“Every generation has its hero. Meet ours.”
That’s the tagline for “Just Mercy,” the 2019 film that will be shown Saturday as part of the Black History Month celebration set for Saturday, Feb. 20, at Avalon Theatre, 645 Main St.
Organized by Black Citizens and Friends, this celebration will shine a light on both heroes and everyday folks through video, art and essays.
Saturday’s celebration has two parts, said David Combs with Black Citizens and Friends.
The first is the Student Art Exhibit from 3–5 p.m. Saturday in the foyer areas of the Avalon. No ticket is needed for admission to the exhibit, which will display the entries to the group’s Martin Luther King Jr. poster and essay contests.
This year there were 53 poster entries, which went far beyond the usual five or six entries of previous years, Combs said.
The essays from the contest also will be displayed, and the students who wrote them were invited to be at the event to read their work, he said.
The theme for the 2021 contests was “If You See Something, Say Something.”
The Student Art Exhibit will include some even newer artwork created during the Sip Soda and Paint event for middle and high school students on Feb. 14.
Led by a local artist, the students created art based on the poem “The Rose That Grew From Concrete” by Tupac Shakur.
While there isn’t a limit on the number of people who can attend the exhibit, there is a 175-person capacity for the celebration’s second event of the day.
This event, which will include the showing of “Just Mercy,” will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Avalon. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
Tickets cost $10 per person and can be purchased through avalontheatregj.com/events/just-mercy.
Before the film’s screening there will be several video vignettes shown that are focused on historical Black figures in Colorado history. Those will go about 15 minutes and then there will be short keynote speech from Kiana Peoples, an assistant professor of social work at Colorado Mesa University.
And then the film “Just Mercy” will be shown. Starring Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson, the film tells the story of attorney Bryan Stevenson, who defended Walter McMillian, a Black man wrongly accused and sentenced to death for murder in 1987.
“It’s a real powerful movie about false accusations,” Combs said.
False accusations along with the events of 2020 were why Black Citizens and Friends to decide to show “Just Mercy,” which is based on a book of the same name by Stevenson.
For information about Saturday’s events and Black Citizens and Friends, go to blackcitizensandfriends.com.