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September 19, 2018

Maya Angelou Documentary To Screen In Advance Of Filmmaker’s Oswego Visit


OSWEGO — A free screening of Rita Coburn Whack’s and Bob Hercules’ award-winning feature documentary, “Maya Angelou and Still I Rise,” will take place at 7 p.m. March 27, in SUNY Oswego’s Marano Campus Center auditorium.

The screening sets the stage for Coburn Whack’s visit to campus in April for the college’s Voices of Diversity Speaker Series and a special Diversity in the Arts Documentary Project.

"Maya Angelou and Still I Rise," the first feature documentary about the life of the celebrated poet, memoirist and civil rights activist, will screen at 7 p.m. March 27, in SUNY Oswego's Marano Campus Center auditorium.

“Maya Angelou and Still I Rise,” the first feature documentary about the life of the celebrated poet, memoirist and civil rights activist, will screen at 7 p.m. March 27, in SUNY Oswego’s Marano Campus Center auditorium.

“Maya Angelou and Still I Rise” traces the incredible, prolific life of the late poet, memoirist and civil rights activist. It premiered to critical acclaim at the 2016 Sundance Festival and aired as an “American Masters” presentation on PBS. Thanks to unprecedented access given to the filmmakers, Angelou narrates and Oprah Winfrey, Cecily Tyson, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Quincy Jones and many others appear for interviews.

“[T]he first documentary made about Angelou’s life, ‘Maya Angelou and Still I Rise’ seeks to become the ultimate biography, while offering Angelou on camera, sharing her side of life stories that have become American lore in books like (the acclaimed autobiography) ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’,” wrote reviewer Nick Allen for rogerebert.com.

“What Coburn Whack and Hercules do so well is capture Angelou’s power and elegance, which seems to have increased as she got older… it paints a portrait of a life lived to the full and dedicated to being true to oneself,” wrote Lanre Bakare in The Guardian.

Coburn Whack, CEO of RCW Media Productions, will appear April 17, for SUNY Oswego’s Voices of Diversity Speaker Series.

The event in Hewitt ballroom is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. with the premiere of a short documentary about collaboration on art pieces — a sculpture, painting, photograph and more — created by pairs of international students and student artists in response to the theme “how diversity inspires art and the artistic creative process.”

Communication studies faculty member Francisco Suarez, organizer of the Diversity in the Arts Documentary Project, said Coburn Whack is aware of the project’s theme, “How diversity inspires art,” and plans to meet with the artists.

The documentary project, originating in Suarez’ “Global Documentary Production” course, is part of a SUNY grant for “Many Voices: One Oswego: Diversity and Inclusion Through the Arts,” a program that supports a wide range of campus programs that begin conversations and explore diversity-related topics through storytelling.

For more information, contact Suarez at [email protected] or 917-513-0126.

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