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Tucson Black Film Club holds Juneteenth screening of ‘Jasper, Texas’

The Tucson Black Film Club will hold a free Juneteenth film screening and discussion of "Jasper, Texas" at 3-4:30 p.m on Sunday via Zoom.

The film was released in 2003 and revisited the 1998 lynching of James Byrd Jr., a 49-year-old Black father of three, by three white supremacists who were all found guilty of capital murder. Byrd's lynching resulted in changes to federal and state hate crime laws and references throughout pop culture.

The film drew comparisons to the present day in both good ways and bad, said Annie Sykes of the Tucson Black Film Club.

"You got to look for the differences in today and then. Then you also look at things that are still relevant today that were done then. How things haven't changed, or anything like that. We're having the the issues of white supremacy now and this is 2021," Sykes said. "So the more things change, the more things kind of stay the same. So we're looking for you to look for those kind of nuances in human behavior."

Sykes encouraged people of all races to engage in the event and discuss the film with each other.

"You know, for me, I'm a lover of film. It's just like a book club," Sykes said, "What you do is you read the book, and then you all come back and discuss it. You get a chance to hear various points of views and I love hearing what other people have to say, everybody doesn't see everything the way I see it and that's what it's all about."

Participants can watch "Jasper, Texas" for free on Tubi before participating in the online live virtual discussion via Zoom, which will a deeper exploration into the topics explored in the film.

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