The Music Is in the Movie: June Film Series Features Black Music

Sometimes the best place for great music is on film. A four-week film series in June will celebrate Black Music Month by showcasing four films about black musical artists or containing iconic soundtracks.

Sponsored by Duke’s Department of African & African American Studies, the second annual Black Music Black Film series will take place at 6:15 p.m. Thursdays, beginning June 6. The free event will take place at Duke’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Bullpen located in downtown Durham.

“It’s Black Music Month, so all the films highlight black music,” said Camille Jackson, director of communications for the Department of African & African American Studies. “We’re hoping to attract people from both the Duke and Durham communities for this celebration of black music," Jackson said.

Established by former president Jimmy Carter in 1979, Black Music Month has been a decades long homage to black musical pioneers and artistry.

“Given the now global appeal of African American music and culture, the AAAS film series is an opportunity to celebrate the legacy of black culture and performance, and it's deep connections to both the field of black studies, and the public at large,” said Mark Anthony Neal, department chair for African & African American Studies.

This year, the film roster includes several critically acclaimed black films and musical documentaries. 

  • June 6. Spike Lee’s classic “Do the Right Thing” will be the first showing, marking the 30th anniversary of the film.
  • June 13. The 2014 documentary “Finding Fela” chronicles the life of legendary Nigerian instrumentalist Fela Kuti.
  • June 20. Eddie Murphy rom-com “Boomerang,” featuring music from Babyface, Boys II Men, George Clinton and others.
  • June 27. The 2012 hip-hop documentary “Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap.”

For information and to register to attend, click here.

Schedule for Black Music film series