Written by | Ray Cornelius

ATL kicked-off Black History Month in a major way Monday night with a red carpet premiere of the Focus Features biopic “RACE.” Some of the city’s biggest and brightest stars attended the private screening at the Regal Atlantic Station including Ludacris, Will Packer, and Ambassador Andrew Young.


Will Packer, Erica Ash, Jessie T. Usher with “RACE” star Stephan James

“RACE” stars Canadian-born actor Stephan James as Jessie Owens, the Olympic icon who defied all the odds when he shattered Adolf Hitler’s myth of Aryan supremacy at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. Owens won four gold medals in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, the long jump and the 400-meter relay.  “RACE” also features Shanice Banton, Shamier Anderson, Jason Sudeikis, Jeremy Irons and Glynn Turman.


Stephan James with Kim Fields and husband Christopher Morgan

The screening was hosted by “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Kim Fields, who first met James at the Mayor’s Masked Ball in December. Other celebrities in attendance included “Survivor’s Remorse” stars Jessie T. Usher and Erica Ash, actress extraordinaire Lisa Arrindell Anderson, “The People v. O.J. Simpson” star Cocoa Brown, “Preachers of Atlanta” star Pastor Corey Hambrick, and singers Anthony David, Regina Belle, and 112’s Q Parker.

DSC_0741Cocoa Brown of “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson

Also spotted on the carpet were Love and Hip Hop Atlanta’s Ariane Davis, Eudoxie Bridges (Ludacris’ wife), Carolyn Young (Ambassador Young’s wife), Sharlinda Parker (Q Parker’s wife), Reverend Raphael Warnock of Ebenezer Baptist Church and wife Dr. Ouleye Warnock and Kathleen Bertrand from the BronzeLens Film Festival (BLFF). There was also a special appearance by the world’s fastest youth sprinter Candice Hill and Nat Page, Stephan’s track & field trainer.


Stephan James delivers a powerful performance as James Cleveland Owens aka Jessie Owens. As previously reported, he began training for the role during his off days while shooting Ava DuVernay’s epic film “Selma.” He literally transformed into the character by cutting his own hair to resemble Owens’ iconic style. He also did all of the “running” shots in the film and spent hours with Owens’ three daughters, who told him that he reminded them of “Daddy.” “RACE” is the quintessential family film to see this Black History Month.

Check out more photos below from the premiere:


The fastest youth sprinter Candice Hill with her sister and mother

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Singers Anthony David and Regina Belle 


112’s Q Parker with his wife Sharlinda and son Quinnes Parker Jr.

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Preachers of Atlanta‘s Corey Hambrick and “RACE” Trainer Nat Page 

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Love and Hip Hop Atlanta‘s Ariane Davis and actress Lisa Arrindell Anderson


National Center for Civil and Human Right’s Judith Montier and family


Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall and his wife Natalie


“RACE” star Stephan James getting a congratulatory hug from Jessie T. Usher  DSC_0557

Stephan James being interviewed by Atlanta press


Ludacris giving Ambassador Andrew Young a hug


Lisa Arrindell Anderson with BLFF’s Kathleen Bertrand 


Rev. Raphael Warnock being interviewed by media personality Satchel Jester 


Click here to see the trailer! “RACE” opens in theaters nationwide February 19th

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com