The mission of The Department of Afro-American Research Arts and Culture to identify the global significance of the creative contributions pioneered by an international diaspora of Blackness
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Saturday, March 11, 2017

La Ultima Cena [a.k.a. The Last Supper] (1976)

During Holy Week at the end of the eighteenth century, a count visits his Havana (Cuba) sugar mill on a day a slave has run away. The count tells his cruel overseer, Don Manuel, to pick 12 slaves who will be guests at the count's table. Don Manuel objects, but to no avail. The twelfth guest is the recaptured runaway. During the dinner, using religious analogies, the count lectures his guests on the perfect happiness possible in slavery. They in turn tell stories and make requests. He promises no work on Good Friday, but he leaves early that morning and Don Manuel rousts the slaves for a long day cutting cane. They rebel. Which side will the count take? 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Street Smart (1987)

"Street Smart" (1987) is a cult classic crime drama featuring Morgan Freeman and Christopher Reeve. Freeman is the supporting lead character in the movie as he plays the antagonist and narcissistic pimp, Fast Black. Before this movie, Freeman's most notable work was in the hit 1970s show, "The Electic Company." Freeman won an Academy for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, which helped propel his career to the next level in becoming an A-list star. But, then, there is Christopher Reeves, mostly known for his role as Superman. In this movie, he plays a struggling magazine reporter that creates an imaginary story about a pimp to save his career. 

However, while Reeve leads the film, mostly Freeman and Kathy Baker make it memorable. This movie is one of those films where the supporting lead characters take over every scene. The movie could have done better at the box office if Cannon Production had done better with marketing. Even today, many people still find out about this underground cult flick that makes you see Freeman differently. Roger Irving III produced the film's soundtrack, featuring legendary jazz musician Miles Davis.

Director: Jerry Schatzberg
Writer: David Freeman

Starring Morgan Freeman, Christopher Reeve, Kathy Baker, Erik King, Mimi Rogers, Anna Maria Horsford, Jay Patterson, Andre Gregory

A New York magazine reporter on the verge of losing his job, Jonathan Fisher (Christopher Reeve), fabricates a story about prostitution that reignites his career and brings unwanted attention to a powerful pimp, Fast Black (Morgan Freeman). The police, believing the story is true, feel closer to putting the notorious pimp behind bars. But, as pressure mounts for Fisher to reveal the identity of the lead in his story, he's unaware that Fast Black has plans of his own for the writer who's jeopardized his business in the gritty, urban drama Street Smart.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Just An Overnight Guest (1983, TV Movie)

Richard Roundtree ("Shaft") and Rosalind Cash star in this touching story about a family that takes in an abused young girl on a temporary basis and, after a long ordeal, decides to make her a permanent part of their lives. An insightful story about the problems of abused children and also about African American family life, "Just an Overnight Guest" teaches children about sharing, compassion and responsibility. By example, it also encourages a positive attitude toward foster care and adoption, and spreads awareness of the problems and needs of homeless children.

Produced by Joanna Mallas, with Barbara Bryant as executive producer. Based on the book by Eleanora Tate.  

Policewomen (1974)


Her name is Bond...Lacy Bond, one of the first female super cops. She'll do anything it takes to get her man -- or woman. I her first big case, the criminals are women who've broken out of prison. They've joined up with a gang of gold smugglers and launched their own crime wave, becoming a kind of female mafia. Enter Lacy, who goes undercover, infiltrating the gang as one of their toughest street fighters. But someone recognizes her and blows her cover...and survival takes everything she's got!