‘Good Trouble!’featured at MLK celebration

Congressman John Lewis as keynote speaker for the 2019 commencement at City College, CUNY.
Congressman John Lewis as keynote speaker for the 2019 commencement at City College, CUNY.

A group of Brooklyn community organizations came together on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 16, at Alliance Tabernacle, on 3304 Clarendon Rd. in Brooklyn to mark the 40th anniversary of the celebration, as a federal holiday in honor of the late Dr. Martin Luther.

In marking this historic day and reflecting on the endurance and work done to achieve the Martin Luther King holiday the group of community leaders examined the work of some of the mighty warriors who have also contributed to the horrendous period in America’s history. One such warrior was the late, United States Congressman John Lewis. Thus, in observing the Martin Luther King Day, the group also reflect and celebrate the legacy of the late Congressman, John Lewis. The film “Good Trouble” was featured in honor of the Congressman, “Good Trouble” is a cradle to the Civil Rights movement.

“Good Trouble” was written by Julie Zann and directed by Dawn Porter. The film reflects moments of brokenness on the life of the late John Lewis also looking at his life as a US Congressman. The film portrays his work with the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. other civil rights leaders and the thousands of unsung heroes who have led Black people in the United States through the rise of the Civil Right struggles. The film highlights the struggles from Salma to Montgomery, Alabama, focusing in on Congressman Lewis’ fights, his forty-five arrests, the Congressman been watered down by policemen as he marched for civil and human rights in southern states in America. The film shows personal areas of the late John Lewis life as well and the desire the Congressman had even as a child wanting to be a part of the effort of change. In chronicling these sensitive and special moments the film also spots on the footages in extremely critical times when the Congressman and many others were suppressed and beaten as they walked and fought for the most powerful fight of the struggle, the voting rights. Writer Julie Zann shows the wide difference in the races, the segregation of the deep South, the freedom ride of May 1961, all aspects of the struggles’ the film highlights as the late Congressman contributed with courage and determination to change some of the unbalances for Black people in the United States during the Civil Right era.

Julie Zann shows us Lewis’ story of “Bloody Sunday” across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma Alabama there the Congressman was severely beaten by policemen. She gave us Lewis’    open-ended questions, to Black people in America, as he asked what can be done to help make the change, and the film shows us what he said “Love your country” but make “good trouble – necessary trouble” for voting rights and to stop the suppression of voting for Black people,  continue the fight for democracy and voter registration. The film shows the young twenty-five-year-old speaking at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 at the march in Washington.

The film highlights periods of the Congressman with his family, his wife and siblings, the large family property in Georgia. Good Trouble shows the difficult life of Congressman Lewis fighting daily whether on the streets since the early 1960’s until his death as a US Congressman in 2020, voicing his opinion against the injustice of Black people. The film gave us more than we knew of the late Congressman John Lewis, but it also leaves us with unresolved issues to continue the fight for voting rights. The cry for “good trouble” – “necessary trouble” must continue until there is voting rights – for all other rights. Good Trouble is a challenge to us to continue the fight though exhausted and disappointed at times, when treated unjustly. The film is telling the viewers how one individual refused to surrender to the rejections and oppression, but instead continue the fight for what he believed in.

The event was sponsored by Alliance Tabernacle, the Christopher Rose Community Empowerment Campaign, NY City Community Board 17, National Council of Negro women- Flatbush, NY City Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes, The GodSquad and 67th Clergy Council and the DuBloise Bunche Center for Public Policy at Medgar Evers College.

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