A Film and Discussion Series
At Seymour Library
Explore Black history and culture during this film and discussion series facilitated by William E. Berry, Jr. This series, held at Seymour Library, 176-178 Genesee Street, Auburn NY 13021, will take place over the course of two months and feature a variety of documentaries and biographical dramas.
In celebration of Juneteenth, the June films will focus on artists and innovators, including photographer, writer, and director Gordon Parks and jazz pianist, arranger, and composer, Mary Lou Williams.
Gordon Parks: Photographer, Writer, & Director
Thursday, June 8 at 6:30 pm
- Featured Film: Moments Without Proper Names (1987) (58 mins.)
Available to stream through Kanopy.
Mary Lou Williams: American Jazz Pianist, Arranger, & Composer
Thursday, June 22 at 6:30 pm
- Featured Film: Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band (2015) (73 mins.)
Available to stream through Kanopy.
The series will continue in September, (International Underground Railroad Month), featuring films on social reform and racial justice, including bio pics about educator and activist Mamie Till-Mobley and lawyer, social justice activist, and law professor Bryan Stevenson. The series concludes with a recently released documentary on the members of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, who fought for voting rights and Black Power in Lowndes County, Alabama.
Mamie Till-Mobley: Educator & Activist
Thursday, September 7 at 6:30 pm
Bryan Stevenson: Lawyer, Social Justice Activist, & Law Professor
Thursday, September 21 at 6:30 pm
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
Thursday, September 28 at 6:30 pm
A short discussion will follow each film. Refreshments will be provided by the Friends of Seymour Library. For film titles, please visit Seymour Library’s website at: www.seymourlibrary.org
William E. Berry, Jr. known readily as bill berry is originally from The Bronx and came to
Auburn in 1997 to serve as the dean for strategic planning and institutional initiatives at Cayuga
Community College. Mr. Berry’s career as a higher education administrator spanned four
decades with appointments at the senior executive level. He served at SUNY, CUNY, Malcolm-
King College in Harlem, Antioch University, and several other campuses; taught at the graduate
and undergraduate level; presented at numerous national conferences and is a consultant on a
variety of educational issues. The immediate past board chair of the Harriet Tubman Center for
Justice and Peace, Inc., bill served that organization for 25 years as a member and executive
leader. Currently, he serves on the board of the United Way of Cayuga County; is a member of
the Healing Cayuga Steering Committee; founding member of the Cayuga County Sheriff
Office’s Community Collaborative Advisement Committee and serves as the Auburn school
district’s consultant for its diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic plan. bill is the publisher of
the online literary and visual arts journal, aaduna and occasionally writes opinion pieces for The
Citizen. He considers himself to be an activist scholar and progressive social justice advocate. In 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul appointed bill to serve on the New York State African-American
History Commission that will explore and celebrate 400 years of Black history in New York
State. Mr. Berry is one of fifteen members chosen state-wide.
This event is funded in part with the NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center and the City of Auburn’s Historic and Cultural Sites Commission for the 2023 Juneteenth Celebration.
Additional funding comes from the Friends of Seymour Library.