The Africana Studies Program at Fresno State will present the second annual Sankofa Black Film Festival beginning with a viewing of “The Great Debaters” at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8.

Directed by Denzel Washington and released in 2007, the film is based on a true story of the African-American poet Melvin B. Tolson, who led his debate team at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas during the highly segregated 1930s. The 126-minute film stars Washington, Forest Whitaker and Denzel Whitaker.

Dr. Meta Schettler, Africana studies professor at Fresno State, will lead a discussion following the screening.

It is one of three films offered this semester with viewings held at 5:30 p.m. in the Engineering East Building, Room 191. The other two are:

  • Oct. 15 — “Boys N the Hood”: Directed by John Singleton, the film tells a story of three friends struggling to survive in South Central Los Angeles where friendship, pain, danger and love form a true picture of inner city life. The critically acclaimed, action-filled story stars Cuba Gooding Jr., Ice Cube and Laurence Fishburne. Dr. DeAnna Resse, Africana Studies program coordinator, will discuss the film.
  • Oct. 22 — “Fruitvale Station”: Directed by Ryan Coogler, a Sacramento State alumnus who also attended to the USC school of Cinematic Arts, the true story of 22-year-old Bay Area resident Oscar Grant is highlighted as he crosses paths with friends, enemies, family and strangers on the last day of his life. Dr. T. Hasan Johnson, Fresno State Africana studies professor, will discuss the film.

Guest parking is $3 at permit dispensers located in parking lots.

The Africana Studies program offers an interdisciplinary curriculum that contains cross-cultural courses about the experiences of African peoples all over the world, American Indians in the United States and other ethnic groups in American society.

For more information, contact Dr. DeAnna Reese at or 559.278.2832.

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