How do you capture the dynamism of live performance on a two-dimensional screen? In celebration of Black History Month, the Rock Hall will present a special film series, “Double Exposure: African American Music on Film,” highlighting the central role of African Americans in the history of rock and roll. We’ve chosen films that cover a wide range of musical styles, from the from gospel pioneer Sister Rosetta Tharpe (The Godmother of Rock and Roll: Sister Rosetta Tharpe) to soulman Curtis Mayfield (Movin’ On Up: The Music and Message of Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions) to hip-hop innovators Run-D.M.C. (Krush Groove). Each film features legendary performers, including many Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees. The films also reflect historical and cultural changes in African-American culture during the rock and roll era. We’ll have special introductions and discussions to some of the films by guest scholars, producers, filmmakers and Rock Hall Education staff. All of these movies will be screened in the Rock Hall’s state-of-the-art Foster Theater and are free with a reservation.
The month will also include a class in the Rock Hall’s K-12 program, Rockin’ the Schools, as well as a special session of the museum’s K-12 teacher professional development program, Teachers Rock. The Teachers Rock session, “Alternate Takes: K-12 Approaches to African-American Music on Film,” will be held on Wednesday, February 9, 2011 from 4:30 – 6pm and will explore the legacy of African-American music and musicians on film. Participating educators will discuss key films (to be screened in their entirety throughout the month) as well as Rock Hall educational models and content approaches. With subjects and performances ranging from the birth of the blues to the dawn of hip-hop, these films reveal a story often neglected or even ignored. It will be a great chance for educators to learn how they can bring this meaningful history their own classrooms.