‘The Birth of a Nation’ Director Receives Standing Ovation

The film’s releasing studio, Fox Searchlight, partnered with several organizations to host screenings for their members.

Parker attend the NYC screening

The last few months have been a horrendous one for actor Nate Parker, director of the film “The Birth of a Nation,” a movie about an enslaved African American, who led a rebellion of slaves and free blacks in 1831. Parker, who was charged and acquitted for rape in 1999, has spent the past few weeks defending himself against the rape allegations including addressing the accusation in a Facebook post.Al and Nate in New York

At a recent community-focused screening of the film in New York, he was met with standing ovation by a local New York based organization.

Fox Searchlight partnered with several organizations including the National Action Network (NAN) in Harlem, the Emerging 100 of Houston, the City of Compton, 100 Black Men of Los Angeles, the Jamaica Center for Learning & Arts(JCAL) in Queens, NY, and the T.R.E. Foundation in Charlotte to host screenings for their members.

At the NAN screening,  the organization’s founder/president Rev. Al Sharpton thanked Parker for telling the story of Nat Turner. Additional Harlem attendees included Valerie Bell (mother of 2006 police shooting victim Sean Bell), Councilwoman Inez Dickens, Korey Wise (member of the wrongfully-convicted Central Park Five), Rev. Herbert D. Daughtry (former Lt. for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), Judge Tanya Kenney (NY Supreme Court First Judicial District).

In Los Angeles, Compton Mayor Aja Brown alongside 100 Black Men of LA president Rev. Jewett Walker and Carson Mayor Albert Robles attended the screening in Carson. Gospel singer James Fortune and Emerging 100 president Steve Hadley introduced the film in Houston, as did JCAL Board Chair Michelle Stoddart and board member Shante Bacon in Queens and Chelandra Moore-Quarles of the T.R.E. Foundation in Charlotte.

Fox Searchlight paid a record-breaking $17.5 million for the film just hours after it screened at the Sundance Film Festival early this year, but support for the film waned after Parker’s allegations resurfaced.The Birth of A Nation

“The Birth of a Nation” releases in theaters Friday.

Photo credit: Bernard Smalls (Harlem), Tylik Hill (Queens)

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