'More Than a Month' leads off Jazzanooga documentary series

For his documentary "More Than a Month," young filmmaker Shukree Hassan Tilghman went on a cross-country campaign to gather signatures for a petition to end Black History Month.

A documentary series presented by Jazzanooga and WTCI-TV this month will touch on various aspects of the African-American experience. Scheduled on four consecutive Thursdays, the Focus 2016 screenings will take place at the Jazzanooga Arts Space, 431 E. M.L. King Blvd.

Leading off is "More Than a Month," which debuted on PBS in February 2012. The film follows Shukree Hassan Tilghman on a cross-country campaign to end Black History Month. Then 29, the filmmaker stopped in various cities, wearing a sandwich board, to solicit signatures on his petition to end the observance. He explains that relegating Black History Month to the coldest, shortest month of the year is an insult and that black history is not separate from American history. His approach has been described as an "insightful and humorous journey [that] explores the complexity and contradictions of relegating an entire group's history to one month in a so-called 'post-racial' America."

Still to come are "Stand! The Untold Stories of the Civil Rights Movement" on Feb. 11, "The World of Nat King Cole" on Feb. 18 and "Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People" on Feb. 25.

Screenings begin at 6 p.m. Admission is free. Refreshments will be available.

For more information, visit www.jazzanooga.org.