BHERC - Press Releases & Media

Stepin Fetchit: Reexamining The Black Image in Mass Media
By KEVIN HERRERA, Staff Writer 09.MAR.05

(Los Angeles, CA) The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (“BHERC”) proudly presents: “STEPIN FETCHIT: REEXAMINING THE BLACK IMAGE IN MASS MEDIA,” an incredible weekend showcasing the life of Stepin Fetchit and Dialogue on the Black Image January 27-30, 2006 at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, UCLA Ralph J. Bunche Center, and Esowon Books. Special Hosts Holly Robinson-Peete, Wren T. Brown, Dr. Darnell Hunt, Mel Watkins and Sandra Evers-Manly will share their passion for history over a weekend consisting of several superb events that will give you an engaging and eye opening perspective of STEPIN FETCHIT’s career, while examining the Black Image. These events include a live stage production, dialogue, book signings, historical panel discussions and more for the entire community as follows:

Friday, January 27, 2006, from noon until 1:30 p.m. the BHERC offers an afternoon with MEL WATKINS at UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center – Hosted by DR. DARNELL HUNT (University of California at Los Angeles, principal investigator of Prime Time in Black and White, a five-year study of diversity in primetime network TV; Hunt has written extensively on race and the media; author of Screening the Los Angeles “Riots”: Race, Seeing, Resistance and O.J. Simpson Facts and Fictions: News Rituals in the Construction of Reality. Currently, he serves as a professor of Sociology and the Director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA) ). Mel Watkins: author of the critically acclaimed book, Stepin Fetchin: The Life and Times of Lincoln Perry, will be joined by actor ROSCOE ORMAN and MILES KRUGER, the world’s foremost historian on the history of the American musical in theatre and film; discussion and book signing will follow.

Friday evening at 8:00 p.m., SANDRA EVERS-MANLY hosts Community Night, featuring a stage production written by the late MATT ROBINSON “The Confessions of Stepin’ Fetchit” performed by ROSCOE ORMAN (Gordon on “Sesame Street” for the past 30 years). The play will also be performed Saturday, January 28, 2006 at 8:00 p.m. and will be hosted by WREN T. BROWN (Whoppi) and a closing night performance hosted by HOLLY ROBINSON PEETE (Love, Inc., Like Family, My Wonderful Life) will be held Sunday, January 29, 2006 at 7:00 p.m.

Additionally, on Sunday, January 29th from 2:00 until 4:00 there will be a Panel Discussion and Book Signing with MEL WATKINS (Stepin Fetchin: The Life and Times of Lincoln Perry, Dancing With Strangers, On the Real Side: A History of African American Comedy), and MILES KREUGER (Dramaturg; Historical Advisor; Show Boat: The Story of a Classic American Musical). The Panel discussion will be moderated by JEFF STETSON (recipient of eight N.A.A.C.P. Theater Image awards for his long-running play The Meeting, American Playhouse / PBS; Blood on the Leaves) followed by the closing night performance of “The Confessions of Stepin’ Fetchit.”

The culmination of events will be Monday, January 30, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. with a Book Signing with author MEL WATKINS, Stepin Fetchit: The Life and Times of Lincoln Perry at ESOWON Books, located at 3655 S. La Brea, Los Angeles, CA 90016.

Professionally Known as Stepin Fetchit, Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry was a vaudeville veteran who portrayed negroes as slow, dimwitted, foot-shuffling, and bug-eyed but he did so with superb timing and comic know how. He was the first black actor to become a millionaire and performed in over forty films. Although his style of performance was considered “minstrel” and “stereotypical” and considered a negative stereotype early in his career – he was later lauded for “opening doors” for black actors, and received accolades most notably the Special Image Award by the NAACP and he was elected into the Black Filmmaker’s Hall of Fame in 1978.

In 1996, the Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center was founded to remove the veil of invisibility that shrouds African Americans and other minority groups from the main stage, and to spotlight diversity and the stellar contributions of black film and television artists who brought dignity and professionalism to even the most menial of roles. The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center, a nonprofit, public benefit organization, is designed to advocate, educate, research, develop, and preserve the history, and the future, of blacks in the film and television industries.

All performances of the play “The Confessions of Stepin’ Fetchit” performed by Roscoe Orman will be held at the Nate Holden, 4718 W. Washington Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90016. For tickets and additional information, please call 310.284.3170 or 323.957.4747. Tickets for the play production are $20.00 / Students are only $10.00 with ID. The panel discussions and dialogue are open to the public and the book signing event is a free event, however patrons are encouraged to purchase books at Esowon Bookstore. This spectacular historical event is produced by Sandra Evers-Manly, John Forbes and Wren T. Brown.

To Purchase Tickets please call Inglewood Tickets at 310.671.6400

Noted Author Mel Watkins Press Release

Stepin Fetchit: Reexamining The Black Image in Mass Media Press Release


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