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SOLD OUT Documentary Screening & Director Talk with Rhode Island Black Film Festival

The Rhode Island Historical Society and the Rhode Island Black Film Festival will host a free screening of the documentary Dr. Ira Reid: Haverford College’s Unsung Scholar Activist on Saturday, February 10 at 2pm.

Dr. Ira Reid: Haverford College’s Unsung Scholar Activist tells the story of the transformational scholar who strengthened the chorus of justice, peace, and equal opportunity for all. In the first half of the 20th century, Ira de Augustine Reid was the first African American to pioneer the acceptance of Black scholars as faculty members at predominantly White Northern universities. His study of Black immigrant communities resulted in a close working relationship with W. E. B. DuBois. He later mentored a young Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who served as Reid’s research assistant. Following the screening, director Rel Dowdell will speak about the process of creating the film and the importance of Reid’s legacy. 

Following the screening, director Rel Dowdell will speak about the process of creating the film and the importance of Reid’s legacy.  The screening is free and will be hosted at the RIHS Aldrich House headquarters in Providence. Guests can register here.

Dowdell is an American screenwriter, film director, film producer, and film studies/screenwriting/English educator. Born and raised in Philadelphia, after graduating from the prestigious Central High School in Philadelphia, he received his bachelor’s degree in English with magna cum laude honors from Fisk University and his advanced degree in film and screenwriting with highest distinction from Boston University. He won the top prize in filmmaking at Boston University’s noted Redstone Film Festival in 1995. He is also a full-time university professor, Director of Film Studies, English scholar, and film historian. Additionally, he has done prominent and extensive interviews with veteran award-winning actors such as Ving Rhames, Keith David, Tony Todd, Roger Guenveur Smith, Larenz Tate, and Mykelti Williamson. In spring of 2023, he participated in a major interview on The 700 Club where he spoke about the impact of the casting of an African-American actress in the remake of The Little Mermaid, which was very well received and praised for Dowdell’s remarks of inclusion and youth inspiration for African-Americans.


Feb 10
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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Aldrich House
110 Benevolent Street
Providence, RI 02906 United States
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