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We are proud to announce the 2023 Black Quaker Lives Matter Film Festival & Forum, a groundbreaking exploration of Black Friends who made a difference throughout both USA and world history.  From 4 February to 8 April, we will hold screenings, dedicated to Quakers of Color, every other Saturday at 1:00 PM Eastern Time over Zoom Webinar.  

Our 2023 Festival-Forum & How To Register!

Register for our remaining events BELOW

Our Distinguished Honorees

Our honorees range from 20th century trailblazing Friends of African Descent back to early Quakers of Color who are too often forgotten. Some of their stories will challenge Friends to consider what defines a Quaker, as we examine the lives of extraordinary people of color who were Friends in all but name, and ask ourselves what may have prevented or deterred them from joining the Religious Society of Friends. We will conclude with a special celebration of the momentous 125th birthday of beleaguered leader Paul Robeson, a descendant of over 200 years of USA and British Quakers.  Click on the images below to learn about the lives and achievements of this year’s distinguished honorees.

Saturday, 4 February 2023: Interview with Bill Sutherland (1999) – Liberation & Non-Violence in Africa & USA
Saturday, 18 February 2023: The Prep School Negro (2012) –Joan Countryman & African Americans in Quaker Schools
Saturday, 4 March 2023: Sisters in Freedom (2018) – Sarah Mapps Douglass & Women in the Abolition Struggle Against Slavery.
Saturday, 18 March 2023: Benjamin Banneker: The Man Who Loved The Stars (1981) - Early African American Scholar-Activist
Saturday, 8 April 2023: Paul Robeson: Tribute to an Artist (1978) and The Proud Valley (1940) – Celebrating Paul Robeson’s 125th Birthday
  • Honoring Bill Sutherland (1918-2010): nonviolence advocate, veteran AFSC employee, imprisoned conscientious objector, friend and active supporter of African liberation and freedom fighters. 

  • Featuring a discussion between Joyce Ajlouny (AFSC General Secretary), Keith Harvey (AFSC NE Regional Director), and Dr. Matthew Meyer, co-author with Bill Sutherland of Guns and Gandhi in Africa: Pan-African Insights on Nonviolence, Armed Struggle and Liberation (2001)

  • Honoring Joan Countryman (b. 1945): first African American graduate of Germantown Friends School, longtime teacher and administrator in Friends’ schools, former head of Lincoln School and co-founder of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership School for Girls in South Africa.

  • Featuring a discussion between the honoree, the film’s director-producer André Robert Lee, and Westtown School teacher-graduate Mauricio Torres (video recorded).

  • Honoring Sarah Mapps Douglass (1806-1882): prolific educator, author, committed abolitionist, and ancestor of Paul Robeson.

  • Featuring a discussion between eminent historian Dr. Emma Lapsansky-Werner and author Joyce Mosley, a Bustill-Mapps descendant.

  • Honoring Benjamin Banneker (1731-1806): almanac publisher, astronomer, petitioner to Thomas Jefferson for African American abolition, and faithful Attender of Quaker Meeting.

  • Featuring a discussion with Banneker descendant-researchers of African and European descent: Gwen Marable, Dr. Rachel Webster, and Pamela Williams.

  • Honoring Quaker descendant Paul Robeson, the “beleaguered leader” and “artist as revolutionary,” groundbreaking recording, film, theatrical, and music star.

  • Featuring a discussion between Robeson scholars Dr. Gerald Horne, Dr. Charles Musser, and Dr. Harold D. Weaver.

Our SPECIAL Guest Experts 

We will reflect on each film with a post-screening dialogue and audience Q & A with eminent scholar-activists, writers, & historians, some of whom are descendants of our honorees. Learn more about our guest experts by clicking on their photos below.

our director, curator, & HOST


            Dr. Harold D. Weaver, Alumni Fellow at Harvard University's Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, is the Founding Director of the BlackQuaker Project (BQP). A pioneer in Africana Studies in the early 1970s, Hal founded and chaired the Africana Studies Department at Rutgers University, through which he was able to focus attention on the neglected legacy of the great Rutgers alumnus: Paul Robeson. At Rutgers, Hal taught the first course in the world on Robeson, made an instructional film on Robeson’s life and accomplishments, and, most importantly, initiated the successful action to award Robeson an honorary doctorate in 1973. In celebration of Robeson’s 75th birthday in 1973, Hal organized the first Robeson symposium and the first Robeson film retrospective in the United States. For the past 50 years, Hal has worked to restore Robeson’s legacy to its rightful place in world history, through publications, lectures, films and film retrospectives, and symposia.
            Changed for life by his exposure to Quakerism at Westtown School and Haverford College, Hal combined his faith and activism into the BQP. He has produced several publications important to Quakers, including Black Fire: African American Quakers on Spirituality and Human Rights (with Paul Kriese and Steve Angell, 2011) through FGC Press and the Pendle Hill pamphlet, ​​Race, Systemic Violence, and Retrospective Justice: An African American Quaker Scholar-Activist Challenges Conventional Narratives (2020). He has served in various Quaker governance roles with QUNO-New York, AFSC Board and International Programs Executive Committee, Pendle Hill, Cambridge Friends School, Friends General Council, and the Friends World Committee for Consultation. In 2022, he was awarded an alumni Lifetime Achievement Award from Haverford College. He is an active member of the Wellesley Friends Meeting, which sponsors his ministry.

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