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Long Long Way Film Weekend

  • National Cathedral 3101 Wisconsin Avenue Northwest Washington, DC, 20016 United States (map)

Dr. Martin Luther King remarked that while the nation had come “a long, long way” in its quest for racial justice, it still had a long, long way to go. In 2019, how far have we come, and how much more do we have to go?

Join the Austin Film Festival, Baylor University, the March on Washington Film Festival and Washington National Cathedral for a screening and discussion of film, race and policing through two legendary Spike Lee films, "Do the Right Thing" and "BlacKkKlansman."

This second annual weekend showcases the 30th anniversary of "Do the Right Thing on Friday night and BlacKkKlansman (2018) on Saturday night.

Each film is followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Korva Coleman of NPR, and invites theologians, film critics, and historians to tackle the question of whether we have *actually* come a long long way.

In addition, a Saturday afternoon workshop explores race and policing through film analysis and contemporary events.



Roger Ebert said of Do the Right Thing that Only a few films penetrate your soul. Spike Lee’s 1989 masterpiece is certainly one of those movies, exploring racism, prejudice, and violence in ways that continue to be powerful and relevant. Now in its 30th anniversary year, Do the Right Thing is a milestone in American film, and worthy of our serious celebration and exploration. NPR’s Korva Coleman will moderate a panel discussion on the film’s historical context and explore the impact of this film.

Panelists: Dr. Greg Garrett, Mr. Vann Newkirk, The Rev. Dr. Yolanda Pierce


3 PM – 5 PM; $15 ($10 STUDENT/MILITARY)

This afternoon workshop will explore in greater detail the two films, made 30 years apart, both with elements of race and policing. Panelist presentations and roundtable discussion, followed by participant engagement, will unpack the ways in which identity shapes the way we see film and understand policing in its current context. The goals of the workshop will be to prepare participants to watch the evening screening with greater attentiveness to questions of narrative and context, and to engage the question of how far we have (or haven’t) come regarding policing and race in the U.S..

Presenters: The Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, Dr. Greg Garrett, Mr. Elliot Williams

6:30 PM; $15 ($10 STUDENT/MILITARY)

Perhaps Spike Lee’s most artful film, the Golden Globe-nominated BlacKkKlansman examines a historical narrative of race, violence, and law enforcement, while showing how it ties into our present. The movie self-consciously explores the importance of American film and culture, which makes it only appropriate that we consciously discuss its messages. NPR’s Korva Coleman will moderate a panel discussion on themes related to race, film, policing, and our current culture.

Panelists: The Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, Mr. Vann Newkirk


Ms. Korva Coleman is a newscaster for NPR. In this role, she is responsible for writing, producing, and delivering national newscasts airing during NPR’s newsmagazines All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition. Occasionally she serves as a substitute host for Weekend All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.

The Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas is Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Seminary and the Canon Theologian at Washington National Cathedral. She is considered a leader in the fields of womanist theology, racial reconciliation, and sexuality and the black church.

Dr. Greg Garrett is Professor of English at Baylor University and, according to BBC Radio, one of America’s most important voices on faith and culture. The author of more than 20 books on religion, politics, narrative, literature, and popular culture, he is also Theologian in Residence at the American Cathedral in Paris, and a licensed lay preacher in the Episcopal Church.

Mr. Vann Newkirk is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he has covered health policy, civil rights, voting rights, environmental justice, race and class in American politics, and the evolution of black identity. He is a frequent media guest on race, politics, and culture

The Rev. Dr. Yolanda Pierce is Professor and Dean of the Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, DC. She is a scholar of African American Religious History; Womanist Theology; African American Literature; and Race and Religion.

Mr. Elliot Williams, a Principal with the Raben Group, has worked with elected and appointed officials at the highest levels, serving most recently as the Department of Justice as Deputy Assistant Attorney General. A frequent commentator in the media, Williams has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, and other national media outlets.