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FILM: Against All Odds

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This documentary, “Against All Odds:  The Fight for a Black Middle Class,” has been making the rounds of film festivals and private screenings since the spring, when it aired on PBS.  President Ronald Reagan was only partly right when he said in 1981, “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” As a matter of history, government at all levels and in a variety of ways has been complicit in relegating most blacks to a servant class; but the federal government in particular has also been a primary stepping stone into the middle class. The 75-minute film sets out to depict “the harsh and often brutal discrimination that has made it extremely difficult for African Americans to establish a middle-class standard of living,” according to PBS. MGJR’s editor, E. R. Shipp, wrote a commentary about the black middle class after a screening in Baltimore hosted by Rep. Elijah Cummings and his wife Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, a policy consultant and  Maryland gubernatorial candidate. To view the trailer, click here; for the full film, click here.

Its producing team, led by veteran journalist Bob Herbert as producer, executive editor and narrator, is encouraging people concerned about the black middle class — its challenges, its obligations and its future — to host screenings in their living rooms and in their larger gathering places. For more information or to arrange screenings, contact Sally Roy at [email protected]

 

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