Authors Deborah Riley Draper & Blair Underwood, visit the Young Scholars Solomon Thomas, Sky Ciriaco, Gabriel Hostin, Jalen Taylor, Audrey Watt, in the LIT Lounge to discuss the relevance and impact, Olympic Pride, American Prejudice has on current issues we find ourselves still graveling with.
You are invited to join-in this candid conversation covering everything from Jim Crow Laws to the recent murder of Ahmaud Arbery. As we embark on several key elections, given the impact the COVID19 crisis has taken on our communities, and the behaviors demonstrated in the current administration, could the democratic process be in jeopardy? Time for our young people to have a place for their voices to be heard. Parents, family, teachers, politicians and all concerned citizens-join the conversation, May 20, 2020 @ 7:00pm EST, in the LIT Lounge.
Your registration of $35.00 includes a signed copy of Olympic Pride, American Prejudice. The book will be mailed to you. A portion of the proceeds will benefit: #RunWithMaud Gofundme.
Deborah Riley Draper is a compelling and award-winning filmmaker and advertising agency executive. Draper is 2016 Film Independent Lab Fellow and Variety Magazine’s “2016 Top 10 Documakers to Watch”. Draper’s debut film, Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution, opened New York Fashion Week and Toronto Fashion Week in 2012. Versailles ’73 appeared at festivals and fashion weeks around the world, including Australia, Croatia and Estonia. The film premiered on Logo TV in September 2015, aired on the Aspire Network in 2017 and was a favorite on Starz On-Demand in 2018 and 2019. MOMA, SCAD, Guggenheim Bilboa and the de Young Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco and many other museums have integrated the film with their major fashion exhibitions as well as FIT, Kent State University and Syracuse have incorporated the film as a part of the curriculum. Fox Searchlight has optioned the feature film rights.
Her documentary, Olympic Pride, American Prejudice, tells the untold story of 18 African Americans who defied Hitler and Jim Crow to compete in the 1936 Olympic Games. Olympic Pride is a 2017 NAACP Image Awards Nominee for Outstanding Documentary Film and one of only 3 nominees for the 2017 Peace and Sport Award in Monaco, presented by HRH Prince Albert. The film and filmmakers played an integral role in getting the African American athletes recognized by the White House in 2016, where President Obama formally thanked the families of these athletes for their courage and excellence. The film was one of the first films shown in the Oprah Winfrey Theatre at the National African American Museum of History and Culture in Washington, DC. Draper’s next project is Coffee Will Make You Black. Draper penned the screenplay adaptation of April Sinclair’s seminal novel about an African-American girl growing up in 1960’s Chicago. Produced by Octavia Spencer, Tate Taylor and John Norris, Draper will direct the film, which stars Gabrielle Union. Draper recently completed the short film “Illegal Rose”, which tackles the topic of immigration and detained children, starring Jasmine Guy and Lucca Rodriguez-Pedraza. Illegal Rose is currently on engaging audiences on the festival circuit, including official selections at Urbanworld Film Festival, BronzeLens Film Festival, DTLA Film Festival.
Deborah Riley Draper’s advertising acumen and creativity can be found in major campaigns and projects for Lamborghini, Coca-Cola classic, Exxon-Mobil, REI, AT&T, L’oreal and Adidas. She has earned two regional Emmys, a Gold Effie, and several Addy Awards and has stewarded multi-million dollar campaigns for over 14 years, driving earned media, brand share and sales revenue for clients. Deborah Riley Draper is a 2016 Guest Filmmaker Lecturer at Indiana University, 2015 Spelman College Digital Moving Image Salon Celebration of Excellence Award Recipient and 2014 Distinguished Visiting Professor at Johnson & Wales University in Entertainment Marketing. Draper, a Savannah, GA native, is the Atlanta Chapter lead of Film Fatales and a die-hard FSU Seminole.
A true multi-hyphenate, Blair Underwood is enjoying success in film, television and theatre, as an actor, director and producer.
On screen Underwood was most recently seen co-starring in the Netflix limited series, Self-Made, opposite Octavia Spencer. While audiences were streaming that performance Underwood was onstage, starring on Broadway opposite David Allen Grier in the Roundabout Theatre revival of A Soldier’s Play at the American Airlines Theater. That performance garnered accolades and was recently nominated for a Drama League Distinguished Performance Award.
In 2019 Underwood recurred on the Netflix comedy series, Dear White People, and in Clark Johnson's Juanita, opposite Alfred Woodard, also for Netflix. He spent two years as a series regular on the ABC drama series, Quantico, while also recurring on another hit ABC drama, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. He also had a co-starring role in The After Party, from writer/director Ian Edelman, which Netflix released late in 2018.
Past television credits include series regular roles on Dirty Sexy Money, The New Adventures of Old Christine, In Treatment, L.A. Law and The Event. Film credits include Rules of Engagement, Madea's Family Reunion and Full Frontal, for director Steven Soderbergh. Underwood co-starred opposite Cicely Tyson in the Lifetime telefilm, A Trip To Bountiful, based on the Tony Award-winning play. In 2012 he made his acclaimed Broadway debut in the iconic role of "Stanley" in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, for which he earned a Drama League Distinguished Performance Award nomination.
Underwood also has several projects in the development pipeline as a director, including Patch, an elevated genre feature based on a Gregg McBride script. In 2010 he made his feature film directing debut with The Bridge to Nowhere, which starred Ving Rhames, Danny Masterson, Bijou Phillips and Alex Breckenridge.
Underwood is an Emmy Award-winner (as producer of the philanthropy-centered NBC Saturday morning series, Give), a two-time Golden Globe Award nominee, and has been nominated for 18 NAACP Image Awards (three wins). He won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word as co-narrator of Al Gore's audiobook, An Inconvenient Truth. A newly minted member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, he is also active in several philanthropic endeavors.