Film Series

Amistad: Screening and Conversation

October 17, 2010

This film, directed by Steven Spielberg, is a true story about a 19th century mutiny on a slave ship that sparked a legal battle before the Supreme Court of the United States and foreshadowed the Civil War.

Professor, Annette Gordon-Reid, and choreographer, Debbie Allen, joined FOLCS for a screening and discussion of Amistad.

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Annette Gordon-Reed

Annette Gordon-Reed is a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and a Professor of History in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. She also is serving as the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Prior to joining the Harvard faculty in July 2010, she was the Wallace Stevens Professor of Law at New York Law School and the Board of Governor’s Professor of History at Rutgers University-Newark. She is the author of The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family, which among others awards, won the Pulitzer Prize for History and the National Book Award for Non-Fiction. Her other works include Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy, and Vernon Can Read! A Memoir, written with Vernon Jordan. Gordon-Reed is the editor of Race on Trial: Law and Justice in American History. Her next book, Andrew Johnson, will be published in the fall of 2010.

Professor Gordon-Reed received the 2009 National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama and the 2010 MacArthur Fellowship, more commonly known as the “genius grant,” given each year to 20 people in various fields of excellence in the sciences, arts, and humanities.

Debbie Allen

Debbie Allen is an internationally recognized director/choreographer known for working with The Royal Shakespeare at Stratford and The Legendary Rahbani Family in Lebanon. A Culture Connect Ambassador, Ms. Allen represented the U.S. in visits to Brazil, China, Italy, and India. She is a member of the prestigious President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, a Board Member of the American Film Institute, and an Executive Committee member of UCLA’s School of Theatre, Film, and Television. Ms. Allen expands the opportunities in arts education for young people all over the world.

Ms. Allen holds the distinction of having choreographed the Academy Awards a record ten times, six in consecutive years. She directed and choreographed for legendary artists Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Gwen Verdon, Lena Horne, and Sammy Davis, Jr. to name a few.

Ms. Allen received the Golden Globe for her role as “Lydia Grant” in the hit series Fame, and is a three-time Emmy Award winner for Choreography for the series Fame and The Motown 25th Anniversary Special. Ms. Allen has won ten Image awards as a director, actress, choreographer and producer for Fame, A Different World, Motown 25th, The Academy Awards, The Debbie Allen Special, and Amistad.