Posts tagged black lives matter

Sam Pollard Peels Back Controversial History in ‘MLK/FBI’

On the wall of Sam Pollard’s childhood home, there hung three portraits — Jesus Christ, President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. — their gazes constant and presence ever-felt as the young man navigated life in East Harlem.

They were his heroes. They could do no wrong. But as he grew up and into his career — now as an Emmy Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker — Pollard knows better.

He sees them as the complicated men that they were, particularly the latter since making his latest documentary, “MLK/FBI,” the first to uncover the extent of the bureau’s deeply questionable monitoring and harassment of King and his closest confidants, which will open the virtual Hamptons Doc Fest on Friday, December 4, ahead of its official release by IFC Films on January 15.

Despite what the infamous surveillance and newly declassified files uncovered, Pollard’s opinion of the civil rights activist hasn’t changed one bit, he explained during a Zoom call last week. But his own responsibility to cover the movement — past, present and future — certainly has.

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Protests and Pandemic Lead Bridgehampton Photographer Back Home

Six days out, one day in.

For Lori Hawkins, the words became a mantra. They were her schedule, a repetitive routine. A source of comfort and reassurance, stress and depression. An escape, a homecoming, her sense of normalcy.

For the last six months, that one sentence defined her life. And it has led to the most fulfilling photography series of her 20-year career.

“I feel like I’m creating my best work ever,” Hawkins said from her home in Bridgehampton. “I feel like I’m more focused on telling stories.”

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Ahead of His Time: Ben Vereen Reflects on Broadway’s Place in Black History

When Ben Vereen auditioned for “Pippin,” the burgeoning Broadway star never thought he would get the part.

But not only did he nail the audition — in front of the original production’s director, Bob Fosse, no less — his performance as the Leading Player would win him the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical in 1973.

At the behest of Bay Street Theater Artistic Director Scott Schwartz — whose father, Stephen Schwartz, wrote the music and lyrics of “Pippin” — Vereen has reprised the role for the Sag Harbor venue’s virtual gala, “A Starry Night,” a celebration of 1970s Broadway musicals on Wednesday, July 22, at 8 p.m., featuring performances by luminary figures of the performing arts.

Ahead of the gala, Vereen caught up with The Express News Group, reflecting on his 55-year career, the current civil rights movement and its place in the theater.

“Every war, every conflict we’ve ever had, the arts has been the thing that has brought us through,” the 73-year-old Broadway veteran said from his home in Florida. “Because the arts is spiritual. The arts has no color… It is an expression of the most high. And the conflicts of the human race, we can reflect back on our races and say, ‘This has to be changed, and this is what you need to know about the joy of your journey.’”

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