The National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) and ITVS recently launched a weekly, web-based “virtual screening" series, which showcases some of the latest short documentaries from the Masculinity Project. Each screening will be followed by a Q&A and give audience members worldwide the opportunity to engage with the filmmaker. Find out what inspired filmmaker Rebecca Cerese to make FEBRUARY ONE, which will have a virtual screening at 8:00 PM EDT on Thursday, July 2.
Ever since childhood, filmmaker Rebecca Cerese has been enthralled by the stories of the American Civil Rights Movement.
“The patience and tenacity of the year-long boycott of the Montgomery Bus system, the selfless bravery of Mamie Till showing the world what racism had done to her son Emmitt, the strength and determination of nine brave teenagers as they marched to get an education in Little Rock, the unbelievable courage of the children that stood up against police dogs and fire hoses in Birmingham... These stories still fill me with hope for a better day in America,” she said.
In her short film FEBRUARY ONE
, Cerese looks at the Greensboro Four—a group of African American men who began a sit-in at a Woolworth's lunch counter in North Carolina, an event that became one of the pivotal moments in the American Civil Rights Movement.
“When I received the opportunity to tell the story of the Greensboro civil rights sit-ins, I jumped at the chance,” Cerese said. “In a society drenched in violence, how often do we get to share a story about the power of non-violence and all it can accomplish?”
Cerese was contacted about participating in the Masculinity Project after the film had its national PBS broadcast on Independent Lens
in 2005. She was honored and excited to be included in such an important project. According to Cerese, the Greensboro Four represent an alternative to the traditional definition of masculinity, which is often tied up with aggression and violence. The film shows how segregation and racism had a very emasculating and dehumanizing effect on these four men and the thousands of others who experienced this unfair treatment.
“My hope is that people will begin to challenge the idea that violence equals strength and begin to look for new, more peaceful ways to deal with conflict,” she said. “The strength and power of nonviolence is what Dr. King preached, and it is a lesson that our country is in desperate need of today.”
Watch FEBRUARY ONE on Thursday and join the discussion >>
Learn more about the Masculinity Project >>