The exclusive premiere of the documentary film Twenty Pearls: The Story of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®, starts airing today, Friday, March 26 on Comcast NBCUniversal‘s newly-launched Black Experience on Xfinity Channel.
Narrated by AKA member Phylicia Rashād, directed by filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper and produced by Coffee Bluff Pictures, Twenty Pearls closely examines the founding and legacy of the first Black sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®, which is regarded as one of the most significant and influential Black organizations in history.
The documentary tells a story of sisterhood. In 1908, nine Black women students enrolled at Howard University created Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.®
Through narration, interviews and rarely seen archival materials, the audience will see the sorority’s impact on World War II, NASA, Civil Rights, Women’s Rights and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) culminating in the historic election of Kamala Harris as America’s first Black and South Asian woman Vice President.
Twenty Pearls features interviews with members of the sorority including Vice President Kamala Harris, Miss Universe Ireland 2019 Fionnghuala O’Reilly, Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch III, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt Fierst, great-granddaughter of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, International President and CEO of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® Dr. Glenda Glover and many more.
Other notable AKAs include NASA mathematician and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Katherine Johnson, civil rights activist and icon Coretta Scott King, tennis champion Althea Gibson, and Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison.
“This is an extraordinary time to look back at our past to serve our future,” added Deborah Riley Draper. “A future where Black women are centered. Helming this documentary love letter to the founders of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the generations of women that followed in their footsteps and to all Black women everywhere is an honor. This is an important history for all of us to know and understand.”
“Telling our own story is essential to preserving our history and uplifting the culture,” said Alpha Kappa Alpha International President and CEO Dr. Glenda Glover. “Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated’s remarkable 113-year journey which began on the campus of Howard University is punctuated by stories of history makers, ceiling breakers, public servants and ordinary women who have changed the course of American history. Through this beautifully written and narrated odyssey, this film highlights in undeniable ways the vision, courage, tenacity, determination and power of Black women while putting to bed the age-old questions about the relevance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the Divine Nine sororities and fraternities.”
Black Experience on Xfinity is a destination of Black entertainment, movies, TV shows, news and more. It features high-quality content from many of Xfinity’s existing network partners, while investing millions of dollars in fostering and showcasing emerging Black content creators.
Black Experience on Xfinity is available at home on Xfinity X1 and Flex, and on-the-go with the Xfinity Stream app, At home, Xfinity subscribers can visit channel 1622 or simply say “Black Experience” into the Voice Remote to instantly enjoy its content.
Visit https://www.xfinity.com/learn/digital-cable-tv/black-experience to learn more about the Black Experience on Xfinity and other Black programming available on X1, Flex, and the Xfinity Stream app. V
isit www.aka1908.com to learn more about Twenty Pearls, which premieres on today on Xfinity and is free for subscribers, and will be available on demand nationwide starting on March 30, 2021.
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