The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will screen two seminal works by pioneering filmmaker Madeline Anderson and premiere a clip from a Smithsonian-produced oral-history interview with Anderson at the 21st American Black Film Festival (ABFF). Following the screening, Anderson will sit with Rhea Combs, the museum’s curator of photography and film, for an in-depth discussion of Anderson’s work and career.
Held at the Miami Beach Cinematheque Thursday, June 15, at 2 p.m., the program will take place during the ABFF festival that runs from June 14–18 in Miami.
Anderson is credited as being the first black employee at the New York-based television station WNET, the first black woman to produce and direct a televised documentary film, the first black woman to produce and direct a syndicated television series and one of the first black women to join the film editor’s union. Anderson became the in-house producer/director for Sesame Street and The Electric Company for the Children’s Television Workshop. During the early 1970s, she helped create WHMM-TV (now WHUT-TV) at Howard University.
Integration Report 1 (1960) chronicles the events around the country leading up to the first attempt at a march on Washington. I Am Somebody (1970) tells the story of 400 African American women who, as hospital workers in Charleston, S.C., went on strike in 1969 to demand fair pay and unionization. After confrontations with the National Guard and state government, the women won the support of Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow, Coretta Scott King, and civil rights activists Ralph Abernathy and Andrew Young.
A complete festival schedule and information about purchasing passes, tickets for events, panels and screenings at ABFF are available on the ABFF website.