Audiences across the country urged to get into Good Trouble

Nationwide watch of documentary about John Lewis, plus virtual conversation with national civic leaders, slated for September
Sep 11, 2020 / Press Releases

Charlotte, N.C. (Sept. 11, 2020) – Representative John Lewis of Georgia – Freedom Rider and Congressman, Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree and conscience of the nation –   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.


Blumenthal Performing Arts invites the Charlotte community to join in a nationwide watch, in collaboration with over 60 of the nation’s arts and cultural institutions, of the riveting new documentary John Lewis: Good Trouble, which looks at the impact of Lewis’s life and work. Audiences will be able to rent the film directly from Magnolia Pictures, then take part in a live virtual conversation about John Lewis’s remarkable legacy.


The film celebrates Lewis’s 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.


This special rental of the documentary includes two extra features: Film of an interview Congressman Lewis gave to Oprah Winfrey shortly before his death earlier this year, as well as a one-hour panel, recorded in July, between the documentary’s director, Dawn Porter, and two of Lewis’s fellow original Freedom Riders, Dr. Bernard Lafayette and Dr. Rip Patton.


The film’s rental fee, $12, includes a $5 donation to Blumenthal Performing Arts. Click here to access the film.


After screening the film, audiences are invited to join a live, interactive online panel discussion about Lewis’s history and impact on the social justice struggles of today. Panelists include Dawn Porter, the film’s director, Ras J. Baraka, Mayor of Newark, NJ, 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 extensively with Lewis to establish the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The free virtual conversation takes place 7PM on Monday, September 21 on Zoom. Registration is available here.


The online conversation and coordinated effort amongst the country’s performing arts centers is produced by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) of Newark, NJ.


This event is part of NJPAC’s ongoing initiatives designed to offer both a greater understanding of current racial disparities and a forum for learning about the actions all citizens can take to advance the cause of equality.


“Everyone at NJPAC stands in solidarity with those fighting against structural racism, societal inequity, and police brutality, and for civil rights, multiculturalism and authentic inclusion. Changing the world requires the efforts of everyone. Now, more than ever, each of us has an indispensable part to play,” says John Schreiber, NJPAC’s President and CEO. For more information, please visit NJPAC’s website at