via press release:
GMC TV Honors Black History Month with the GMC World Premiere Movie A Cross To Bear, “The 27th Annual Stellar Awards Show,” World Premiere Movies, Specials and Black History Moments
Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Kim Fields, Marvin Sapp, Dorinda Clark and more
top line a month of powerful and uplifting entertainment
Atlanta, GA. (February 1, 2012) — GMC TV, America’s favorite channel for uplifting music and family entertainment, honors Black History Month 2012 with the original GMC World Premiere Movie A Cross to Bear, the GMC World Premiere Music Special, “The 27th Annual Stellar Awards Show, powerful movies and Black History Moments. Packed with history makers of today, GMC’s Black History Month tribute reflects stories of courage and commitment that celebrate the lives of African-Americans whose determination and pride achieved greatness against seemingly insurmountable odds. The programming slate, which runs through the month of February, features extraordinary performances by some of the most influential performers on film and in gospel music, including Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Kim Fields, Andre Braugher, Charles S. Dutton, Mario Van Peebles, Dorinda Clark Cole, Marvin Sapp Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond and more.
Assault at West Point, a politically charged historical drama, recounts the beginnings of racial integration in America's most prestigious military academy, West Point. Born into slavery in 1858, Johnson Chestnut Whittaker was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1876. A talented black cadet, Whittaker was viciously attacked by three fellow students in disguise. Although the perpetrators were racists who resented his presence at the Academy, administrators chose not to believe that allegation. Instead, they court-martialed Whittaker for staging his own attack to gain sympathy. After more than a year of nationally publicized hearings, Whittaker was found guilty in an 1881 court martial and expelled from West Point. In 1995, more than 60 years after his death, Whittaker was posthumously commissioned by President Bill Clinton. Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Sam Waterston, Seth Gilliam and Al Freeman, Jr., Assault at West Point will premiere on GMC on Saturday, February 4th at 7:00 pm EST with encore performances at 9:00 pm and 11:00 pm EST.
GMC’s special series, “Black College Quiz” hosted by Gregory Alan Williams (“Necessary Roughness”) features college students from HBCU’s competing for college scholarships and prizes. “Black College Quiz” will premiere on GMC Saturdays, February 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th at 9 a.m. EST.
The Ghosts of Mississippi is based on the true story of the 1994 trial of Byron De La Beckwith, a white supremacist accused of the 1963 assassination of civil rights activist Medgar Evers. De La Beckwith was tried twice shortly after the assassination and both trials ended in hung juries. In 1989, Evers' widow Myrlie, who had been trying to bring De La Beckwith to justice for over 25 years, believes she has what it takes to bring him to trial again. Although most of the evidence from the old trial had disappeared, Bobby DeLaughter, an assistant District Attorney, decides to help her despite being warned that it might hurt his political aspirations and despite the strain that it caused in his marriage. De La Beckwith is brought to trial for the third time 30 years later and in 1994, Byron De La Beckwith was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. The Ghosts of Mississippi will debut on GMC on Monday, February 6th at 9:00 pm EST with encore performances on Tuesday, February 21st at 9:00 pm EST and Friday, February 24th at 11:00 pm EST.
“The 27th Annual Stellar Awards Show” celebrates accomplishments in gospel music with some of the greatest artists in gospel. Hosted by Dorinda Clark Cole and Marvin Sapp, the show is filled with riveting performances from Kirk Franklin, Earnest Pugh, Fred Hammond, Ricky Dillard & New G, Richard Smallwood & Vision and more. “The 27th Annual Stellar Awards Show” will premiere on Saturday, February 11th at 7:00 pm with encore performances at 9:00 pm EST and 11:00 pm EST.
A Cross to Bear, an original GMC World Premiere Movie starring Kim Fields, Malinda Williams, Jackie Long and featuring newcomer Danielle Deadwyler tells the unflinching and inspiring story of Erica (Deadwyler) a would-be dancer with no family connections who finds herself fighting alcoholism and living on the streets with her newborn child after being left by her boyfriend. One ill-fated night, she takes refuge from the cold in an empty building with a handful of other homeless people and her life is shattered. Traumatized and now living at the home of Joan (Fields)—a former nurse who has dedicated her life to helping women like Erica, Tina (Tamika Tanner) and Fae (Williams) get back on their feet, Erica struggles to forge a new path for herself. As the cause of Erica’s personal hell is revealed, slowly, with the help of Joan’s unique brand of tough love and the friendship of Tina, a former crack baby, and the guidance of other women who have found new beginnings at Joan’s House, Erica finds the will to live and learns the redemptive power of forgiveness. A Cross to Bear will premiere on GMC on Saturday, February 18th at 7:00 pm EST with encore performances at 9:00 pm and 11:00 pm EST.
A Soldier’s Story, the Academy Award© nominated film based on the Pulitzer Prize©-winning Off-Broadway production of a black Army officer sent to investigate the murder of a black sergeant in Louisiana near the end of World War II. He initially suspects that a pair of white men are responsible for Sergeant Waters' death, but his probe reveals that nearly everyone, regardless of skin color, had ample reason to kill the loathsome but pitiable Waters. The powerful cast features stellar performances by Academy Award-nominees Howard E. Rollins, Jr., Adolph Ceasar, Denzel Washington, David Allan Grier, and Robert Townsend and is directed by Norman Jewison. A Soldier’s Story will premiere on GMC on Saturday, February 25th at 7:00 pm, with an encore performance at 9:00 pm EST.
10,000 Black Men Named George, an award-winning drama recounting the historic formation of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters union by journalist and political activist Asa Phillip Randolph and porter Ashley Totten, an act which proved to have a major impact in both labor and race relations in America. The award-winning film stars Andre Braugher, Charles S. Dutton, and Mario Van Peebles. 10,000 Black Men Named George will premiere on GMC on Tuesday, February 28th at 9:00 pm EST.
Throughout the month, GMC will present a series of Black History Moments. The vignettes feature renowned gospel music superstars as they reflect on significant moments and famous African Americans that influenced their lives and careers. Artists featured include, Marvin Sapp, Beverly Crawford, Byron Cage, Ricky Dillard, Canton Jones, The Murrills, and Angella Christie.