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Black History Month Event: The Emperor Jones

In honor of Black History Month, this Saturday February 22 at 7pm the Liberty Theater is proud to present a screening of the 1933 film The Emperor Jones, based on Eugene O’Neill’s first major hit play. The Emperor Jones was the first widely-released American film (i.e., not specifically targeted as a race film) featuring an African-American lead actor (and indeed, almost all of the cast), as well as Paul Robeson’s first notable film role. The New York Times review at the time stated “It is a distinguished offering, resolute and firm, with a most compelling portrayal by Paul Robeson of the ambitious Negro Pullman porter, Brutus Jones.” While some elements of the film have not aged well, it marks a milestone in African-American film history.