Lauryn Hill Is Producing A Documentary On The Legendary Baraka Family


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Ms. Lauryn Hill is putting on for her hometown in a major way.

The music icon is stepping into an executive producer role to tell the story of the legendary Baraka family who has worked for decades across generations to combat oppression in Newark, New Jersey.

According to reports, the "Ex-Factor" songstress partnered with screenwriter Orem Moverman to create Why Is We Americans? to examine the city's struggle through the eyes of the prominent family who has taken action through politics, poetry, music and more.

In 1965, the late playwright and poet Amiri Baraka formed the renowned Black Arts Movement alongside his wife Amina Baraka, an acclaimed dancer, community organizer, and writer. Through its efforts, BAM went on to establish cultural institutions across Newark all while instilling a message of Black pride.

The documentary will also explore the tragic deaths of Amiri's sister Kimako and the homicide of his daughter, Shani, who is credited with being one of the first openly gay Black activists at the time. Why Is We Americans? will also take a look at Ras Baraka's historic election to mayor of Newark.

The documentary is co-directed by award-winning direct Udi Aloni and Ayana Morris. It's set to premiere at the IFC Center in NYC on January 14 and will be played at the Pan African Film Festival in LA in February, according to The Film Stage.

Check out the documentary's trailer below.

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