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From Screen to Square Film Screening: ‘The Watsons Go to Birmingham’ The Juneteenth screening is the final installment of the 2023-24 Screen to Square series and will feature a panel of local students.

DeLaney-Center-StS-600x400 From Screen to Square Film Screening: ‘The Watsons Go to Birmingham’
The DeLaney Center at Washington and Lee University will conclude its 2023-24 Screen to Square film series with a special “The Watsons Go to Birmingham” screening at 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 19, in Stackhouse Theater inside the Elrod Commons.

The screening, held on the Juneteenth holiday, is free to the public and aimed at involving the youth of Lexington and Rockbridge County by collaborating with local schools and community partners. Free popcorn and food will be served during the event.

The film is based on the Coretta Scott King Award-winning novel of the same title and chronicles the Watsons, an African-American family living in Flint, Michigan, whose perspectives change drastically following a visit to Alabama during the summer of 1963 amid the Civil Rights Movement. The film offers a glimpse into the 1960s family dynamics and cultural history, providing plenty of cultural context.

This year’s Screen to Square series focused on the “Turning Points in the Civil Rights Movement,” and the Juneteenth screening will include general conversation from the audience, followed by a panel discussion involving local students. These discussions are intended to provide authentic reflections and a comparison of the film and the novel, which is taught annually within the Lylburn Downing Middle School curriculum.

This year’s Screen to Square series is made possible by a $9,500 grant from Virginia Humanities.

The DeLaney Center is an interdisciplinary academic forum that promotes teaching and research on race and Southern identity. Visit the DeLaney Center website for updates on further DeLaney Dialogues, film screenings and other programming.