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Community Cinema returns with free advance screening of ‘Soul Food Junkies’ in North Little Rock Jan. 8

The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN), UALR Public Radio/KUAR FM 89.1 and William F. Laman Library invite the public to a free advance screening of “Soul Food Junkies” as part of Community Cinema Tuesday, Jan. 8, at 6:30 p.m. in the library auditorium.

 In “Soul Food Junkies,” filmmaker Byron Hurt sets out on a historical and culinary journey to learn more about the soul food tradition and its relevance to black cultural identity. Hurt’s exploration was inspired by his father’s lifelong love affair with high-fat, calorie-rich traditional soul food and his unwillingness to give it up – even in the face of a life-threatening health crisis. Hurt discovers that dishes like ribs, grits and fried chicken are culturally based, deep-rooted, complex and often deadly.

Through candid interviews with soul food cooks, historians and scholars, as well as with doctors, family members, and everyday people, “Soul Food Junkies” puts this culinary tradition under the microscope to examine both its positive and negative consequences. Hurt also explores the socioeconomic conditions in predominantly black neighborhoods where it can be difficult to find healthy options. He meets some pioneers in the emerging food justice movement who are challenging the food industry, encouraging communities to “go back to the land” by creating sustainable and eco-friendly gardens, advocating for healthier options in local supermarkets, supporting local farmers' markets, avoiding highly processed fast foods, and cooking healthier versions of traditional soul food.

“Soul Food Junkies” will air on AETN Monday, Jan. 14, at 9 p.m.

The screening will be held in the auditorium of William F. Laman Public Library, 2801 Orange Street, North Little Rock. Dr. LaVerne Bell-Tolliver, a professor of social work at UALR, will lead a community discussion after the screening. Additional information is available by calling AETN at 800-662-2386 or visiting aetn.org/communitycinema.

Community Cinema, a free monthly screening series engaging communities through films produced by the Independent Television Service (ITVS), features monthly screenings followed by panel discussions with leading organizations, local communities and special guest speakers. The program is designed to help people learn about and get involved in the social issues raised in the documentaries.

The mission of the William F. Laman Public Library is to maintain and improve the quality of life for the community by providing resources that enhance and contribute to literacy and foster community engagement with information, culture and civic life.

The mission of UALR Public Radio is to deepen insight into the human experience, empower decision-making and enrich the lives of those we serve through quality news and cultural programs. UALR Public Radio operates two radio stations in Little Rock – KUAR FM 89.1, which broadcasts news, jazz and cultural programs including national programming from NPR, and KLRE 90.5, which broadcasts classical music.

AETN.org > Engage > Pressroom > Community Cinema returns with free advance screening of ‘Soul Food Junkies’ in North Little Rock Jan. 8