Films add depth to Black History Month in February

Viola Davis in “The Help”

THIS BEING BLACK HISTORY MONTH, Columbia College’s Feb. 12 Cinema Slapdown (coincidentally Lincoln’s Birthday) debates the “The Help,” an authentic reflection of the Southern African American female experience in the years before the Civil Rights movement.

Debaters are the school’s provost Louise Love vs. WBEZ South Side bureau reporter Natalie Y. Moore. Referee is Ron Falzone, associate professor, award-winning screenwriter and host of “Talk Cinema” screening series.

At Film Row Cinema, 1104 S. Wabash, 7 p.m.   Free and open to all.

THE MUSEUM OF BROADCAST COMMUNICATIONS on Feb. 6 starts a monthlong media exhibit celebrating the 30th anniversary of Harold Washington’s historic election as Chicago’s first African-American mayor. 

MBC founder/president Bruce DuMont, lead a 6-8 p.m. panel discussion on “The Harold Washington Legacy,” with the mayor’s former press secretary, Alton Miller, former aides Tom Coffey and Jacky Grimshaw, reporters Dick Kay and Bill Cameron, talk show host Clifford Kelley, and historian Timuel Black.

Free museum admission throughout the month.

“PHUNNY BUSINESS: A BLACK COMEDY,” produced by Filmworkers Club’s Reid Brody and producer/director John Davies about Chicago’s first black-owned comedy club, airs during Black History Month on major market stations, including WGN/9 Feb. 16-17. 

ICE LAWNDALE THEATRES will also screen “Phunny Business” Feb. 6 as part of its Wednesday night Black History Month presentations.

The Feb. 13 screening is Chicago producer Beverly Price’s compelling doc, “India from K-Town,” about an inner city high school senior who overcomes her devastating past when a famous fashion designer makes a promise that changes her life forever.

BLACK HISTORY MONTHFILM FESTIVAL, titled “Honoring our Past, Empowering our Future,” is presented by the Chicago Urban League.

The doc Feb. 7 at the DuSable Museum is the acclaimed doc, “Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin,” co-produced by Chicago clergy and historians; Feb. 23, “Woke up Black,” a doc that follows five youth from the Chicago area as they navigate the world they live in, and Feb. 27, Steve James’ “The Interrupters,” both at the Urban League.

SPECIAL WYCC/20 SATURDAY PRESENTATIONS are film specials on little known people and situations of African American historical and contemporary life, plus five cultural and historic documentaries, including the Chicago Sinfonietta concert tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.