Narrated by AFI Directing Workshop for Women alum Maya Angelou, THE BLACK CANDLE traces the growth of Kwanzaa out of the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements in the 1960s to its modern-day incarnation as a Pan-African holiday celebrated by millions around the world.
AFI Movie Club: THE BLACK CANDLE
Watch director M.K. Asante go “Behind the Scene” and talk about filming THE BLACK CANDLE in this exclusive conversation.
DID YOU KNOW? THE BLACK CANDLE marks the first feature documentary film created about Kwanzaa.
DID YOU KNOW? THE BLACK CANDLE won the Africa World Documentary Film Festival 2009 award for best full-length documentary.
DID YOU KNOW? The documentary THE BLACK CANDLE features footage of James Baldwin and Malcolm X and interviews with an all-star cast, which includes NFL Legend Jim Brown, Hip Hop icon Chuck D, Kwanzaa’s founder Dr. Maulana Karenga, artist Synthia Saint James and many more.
DID YOU KNOW? Director M.K. Asante – credited as M.K. Asante, Jr. – is also an author, most known for his memoir, BUCK, about growing up in Philadelphia. Asante also wrote the documentary 500 YEARS which explores the impact of slavery throughout history.
DID YOU KNOW? Narrator Maya Angelou was not only part of AFI Directing Workshop for Women but was also on the AFI Board of Trustees from 1975-1981.
The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Discussion Questions
- What inspired director MK Asante, Jr. to film a documentary about Kwanzaa?
- What was going on in Los Angeles at the time that Maulana Karenga established Kwanzaa?
- Which tenants of the “Nguzo Saba” resonate strongly with you as guiding principles?
- What is the impact of having Maya Angelou narrate a film about Kwanzaa? How was Angelou an essential artist and activist within the Black community throughout her life?
- In the film, Chuck D. says, “faith is the electricity of life.” What do you think he means by this?
- How would you rate THE BLACK CANDLE?
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