Freep Film Festival | Digging for Weldon Irvine

September 25 2021 | 2:00pm to 4:00pm

This exploration of the mysterious life, struggle and music of the great Weldon J. Irvine Jr., the prolific musician-composer-playwright perhaps best known for penning the civil rights anthem “Young, Gifted and Black.” Irvine, who wrote over 500 songs and more than 50 plays, was deeply vital to the culture of black freedom expression, yet is somehow overlooked within that very lexicon. His bountiful and socio-culturally evocative work in music and theater was central to the Black Arts Movement of the 1970s and integral to the evolution of hip-hop, and his dedicated mentorship helped develop some of the most well-known figures in jazz today. Through previously unreleased audio and music from Irvine and exclusive interviews with those closely associated with the tortured artist, the film follows the journey of a creator of moderate success yet monumental influence. Among those featured in the film are Q-Tip, Bobby Broom, and Detroit poet-musician Jessica Care Moore.

Year: 2019

Running Time: 1 hour, 51 minutes

Director: Victorious DeCosta

Writers: Angelika Beener, Victorious DeCosta

Producers: Omega Baranow, Evan Mascagni, Victorious DeCosta

Executive Producer: Joseph Cavaseno

Cinematographer: Mike Quigley


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