Chazen Museum of Art


African American Pioneers: The Learning Tree with talk by Steve Ryfle

February 21, 6:00 PM to 8:45 PM | Chazen Auditorium

African American Pioneers: The Learning Tree with talk by Steve Ryfle

6 p.m. Special Talk:
Steve Ryfle on “Desegregating Hollywood: Film and the Civil Rights Era.” Co-Presented by UW Madison Friends of the Libraries.

7 p.m. Film:

The Learning Tree

USA, 1969, 35mm, 107 min.
Directed by Gordon Parks
Cast: Kyle Johnson, Alex Clarke, Estelle Evans

Famed photographer Parks became the first African-American to direct a feature film for a major Hollywood studio (Warner Bros) with this adaptation of Parks’ own semi-autobiographical novel. The film depicts the coming-of-age of teenaged Newt Winger (Johnson) in rural Kansas of the 1920s.

African-American Pioneers

In celebration of Black History Month and in conjunction with the Chazen’s exhibition Southern Rites (January 25–May 12), the Cinematheque will co-present two landmark films in February by significant directors. Legendary independent auteur Oscar Micheaux’s Within Our Gates (1920) is the oldest existing feature-length movie by an African-American filmmaker and Gordon Parks The Learning Tree (1969) is the first film directed by an African-American for a major Hollywood studio.

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