PLYMOUTH, N.H. – A filmmaker’s journey to end Black History Month reveals the status of race and equality in a “post-racial” America.
The documentary “More Than A Month” follows African-American filmmaker Shukree Hassan Tilghman on his thoughtful and humorous campaign through the United States and his conversations about race, culture and identity. Part of the PBS Community Cinema series, “More Than A Month” will be screened on Tuesday, February 28 at 7:00 p.m. in the Boyd Theater at Plymouth State University. A discussion led by Associate Professor of History Whitney Howarth follows the presentation. The event is free and open to the public.
In the documentary, Tilghman stops in various cities, wearing a sandwich board, to solicit signatures on his petition to end the observance. He explains that relegating Black History Month to the coldest, shortest month of the year is an insult, and that black history is not separate from American history.
His road trip begins in Washington, D.C., crisscrosses the country during Black History Month 2010, and ends with an epilogue one year later. Each stop along the journey explores Black History Month as it relates to four ideas: education, history, identity, and commercialism.
Tilgman’s campaign to end Black History Month is actually a provocative gambit to open a public conversation about the idea of ethnic heritage months, and whether relegating African American history to the shortest month of the year — and separating it from American history on the whole — denigrates the role of black people and black culture throughout American history. But it is also a seeker’s journey to reconcile his own conflicting feelings about his own identity, history, and convictions.
Community Cinema, a partnership between PSU and New Hampshire Public Television, features documentary screenings from the PBS Independent Lens series followed by a discussion facilitated by PSU faculty members. Each screening is free and open to the public.
Other documentaries are: “Women, War and Peace” (March 13), “Troop 1500” (April 3) and “Hell and Back Again” (TBA).