President's Lecture Series


Birth of an Answer (BOAA): Celebrating 100 Years of African American Creative Responses to Birth of a Nation


Birth of an Answer

Document Type

Audio File




Attucks Theatre

Lecture Series

President's Lecture Series;


Birth of an Answer is a multigenerational panel of African American filmmakers and producers. BOAA celebrated 100 years of African American creative and critical responses to D.W. Griffith's film, Birth of a Nation (1915). The evening featured a screening of African American pioneer filmmaker Oscar Micheaux's silent classic, Within Our Gates (1919), accompanied by a live performance of a contemporary film score composed by Dr. Adolphus Hailstork that placed past and present in conversation with one another. The score was performed by The Harlem Quartet and guests and by the I. Sherman Greene Chorale under the direction of conductor Michael Morgan.

The event also featured the world premiere of the short fiction film Our Nation (2015), produced by the Old Dominion University Film Program, directed by Derrick Borte, written by David P. Mallin, produced by Monty Ross, and starring Connor Berry, Marsha Stephanie Blake and Derrick Baskin. Our Nation tells the story of the Norfolk response to Birth of a Nation in 1915 through the eyes of Douglas, a young African American boy and budding cinephile.

The Attucks performance concluded with an open conversation with filmmakers Melvin Van Peebles, Zeinabu Irene Davis, Tim Reid, and Michael Swanson, moderated by film critic Mike Sargent.


Co-sponsored by Arts@ODU and the Old Dominion University Institute for the Humanities.

This lecture was not recorded.

This document is currently not available here.