Acclaimed film director Charles Burnett will join Novian Whitsitt, Luther College professor of Africana studies and English, for a conversation on African Americans in cinema at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in Luther's Center for Faith and Life Main Hall.
The event, sponsored by Luther's Africana Studies Department, Paideia Endowment, Diversity Council, Sustainability, Student Activities Council: Cinema, Just Action and Black Student Union, is open to the public with no charge for admission.
Part of Luther's observation of Black History Month, Burnett and Whitsitt's conversation will focus on Burnett's award-winning documentary, "Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property," and the new Nate Parker fictional film on the same subject, "Birth of a Nation."
A highly contested moment in history, Burnett's documentary explores the competing interpretations of the Virginia slave revolt led by Nat Turner in 1831.
Parker's film, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, is a recent dramatization of the same events.
In his onstage conversation with Whitsitt, Burnett will discuss the ways he decided to stage competing interpretations of the revolt for the film, the way a variety of Americans have drawn different meanings from the revolt since its occurrence and how this historical event applies in conversations about current racial injustice.