Studio Park offers screening and discussion of ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’

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Studio Park Courtesy Studio C

Grand Stand Pictures LLC, two local historians and community stakeholders will be hosting a screening and discussion of the film “Judas and the Black Messiah” at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Studio Park, 123 Ionia Ave. SW in downtown Grand Rapids.

The film is a 2021 American biographical drama film that details the betrayal of Fred Hampton (played by Daniel Kaluuya), chairman of the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s, at the hands of William O’Neal (played by Lakeith Stanfield), an FBI informant.

Following the film, there will be a discussion and conversation with author and University of Kansas professor of American, African and African American Studies Dr. Randal Jelks. He is the author of “African Americans In The Furniture City.” Jelks will be joined by fellow historian and community elder Taalib El Amin.

“We (Grand Stand Pictures) encourage the community to come and learn more about Grand Rapids Black history and how local community organizing intersects with the theme of this national film,” said Rodney Brown, a principal partner with Grand Stand. “People should ask questions about the Black Panther Party and how it intersects with the upcoming Grand Rapids made film documentary ‘A City Within A City’ and discuss. Most people don’t even know that we have community gems from the film like acclaimed artist Emory Douglas, former minister of culture for the Black Panther Party and a past resident of Grand Rapids, Michigan. That is Black local history.”

Grand Stand Pictures is inviting community leaders to take the Grand Champion Pledge by supporting the making of the full-length documentary film “A City Within A City: The Black Freedom Struggle in Grand Rapids, Michigan.”

“The Grand Champion Pledge is a personal commitment to help Grand Stand Pictures and partners to define our future by elevating voices of resilience, ingenuity and talent, unveiling the many unheralded and overlooked stories that truly make our community grand,” said Victor Williams, another principal with Grand Stand. 

The film, “A City Within A City,” is based on the book of the same name by Dr. Todd E. Robinson, who is the producer of the film. Jelks’ Backatown Productions is also serving as a producer on the film, and El Amin is one of the resident historians.

Tickets can be purchased online via Eventbrite for $16.16 and include movie, conversation and free parking validation for the downtown Studio Park parking structure.

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