Rep. John Lewis

By Tribune Staff

NASHVILLE, TN — Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) is inviting audiences both in Nashville and across Middle Tennessee to join in a nationwide watch of the new documentary, “John Lewis: Good Trouble” on Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. CDT. The film examines the impact of Rep. John Lewis’s life and work. They are collaborating with more than 60 arts and cultural institutions. TPAC is providing audiences with digital access to the film from Magnolia Pictures. There will also be an opportunity to take part in a live virtual conversation about Rep. Lewis’s remarkable legacy.

“John Lewis: Good Trouble” celebrates his 60-plus years of activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health-care reform and immigration through rare archival footage and exclusive interviews with the late Congressman. Lewis, who attended both Fisk University and American Baptist, was a Freedom Rider, former SNCC president and later a Congressman as well as a Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree. He served the cause of social justice for decades, both as an elected representative and as a groundbreaking activist whose fervent belief in getting into “good trouble, necessary trouble” for the cause of racial equality changed our country in very positive fashion. 

Contact TPAC to unlock digital access to “John Lewis: Good Trouble” directly from Magnolia Pictures. The film’s rental fee, $12, includes a $5 donation to TPAC. After unlocking, you’ll have 30 days to start watching. Once you begin, you’ll have 72 hours to finish watching.

TPAC can also provide the address where you can click to register for the free virtual conversation via Zoom.

Special access to the documentary includes two extra features. There’s film of an interview Rep. Lewis gave to Oprah Winfrey shortly before his death. There’s also  a one-hour panel, recorded in July, between the documentary’s director, Dawn Porter, and two of Rep. Lewis’s fellow original Freedom Riders, Dr. Bernard Lafayette and Dr. Rip Patton.

After screening the film, audiences are invited to register for a live, interactive online panel discussion about Rep. Lewis’s history and impact on the social justice struggles of today. Panelists include Porter; Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka; Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Professor of History, Race and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and Director of the Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Project and Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, who worked to establish the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. U.S. Sen. Cory Booker from New Jersey will provide opening remarks. The online conversation and coordinated effort is produced by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) of Newark, New Jersey.

“We’re so proud to join NJPAC and dozens of arts organizations across the country in making available this important documentary on Rep. John Lewis and his life-long work to dismantle racism and promote social justice,” Jennifer Turner, TPAC President and CEO, said in a press release. “Lewis’s long legacy of activism began in Nashville, and I hope people here and throughout Middle Tennessee will be inspired by his example to continue the fight for equality and social change in their own lives.”