screens on Saturday, February 19 at 1 p.m. Produced by WXXI and narrated by Cicely Tyson, the film traces the evolution of the Slave System and the Freedom Trails of the North." In addition to examining archival photographs, records, artifacts, and interviews with national experts and descendants of slaves, conductors, and abolitionists, this program includes examples of spirituals sung by slaves as part of the "code" system, and visits homes which were used as shelters. The program highlights Rochester, New York, which was at the heart of the railroad, where passengers were hidden by Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman and others.

The second film, Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968, screens Saturday, February 26 at 1 p.m. On February 8, 1968, eight seconds of police gunfire left three African American students dying and 27 wounded on the campus of South Carolina State College at Orangeburg. The shooting capped off four days of student protests over the desegregation of the city's only bowling alley. Often termed "the Kent State of the South," and pre-dating it by two years, the shooting marked the first time in U.S. history that police opened fire on students. Through interviews and archival material, Scarred Justice examines the tumultuous events of that day from a variety of perspectives and follows the ongoing efforts to seek justice for the victims.

WXXI’s Community Partners for this film series include: Pothos Productions, Operation Higher Learning, Freedom Trail Commission, USA Youth Soccer Academy, WHTK-1280 “What’s Going on with Brown and Allen,” The Community Place of Greater Rochester, and Minority Telecommunications, LLC.

For more information on other Black History programs visit, wxxi.org/bh

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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 wxxi.org for more information about our services and programs.

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