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Black History Month Film Series

CAPFILM: Free Black History Month Series – A MAN CALLED ADAM

February 23, 2024
7:00 pm
Venue: Capitol Theatre


Duration: 1 hour 44 minutes
Rating: NR
Price: FREE
Sammy Davis Jr. in A Man Called Adam

To commemorate Black History Month 2024, the Appell Center has collaborated with four prominent York County community members to curate an exclusive film series. Each feature portrays the struggles, triumphs and challenges faced by these historical individuals and in significant periods of time. They are stories that simply must be told and retold… stories that continue to influence those that experience them.

Through the generous support of the Racial Equity Fund offered through the York County Community Foundation, admission to all four movies in the series is free.

  • Hidden Figures (2/4) – selected by Helen Tafesse
  • Queen and Slim (2/9) – selected by Rich Craighead
  • Selma (2/18) – selected by Samantha Dorm
  • A Man Called Adam (2/23) – selected by Jeff Kirkland

Each film screening will open with remarks by its curator, detailing why they think the movie should be shared with the York community, and how it has significantly impacted their lives.

A Man Called Adam
Adam (Sammy Davis Jr.), a down-and-out jazz trumpeter, makes a comeback with the help of a young civil rights activist (Cicely Tyson) and her grandfather (Louis Armstrong) while struggling with the effects of drugs, alcohol and racist violence.


Meet the Curator

Jeff Kirkland in front of several pieces of framed art

Jeff Kirkland has lived in York for almost 75 years and has been a collector of African-American movies for over 40 years. He has one of the largest collections of African American movies and Cultural History in central Pennsylvania. His collection includes movies from most genres, including historical biographies, comedy, drama, crime, animation and everything in between, which presents a varied picture of the African American experience in this country.

Kirkland works at Crispus Attucks York Community Center and has a keen interest in African-American history locally, nationally and worldwide.

A Man Called Adam (1966) showcases an incredible array of the talent of several award-winning Black entertainers, including Ossie Davis, Cicely Tyson, Sammy Davis Jr, Louie Armstrong, George Kirby, Lola Falana and several others. Also featured in this film are Frank Sinatra Jr., Peter Lawford and Mel Torme, among others. The film presents an interesting portrait of the early jazz scene and the trials of African musicians during that era. Much of the movie parallels the life of jazz legend Miles Davis, including the real-life relationship between Miles and Cicely Tyson.

Kirkland is happy to present this slice of life experienced by Black entertainers over the years. For those interested in jazz and music in general, this will be a particular delight to experience. According to Kirkland, films have the power to impact our beliefs, shape our perceptions and reflect the norms of our times. Movies also serve as a mirror to society, reflecting its joys, struggles and complexities.

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