A new film screening series will debut at Philander Smith College in Little Rock this week, showing films that illuminate the Black experience.
The series is designed to unite students and communities through the films. Each event will feature a historical or contemporary film and leave room for dialogue, reflection and the opportunity to explore issues relevant to the world today, according to a news release from Arkansas PBS, a partner with the college, for what they are calling the Philander Forward Film Series.
Admission is free and open to students, faculty and the public.
The opening film is a selection from "The U.S. and the Holocaust," scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Philander Smith College, Room BA 101, 900 W. Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive, Little Rock, in recognition of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The United Nations General Assembly designated Jan. 27, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp, as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The screening will feature clips from "The U.S. and the Holocaust," a three-part documentary directed and produced by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein. The film examines the rise of Hitler and Nazism in Germany in the context of global antisemitism and racism, the eugenics movement in the United States, and race laws in the American South. The series sheds light on what the U.S. government and American people knew and did as the catastrophe unfolded in Europe, becoming one of the greatest humanitarian crises in history.
Other screenings, also at 6:30 p.m., include:
• Feb. 1: "Making Black America," Hour 1 (Black History Month).
• Feb. 8: "Making Black America," Hour 2 (Black History Month).
• Feb. 15: "Making Black America," Hour 3 (Black History Month).
• March 1: "Making Black America," Hour 4 (Black History Month).
• March 15: "Harriet Tubman: Visions of Freedom" (Women's History Month).
• Date to be determined: "Dream Land: Little Rock's West 9th Street."
Updates and additional information will be available at myarkansaspbs.org/events.
In November 2022, Philander Smith College and Arkansas PBS announced they were creating what they called the Bless the Screen series. The Bless the Screen film series is now called the Philander Forward Film Series, with a revised schedule, Arkansas PBS said in its news release.