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    Free Screening of The Contradictions of Fair Hope & an Interactive Discussion with Co-directors S. Epatha Merkerson & Rockell Metcalf

    8/2/2012 12:46:13 PM

    The Library in partnership with YWCA Greater Cleveland and Sankofa present a free screening of the award-winning documentary film The Contradictions of Fair Hope, with introduction and opening comments by The Reverend Leah C. K. Lewis, J.D., Associate Minister & Assistant to the Pastor for Community Engagement, Olivet Institutional Baptist Church. The film will be followed by an interactive discussion with Executive Director S. Epatha Merkerson and Executive Producer, Co-Writer and Director, Rockell Metcalf. The Contradictions of Fair Hope is their first feature film project.

    The Contradictions of Fair Hope highlights a long-forgotten and fascinating aspect of American history when newly freed slaves responded to the shock of Emancipation by forming “self-help” organizations called benevolent societies to help ease the transition from slavery to freedom. As far as African American history goes, most people have a working knowledge about slavery, Emancipation, and the Civil Rights Movement, but a lot happened between Emancipation and the 1960s that shaped and changed African American culture; and benevolent societies played one of the most important roles in that transformation.


    Parental discretion is advised. Portions of this film may not be suitable for younger audiences.

    Saturday, September 8, 2012 • 2:00 p.m.
    Louis Stokes Wing Auditorium
    East Sixth St. and Superior Ave.

    For more information about this event, contact Cleveland Public Library’s Outreach and Programming Services Department at 216-623-2921.

    Film Bios:

    S. Epatha Merkerson – Executive Producer, Co-Director

    S. Epatha Merkerson

    Ms. Merkerson is best known for her portrayal of Lieutenant Anita Van Buren on NBC’s Law & Order (2006/2010/2011 NAACP Image Award).

    She received an Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG and Image Award for her performance as Nanny Crosby in the HBO movie Lackwanna Blues, can be seen in Steven Spielberg's upcoming film Lincoln and in the comedy We The Peeples to be released in March 2013.

    In theatre, Ms. Merkerson has received one Helen Hayes Award, two Obie Awards, two Lucille Lortel Award nominations, and two Tony Award nominations.

    She has appeared in numerous television movies, made guest appearances in a variety of television series as well as appearing as a regular on Peewee's Playhouse. She is the host of TVOne’s Find Our Missing.

    Ms. Merkerson earned a BFA degree from Wayne State University where she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2009.

    The Contradictions of Fair Hope is Ms. Merkerson first feature film project.

    Rockell Metcalf – Executive Producer, Co-Director, Writer

    S. Epatha Merkerson

    Vice President and Chief Counsel at Amerprise Financial, Inc., where he concentrates on broker- dealer, marketing and banking law, Mr. Metcalf received his LL.M from Columbia Law School and his J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law, where he was Executive Editor of the Law Review.

    Mr. Metcalf served as federal clerk to Chief Judge U.W. Clemon in the Northern District of Alabama. He received his B.A., with distinction, from Talladega College.

    He is co-author of the "Practical Guide to Broker-Dealer Regulation", and he obtained a 2008 U.S. Patent for a "System and Method for Dividing a Remittance and Distributing a Portion of the Funds to Multiple Investment Products."

    Mr. Metcalf serves on the boards of Bird, Bonnette & Stauderman Worldwide, Inc. and Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

    The Contradictions of Fair Hope is Mr. Metcalf's first feature film project.

    Whoopi Goldberg – Narrator

    S. Epatha Merkerson

    In 2002, Whoopi Goldberg became one of a very elite group of artists who have won the Grammy (“Whoopi Goldberg,” 1985), the Academy Award (“Ghost,” 1991), the Golden Globe (“The Color Purple,” 1985 and “Ghost,” 1991), the Emmy (as host of AMC’s “Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Life of Hattie McDaniel,” 2002 and a Daytime Emmy for “The View” in 2009) and a Tony (Producer of “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” 2002). She is equally well-known for her humanitarian efforts on behalf of children, the homeless, human rights, education, substance abuse and the battle against AIDS, as well as many other causes and charities. Among her many charitable activities, Whoopi is a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations.




    Christian McBride – Composer

    S. Epatha Merkerson

    Christian McBride, winner of the 2012 Grammy Award for his big band album, The Good Feeling, has continued to be an omnipresent force in the jazz world since his arrival in New York City in 1989 as a 17-year-old prodigy in saxophonist Bobby Watson's group, Horizon. Since then, he's appeared on close to 300 recordings as a sideman, easily making him one of the most recorded musicians of his generation.

    In 1998 McBride composed, “The Movement Revisited”, a four-movement suite dedicated to four of the major figures of the civil rights movement - Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali and the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commissioned by the Portland (ME) Arts Society and the National Endowment of the Arts the piece was expanded, re-written and re-vamped in 2008 and performed in Los Angeles at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

    McBride has blazed a trail as a bandleader with the Christian McBride band and in 2009, released his quintet CD “Christian McBride and Inside Straight”.

    For over 20 years, McBride has appeared in numerous musical settings with just about any musician imaginable in the jazz as well as R&B and pop worlds. From playing with the likes of Milt Jackson, Roy Haynes, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, and Pat Metheny; to playing with and/or arranging for the likes of Isaac Hayes, Chaka Khan, Lalah Hathaway, Sting and the legendary James Brown.