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Mistress of Ceremonies
Premiere Documentary on Ida B. Wells on
April 19
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Rita Coburn, Peabody and Emmy-Award-Winning director, writer and producer of radio, television and film will serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies for the premiere event. The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis will host the premiere film screening of 'Facing Down Storms: Memphis and the Making of Ida B. Wells' on April 19 at the Halloran Centre for Performing Arts and Education. A reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by the program and film screening at 7 p.m.

Purchase tickets now.

PBS’ Marian Anderson Documentary
Highlights the Racial Fortitude of the Legendary Opera Singer
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Directed by Emmy and Peabody Award winner Rita Coburn, American Masters—Marian Anderson: The Whole World in Her Hands dynamically explores the career, art and legacy of the contralto and civil rights pioneer through archival interview recordings. Internationally renown for her vocal prowess, she became the first African American to sing a leading role at the Metropolitan Opera in 1955. The documentary is hoping to introduce Anderson’s talent to newer generations as well as provide a deeper understanding of the woman behind the music.

Film Activist & Filmmaker
The Alliance of Women Film Journalists
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 "In an ongoing outreach program, Coburn still travels with the film to schools and community centers, bringing to a wide range of audiences — especially impressionable youngsters — an understanding of the brilliant and inspiring Dr. Angelou, of her empowering story, of the importance of storytelling and of documentary film as the record of essential human history — especially the herstory that hasn’t been taught in schools." - Nell Minow from 

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists

"Truth is Marching"
 Wisconsin’s 39th MLK Tribute & Ceremony
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“As we build our tribe, awakened women and men must lift their voices across aisles and racial lines for these injustices to stop.” Coburn highlighted the 40 years of activism of Mamie Till, whose son was lynched in 1955. “African American mothers all over this country are still grieving the wrongful deaths of their sons and daughters,” she(Ms. Coburn) said.

Director at Sundance
Hollywood Reporter

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"Like many, I read Maya Angelou as an adolescent. I identified Maya Angelou as one of the women in my community and embraced the pain, truth and beauty of our story.

Later, I interviewed Maya Angelou for public radio, then produced her Oprah radio show. [While] producing the show, I realized that I was listening to history being told from a black woman’s point of view. This was a seldom-used source for our culture. I knew then that a documentary was the best way to tell the story." -Rita Coburn

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