Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Atlanta’s only jazz station, WCLK 91.9 hosted the premiere of Stanley Nelson Jr.‘s upcoming documentary film, “Tell Them We Are Rising” on this past Wednesday evening and RC/UPFRONT was there to capture all of the sights and sounds. The invitation only screening took place on the historic campus of Clark Atlanta University in the auditorium of the Thomas H. Cole Research Center for Science and Technology.

Jazz 91.9 WCLK hosted Atlanta premiere of “Tell Them We Are Rising”

“Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities” is the first documentary film that puts a spotlight on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and the impact they’ve had on American history, culture, and national identity. It begins with the earliest attempts at education after slavery all the way to today’s campuses. The 90-minute film will air nationally on Monday, February 19, 2018 during PBS’ Black History Month programming and is part of their acclaimed series, Independent Lens.  The project is funded with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the Lumina Foundation.“I set out to tell a story of Americans who refused to be denied a higher education and—in their resistance—created a set of institutions that would influence and shape the landscape of the country for centuries to come. In particular, it was essential that this film highlight authentic, personal accounts alongside archival footage, letters, diaries, photographs, and even home movies of the people who have lived the HBCU experience. The legacy of these institutions is not marked only by milestones and achievements; it is encapsulated by the minds and lives of the people who walked those storied halls,” said Nelson in a statement.

Kiplyn Primus + Stanley Nelson Jr. + Dr. Ronald A. Johnson

Wednesday night’s screening is part of a national tour of the film on HBCU campuses which began this week at Dillard University in New Orleans. It also featured a pre-screening dinner with CAU dignitaries along with a post film discussion featuring Nelson with CAU President, Dr. Ronald A. Johnson and Howard University alumna and host of WCLK’s public affairs show, “The Local Take,” Kiplyn Primus. The evening was moderated by CAU alumna and WCLK on-air personality—Debb Moore.

Check out more premiere photos below and watch the trailer. Also, don’t forget to tune into my radio show #UPFRONT this Saturday at 9 a.m. to hear my interview with Stanley Nelson Jr. regarding the film and his future film projects:

“Tell Them We Are Rising” debuts on PBS on 2/19/18

“Tell Them We Are Rising” chronicles the history of HBCUs

WCLK General Manager Wendy Williams (Center) +

CPB’s Erika Pulley-Hayes + Stanley Nelson

WCLK Board Chair Richard Dent + WCLK’s Debb Moore 

CAU Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Peter O. Nwosu, Ph.D.

WCLK’s Mark Angel + Richard Dent + Wendy Williams +

Larry Jennings + Reggie Hicks

CAU Chief of Staff & Special Assistant to the President Marilynn A. Davis +

Mass Media Arts Chair Dr. Nsinga Burton

Dr. Ronald A. Johnson + Kiplyn Primus + Stanley Nelson 

Kiplyn Primus 

CAU President – Dr. Ronald A. Johnson

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com