Q&A with Tayo Giwa on May 15

The Sun Rises in The East chronicles the birth, rise, and legacy of The East, a pan-African cultural organization founded in 1969 by teens and young adults in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Led by educator and activist Jitu Weusi, The East embodied Black self-determination, building dozens of institutions, including its own African-centered school, food co-op, newsmagazine, publishing house, record label, restaurant, clothing shop, and bookstore. The organization hosted world-famous jazz musicians and poets at its highly sought-after performance venue, and it served as an epicenter for political contemporaries such as the Black Panther Party, the Young Lords, and the Congress of Afrikan People, as well as comrades across Africa and the Caribbean. In effect, The East built an independent Black nation in the heart of central Brooklyn. The Sun Rises in The East is the first feature-length documentary to explore The East and its continued influence on the fabric of Black Brooklyn. The film also examines challenges that led to The East’s eventual dissolution, including its gender politics, financial struggles, and government surveillance. Featuring interviews with leaders of The East, historians, and people who grew up in the organization as children, The Sun Rises in The East delivers an exhilarating and compelling vision for today’s movement for racial justice, showing just how much is possible. Co-Presented by the Be Reel Black Cinema Club.

Preceded by:
Precious Hair & Beauty
John Ogunmuyiwa, 2021, UK, 11m
English and Yoruba with English subtitles
New York Premiere
John Ogunmuyiwa’s vibrant short is an ode to the mundanity and madness of the high street, told through the window of an African hair salon in London.

Co-presented by Be Reel Black Cinema Club.

Accessibility Options: Open Captioning is available for The Sun Rises in the East and Precious Hair & Beauty.