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Free Screening + Talk: The Contradictions of Fair Hope

In association with MOBIA and Fordham University, we are screening the award-winning documentary The Contradictions of Fair Hope, which traces the gradual loss of tradition in one of the last remaining African-American benevolent societies. Executive produced by Golden Globe and Emmy winner S. Epatha Merkerson and narrated by Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg, this gripping film traces the contradictions of progress, black community identity, and economic independence in a rural African-American community.

The FREE screening will be followed by a Q&A with executive producers S. Epatha Merkerson and Rockell Metcalf. Before the screening at Fordham University, there will also be a wine and cheese reception, along with an exhibit tour, at the Museum of Biblical Art.

  • 6-7 pm: Wine & cheese reception and tour of Ashé to Amen: African Americans and Biblical Imagery exhibit (Museum of Biblical Art, 1865 Broadway at 61st St., 2nd Floor)
  • 7:30-9:30 pm: The Contradictions of Fair Hope screening (Fordham University, 116 W 60th St.)
About the film: July 1865. Over 4 million slaves have been freed. Forced to roam the antebellum countryside, many of them are ill-prepared and unable to cope with the realities of their newfound freedom. This documentary examines a little known aspect of American history, when newly freed slaves throughout the South formed “benevolent societies” to respond to abject hunger, illness and the fear of a pauper’s grave. The documentary sets the stage in rural Alabama, prior to Emancipation, and traces the development, struggles, contributions and gradual loss of tradition of one of the last remaining African-American  benevolent societies, known as The Fair Hope Benevolent Society, in Uniontown, Alabama.

You must pre-register to attend this program; no walk-ups will be accepted.

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In association with

NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.