With funding support by the National Endowment for the Humanities and Ohio Humanities, filmmaker Frederick Lewis presents, Paul Laurence Dunbar: Beyond the Mask. This new feature-length film examines Dunbar’s life and legacy as one of the first influential black poets of American 20th century literature. The Feb. 9 premiere begins 5 p.m. in the Tinkham Veale Center Ballroom, 11038 Bellflower Road. Lewis will host a Q&A immediately afterward. WOUB Public Media (Athens) will broadcast the documentary Feb. 14 at 8 p.m.
Born in Dayton, Ohio, many of Dunbar’s poems and short stories reflected a ‘black’ dialectic primarily associated with the rural south. A prolific writer, he struggled to find a balance that would both appeal to his largely white readership yet sincerely express the African American experience. The event is free; however, pre-registration is recommended.
Lewis is an associate professor of media arts and studies at Ohio University.