GRCC sponsors free showing of 'Memphis Majic,' discussion with director

April 3, 2019 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Grand Rapids Community College’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will sponsor a free showing of “Memphis Majic” and a discussion with its Emmy-nominated director, Eddie Bailey.

The film screening -- at 1 p.m. April 17 in the Wisner-Bottrall Applied Technology Center auditorium, 151 Fountain St. NE -- launches the office’s new Diversity Lecture Pop-Up Series.

Dr. B. Afeni McNeely Cobham, GRCC’s chief Equity and Inclusion officer, said the event will bring the popular lecture series to new audiences.

“The traditional format of the Diversity Lecture Series will be retained, but I have charged my team with developing nuanced ways to increase awareness and empathy about a myriad of issues related to systemic and institutionalized oppression,” McNeely Cobham said. “The screening and talk-back of the documentary ‘Memphis Majic’ will meet this objective.

The film blends dance and history to reflect modern culture, looking at Memphis through the lens of a 30-year-old street dance called Jookin’. Featuring street dance superstar Lil Buck, the film connects urban dance, hip hop, politics and history to show how one of America’s most important cities was built.

“Framed within the backdrop of structural oppression, ‘Memphis Majic’ is a melodic journey that centers Jookin’ as an artistic resistance to the racial realities of black youth,” McNeely Cobham said. “Film director Eddie Bailey inserts a missing puzzle piece into the history of hip hop by paying homage to an urban dance that is the DNA of Memphis.”

The event is free, but seating is limited. You must submit an RSVP online.

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.

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