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Film: Cotton Comes to Harlem

Chester Himes' crime novel, Cotton Comes to Harlem, was published in 1965 and adapted into a film in 1970, a classic detective series thriller that began the African American cop-and-detective genre of the 1960s-'70s.

Harlem's African American community is being scammed by the Rev. Deke O'Malley (Calvin Lockhart), who dishonestly claims that small donations will secure parcels of land for his Back-to-Africa movement. When New York City police officers Gravedigger Jones (Godfrey Cambridge) and Coffin Ed Johnson (Raymond St. Jacques) look into O'Malley's scam, they learn that the cash is being smuggled inside a bale of cotton. But the police, O'Malley and lots of others find themselves scrambling when the money goes missing. Directed by Ossie Davis.

Post screening discussion moderated by Dr. Lawrence Jackson, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of English and History, Johns Hopkins University

The Pratt Library's African American film series is sponsored by The Juanita C. Burns Memorial Foundation. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 1:00pm

Maryland Historical Society, 201 W. Monument St., Baltimore, MD 21201, France Hall

Event Type

Films, Black History

Age Group

Adults, Seniors

Compass Category


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