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Film Screen With A Dean: Wilmington on Fire

Wilmington On Fire cover image

As part of the series, “Film Screen with a Dean,” Anne Cooper Moore, dean of J. Murrey Atkins Library, invites you to a virtual panel discussion on Wilmington on Fire, a feature-length documentary directed by Christopher Everett that chronicles The Wilmington Massacre of 1898. 
 
The event is Wednesday, April 28 from 2 to 4 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to view the film prior to the virtual discussion. Wilmington on Fire is available to screen on Vimeo at no cost. Registration is required; a Zoom link will be sent to registrants in advance of the event.
 
In 1898, Wilmington was North Carolina's largest city, with a majority black population, a thriving black middle class, and a biracial Republican-Populist fusion government. On November 10, an armed mob of Democrat-backed white supremacists opened fire on African American neighborhoods, slaughtering hundreds and driving thousands out of the city for good. 
 
Most often considered a "race riot," this attack on prosperous African-American citizens and businesses is virtually unknown. It was not until 2006, after the North Carolina General Assembly published a report on it, that the tragedy became known to the general public.
 
In a five-year passion project that consumed all his resources, director Christopher Everett amassed rare photographs, original research, and testimonies from historians and descendants of the victims to uncover a shocking event that marked a turning point in the politics of the post-Reconstruction South.
 
A panel including Everett will discuss the movie and answer your questions about the 1898 massacre, which is considered one of the only successful examples of a coup that took place on United States soil. 


Panelists
Christopher Everett

Christopher Everett

Christopher combined his love for history and film to direct and produce his first feature-length documentary, Wilmington on Fire, chronicling the Wilmington Insurrection of 1898. The film has been screening nonstop since 2015 at various film festivals, museums, cultural centers, universities, and nonprofit organizations.
 
The self-taught documentarian won Best Director First Documentary Feature Award at the Pan African Film Festival in 2017. The following year, he won the Cucalorus “Filmed in NC” grant. In 2020, he won a research and development grant from the Southern Documentary Fund. Christopher was recently selected for a Firelight Media’s Documentary Lab 2021-2022 fellowship for his upcoming martial arts documentary, Grandmaster.

Janaka Lewis

Dr. Janaka Lewis

Janaka Bowman Lewis, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Women's and Gender Studies Program, and Interim Director of the Center for the Study of the New South at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is the author of Freedom Narratives of African American Women (McFarland 2017), three children's books (Brown All Over, Bold Nia Marie Passes the Test, and co-author of Dr. King is Tired, Too!!), and has written widely on Black womanhood, girlhood, and material culture.  

Jeffrey Leak

Dr. Jeffrey Leak

Dr. Leak is Professor of English and Africana Studies at UNC Charlotte. He has served as president of the faculty and held other leadership positions. Currently, he is Director of American Studies Program and Faculty Fellow for the Martin Scholars Program in the Honors College. His research and teaching focus on African American Literature. He is the author of Visible Man: The Life of Henry Dumas, a biography of the Black Arts Movement writer Henry Dumas, which was awarded the 2014 Best Non-Fiction Book Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.

Rodney Stringfellow

Rodney Stringfellow

Rodney Stringfellow is an educator and screenwriter who has written on children's series for Nickelodeon, PBS Kids, Disney Channel, and Sesame Workshop. In 2012, he was honored with two Daytime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Writing/Animation and Outstanding Writing in a Children’s Series.

Rodney is an Adjunct Professor in Film Studies at UNC Charlotte where he teaches courses in screenwriting, film history, and video production. He received the College of Liberal Arts Part-time Lecturer Award for Teaching Excellence in 2014. Previously, Rodney taught screenwriting at Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY.

Timothy Pinnick

Timothy N. Pinnick

Tim Pinnick is an accomplished researcher, popular national speaker, author of the book, Finding and Using African American Newspapers, and owner of History and Genealogy Spotlight, a business specializing in assisting libraries and individuals in identifying new and used African American books relevant to the African American research process.

Pinnick is the lead researcher for the New Hanover County Community Remembrance Project (NHCCRP), a group of local residents formed with the primary objective of organizing a Community Soil Collection Project through the auspices of the Equal Justice Initiative. In November of this year, soil will be gathered at, or in the proximity of, the sites in Wilmington, North Carolina, where eight verified victims of the 1898 coup d'état lost their lives.

 

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