Film and TV

New Documentary Highlights Trailblazing Black Women in Phoenix

A new film is screening around the Valley for Black History Month featuring a family of strong women persevering in Phoenix.

The documentary centers on two of Phoenix's champions of the black community: Helen K. Mason and her maternal grandmother, Mary Green.

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Green is recognized as the first black woman to settle in the Phoenix area when she moved from Arkansas in 1868. She was born a slave but made Arizona her home as a free woman and raised a family.

Her granddaughter, Helen K. Mason, followed in her trailblazing footsteps when she started the Black Theater Troupe in 1970. The troupe utilized performing arts to establish the black community and promote cultural diversity in Phoenix.

A Legacy in the Valley from Bryant Monteilh on Vimeo.

The documentary is directed by Bryant Monteilh, a journalist and filmmaker who spent time with Mason when his grandmother was part of the Black Theater Troupe.

The film will be screening around the Valley, at the Black Theater Troupe on February 23 and 24, the Tempe History Museum on February 24, Salvation Army Kroc Center South Phoenix on February 26, and the Arizona Science Center on February 28.

Tickets for the Black Theatre Troupe location showings are available on the film's website in advance, along with more information.

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Heather Hoch is a music, food, and arts writer based in Tucson. She enjoys soup, scotch, Electric Light Orchestra, and walking her dog, Frodo.
Contact: Heather Hoch