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The Black List cover

African Diaspora Film Festival

16th Annual African Diaspora Film Festival


Diarah N'Daw Spech and Reinaldo Barroso-Spech founded the African Diaspora Film Festival 16 years ago.

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i love hip hop in morocco

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Education in America cover

Fall films at TC spotlight the changing nature of education and society

TC has long been known as a locus for provocative and insightful films that probe societal fault lines. But this fall the College has been particularly active on the cinema front, sponsoring or hosting films that examine everything from hip hop in Morocco to the lives of prominent African Americans.

The 16th annual African Diaspora Film Festival opens on Friday, November 28th, and runs through December 14th. The festival, founded by the husband-wife team of TC adjunct instructor Reinaldo Barroso-Spech and Diarah N’Daw Spech, Financial Director at the College’s Center for Educational Outreach and Innovation (CEO&I), is being held in six venues in Manhattan, including the Cowin Center at TC.

The festival will hold its centerpiece screening of The Black List, a documentary in which well-known African Americans recount their personal stories, at the Cowin Center on December 6th. In addition to screenings at the Cowin Center, the festival will hold a series of panel discussions at 179 Grace Dodge Hall on December 12th and 13th. A listing of all of the screenings and panel discussions at TC and throughout Manhattan is available at the festival’s Web site at

Meanwhile, the Gottesman Libraries launched two film series this fall. The newest is designed to support faculty research interests and academic programs. Senior Librarian Jennifer Govan said the two films shown so far, I Love Hip Hop in Morocco and More Zen, Less Phobia, were the result of requests by faculty members.

In fact, Louis Cristillo, a lecturer in international and transcultural studies and Project Director for the Muslim Youth in New York City Public Schools Study, not only requested that I Love Hip Hop in Morocco be shown, but helped arrange for the film’s co-director, Joshua Asen, to attend the screening and take part in a panel discussion.

“There are no set topics. We are purely responding to the needs of faculty,” Govan said. “Faculty members are very interested in film, which is great because we can help support the courses they are teaching and the research they are doing by showing these films.”

The next film in the series will be Revolution ’67, a documentary that examines the racial protests and civil unrest in Newark in July of 1967. The film will be shown on December 1st from 4 to 7:30 p.m. in 306 Russell Hall.

In addition to the faculty film series, the Gottesman Libraries launched its annual Fall Film Series from September through November. This year, the library screened Education in America and This Brave Nation to prompt discussion on the history and development of schooling. Education in America, a series of archival films made in 1958, has a strong tie to TC because the films are narrated by Freeman Butts, the William E. Russell Professor Emeritus who served as head of what was then the College’s Department of Social and Philosophical Foundations from 1948 to 1958. 

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