Modulating from heavy to light, from angry to lyrical, and so on, the movie's an enjoyable, emotional symphony.

— Lesson Thomson, Washington Post


Film • Feb 5

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This program is part of our Black Stories: Two Cities series.

A post-screening conversation with author Dianne Johnson-Feelings, Sybil Rosado, and artist Michaela Pilar-Brown accompanies the program.


Director: Spike Lee

A masterful family film from acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee, Crooklyn immerses the viewer in 1973 Bedford-Stuyvesant. Told from the perspective of Troy, the only girl amongst a rambunctious cadre of brothers, the film’s depiction of squabbles between neighbors and sticky summer treats powerfully evokes the ties that bind community.

1994. USA. 115 min. PG-13

preceded by 

Split Ends, I Feel Wonderful

Director: Akosua Adoma Owusu

A swirling found-footage collage of women’s hairstyles and salons in 1970s New York set to archival audio that contrasts differing perspectives on hair, pride, and independence.

2012. USA. 4 min. NR


Dianne Johnson-Feelings is a Professor of English Language and Literature at USC, where she teaches courses on children’s literature, writing, and African-American film. She is a celebrated author of children’s books including Hair Dance (2007) and Black Magic (2009). Her work “celebr(ates) Blackness in its many manifestations.”

Michaela Pilar-Brown is a visual artist working in mixed media, photography, and sculpture. Her work explores the body through the prisms of age, gender, race, sexuality and history. She is a member of the leadership team of Indie Grits Labs.

Sybil Rosado is an anthropologist and Professor of Social Science at Benedict College. She has received funding to study perceptions and interpretations of hair amongst women of the African Diaspora from the Mellon Fellowship and the Fulbright Hayes Grant.

Thank you to our series sponsor:
Bakari Sellers

1994. USA. 115 min. PG-13