Ken Boothe and The Tamlins are included in the film Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae that will be screened as part of Black History Month celebrations at The Reach Gallery Museum. (Image courtesy Muse Distribution International)

The Reach Gallery in Abbotsford celebrates Black History Month

Two documentaries to be screened at event on Friday, Feb. 28

The Reach Gallery Museum celebrates Black History Month with a film night on Friday, Feb. 28.

The gallery, along with guest film curator Barbara Chirinos, will screen a pair of films that celebrate black culture and music from the 1960s to the present.

The screening of “Secret Vancouver: Return to Hogan’s Alley” and “Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae” starts at 6:30 p.m., and admission is by donation.

RELATED: Block Party at The Reach celebrates diversity

Secret Vancouver: Return to Hogan’s Alley (not rated but suitable for all ages) is a 16-minute documentary that tells the story of a vibrant, ethnically diverse community that was located near the present-day Georgia Viaduct.

It stretched from Main Street to Jackson Avenue before it was destroyed in 1970 due to a vision of “urban renewal.”

Attracting artists like Louis Armstrong, Jimi Hendrix, and Sammy Davis Jr., Hogan’s Alley was a “hotbed of historic jazz” in the mid-20th century, and served as a precursor to the city’s Hollywood North identity today.

After the first film, there will be a short break for complimentary refreshments (spiced plantains and vegan burger patties).

Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae (rated “G,” 98 minutes) explores the Rocksteady music movement that emerged in Jamaica during a period of cultural and political tumult in the late 1960s.

The film showcases gospel-reggae singer Hopetown Lewis, who recorded the first Rocksteady song; Willburn Stranger Cole, a Rocksteady artist who moved from Jamaica to Canada; and singer Rita Marley, who shares what life was like in 1960s Jamaica with Bob Marley, the artist who made reggae famous.

Both films share the spirit of “Going Forward, Guided by the Past,” named by the Canadian government as the theme for Black History Month 2020.

The Reach is located at 32388 Veterans Way. Visit or call 604-864-8087 for more information.

Arts and culture

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