Black History Month event highlights acclaimed film


Among those attending the Black History Month program: (front row, l-r) Jalia Marks, Amari Marks, and Minister Ruth King of Triumph Church; (back row) Angelique Strong Marks (MAHLE Industries, Incorporated, General Counsel,
Corporate Secretary and North America Compliance Officer), Vernon Baker (former Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Meritor), Kymberly Kinchen (Compliance Attorney, Ford Motor Co., President D. Augustus Straker Bar Association), Judge Denise Langford Morris (Oakland County Circuit Court), and Wayne County Probate Judge Terrance Keith (D. Augustus Straker Bar Association Founder).

Photo by John Meiu

On February 19, the D. Augustus Straker Bar Association, the Wolverine Bar Association, and attorney Angelique Strong Marks co-sponsored a Black History Month Program for members of the bar and the community.

The event featured the showing of the 2017 Oscar nominated documentary, "I Am Not Your Negro," a documentary based on author James Baldwin's 30-page letter in 1979 outlining a biography of slain civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. Although Baldwin's proposed manuscript was never completed, his letter and other writings serve as fuel for an examination of race relations in America. Approximately 200 lawyers and community members attended the event in Royal Oak.

Program Chairperson Angelique Strong Marks stated, "When I saw the movie the first time, it impacted me in such a profound way that I knew I had to be involved in raising awareness about this prolific artwork. This is a notable period in the film industry where we have 'Hidden Figures,' 'Fences,' 'Moonlighting,' '13th,' and 'I Am Not Your Negro' receiving Oscar nominations. More importantly, these movies provide profound insight into the accomplishments, obstacles, struggles, complexities, and perseverance of members of the African American community."

The Black History Month event also featured a "Taste of Soul Food" catered by Southfield Beans and Cornbread, gourmet cupcakes donated by Taste Love Cupcakes located in Royal Oak with a new location opening in West Bloomfield, and other appetizers donated by LeCrepe.

In addition, the event highlighted a number of black owned businesses in Royal Oak, including fashions from Blu Jean Blues, accessories and clothing from The Accessory Shop, T-Shirts from The Dirt, and trendy shoes from Burn Rubber Sneaker Boutique. The Landmark Main Art Theatre provided support for the event with the reception spacing and reduced price admission for the program's participants.

Both Kymberly Kinchen and Jehan Crump-Gibson, president of the D. Augustus Straker Bar Association and Wolverine Bar Association, respectively, stated that they were "honored to host the Black History Month event as the program allowed the organizations to bring lawyers and members of the community together to learn critical information as it relates to race and civil rights particularly given the climate of our country today."

Published: Tue, Feb 28, 2017