Steamboat briefs: Bud Werner Memorial Library to screen civil rights documentary
September 4, 2017
Bud Werner Memorial Library presents a free screening of "Birth of a Movement," a documentary by Susan Gray and Bestor Cram about the battle against America's first blockbuster film, at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6 in Library Hall.
In 1915, Boston-based African American newspaper editor and activist William M. Trotter waged a battle against D.W. Griffith's technically groundbreaking, but notoriously Ku Klux Klan-friendly, film "The Birth of a Nation," unleashing a fight that still rages today about race relations, media representation and the power and influence of Hollywood. "Birth of a Movement," based on Dick Lehr's book "The Birth of a Movement: How Birth of a Nation Ignited the Battle for Civil Rights," captures the backdrop to this prescient clash between human rights, freedom of speech, and a changing media landscape.
Griffith originally titled his three-hour epic "The Clansman," based on a novel and play of the same name, but changed it to "The Birth of a Nation" to reflect the director's belief his work gave the true story of America's "Reconstruction." Set during the Civil War, it was told from a point of view sympathetic to the Confederacy, and its portrayal of African American men was controversial, even then, painting them as unintelligent and sexually aggressive, while members of the KKK were shown as valiant heroes protecting the innocent.
"Birth of a Nation" was one of the first motion pictures screened at the White House, and white film audiences made it a box office hit, but in each city it traveled to, it was also met with protests by African Americans, including by the newly formed NAACP, which attempted to ban the film.
"Birth of a Movement" features interviews with Spike Lee (whose NYU student film "The Answer" was a response to Griffith's film), Reginald Hudlin, DJ Spooky, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Dick Lehr, while exploring how Griffith's film — long taught in film classes as an innovative work of genius — motivated generations of African American filmmakers and artists as they worked to reclaim their history and their onscreen image. Visit steamboatlibrary.org/events for more information.
Local businesses organize relief effort for Hurricane Harvey victims
Steamboat Zipline and Steamboat Snowmobile are reaching out to the community for help providing everyday essentials to the people of Houston and surrounding towns who have been affected by the Hurricane Harvey disaster.
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The businesses are asking residents to donate items such as clothing, both for adults and children; toiletries; diapers; non-perishable food items; blankets; pillows; water; infant formula; and hand sanitizer.
Those wishing to donate may drop donations at Steamboat Zipline, 32075 E. U.S. Highway 40, or call 970-879-6500 to arrange to have donations picked up.
Trucks and trailers carrying the supplies are expected to depart for Texas on Tuesday, Sept. 5.
South Routt libraries announce time changes for childrens story hours
Beginning Sept. 6, story hour, for children age 1 to 5, will be held from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Oak Creek Public Library, 227 Dodge Ave.
Beginning Aug. 12, story hour for children age 3 to 5 will be held from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays at the Yampa Public Library, 310 Main St.
Both events will include stories, a craft and playtime. Story hour will not be held when area schools are not in session.
For more information, call the Oak Creek Public Library at 970-736-8371, or the Yampa Public Library at 970-638-4654.