SUMMERSTAGE ANYWHERE: RODNEY KING FILM CONVERSATION WITH ROGER GUENVEUR SMITH AND DR. STEPHANIE LEIGH BATISTE
Who: Roger Guenveur Smith, Dr. Stephanie Leigh Batiste
What: Live discussion and Q&A
Where: SummerStage Anywhere
When: Thursday, February 11, free, 7:00
Why: “So whatcha wanna do, Rodney King? Reminisce?” Roger Guenveur Smith asks in Rodney King. “It goes a little bit something like this. . . .” Directed by Spike Lee, the 2017 film is a document of Smith’s one-man multimedia stage show exploring who Rodney King is as a human being and not just a controversial figure who became the symbol of the 1992 LA riots. On February 11 at 7:00, Smith, who has appeared in numerous Lee movies and has also portrayed Booker T. Washington, Huey P. Newton, and basebrawlers Juan Marichal and John Roseboro, will discuss the film with Dr. Stephanie Leigh Batiste, associate professor of Black studies and English at the University of California, Santa Barbara, offering new perspectives given the BLM protests that began last May following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police. The film is available on Netflix or can be watched for free here in advance. The event is part of SummerStage Anywhere, an online initiative of the City Parks Foundation that also includes last week’s “Lift Every Voice: Celebrating 150 Years of James Weldon Johnson’s Legacy,” with Desmond Richardson, Khalia Campbell, Angie Swan, Laila Jeter, Donovan Canales, Elizabeth Alexander, and Phylicia Rashad, and continues February 18 with “The Rewind: A Celebration of Black Culture,” introduced by Greg Tate, and February 25 with “Michael Mwenso: Hope, Resist, and Heal,” a performance and conversation with Michael Mwenso and Shannon Effinger.