Black Vietnam: Into the Light / Screening and Discussion An est/la project in support of VFW 8195 Stone of hope Center

On June 13, 2020 EST/LA’s hosted a screening of a documentary by Ann C. James titled, "Black Vietnam: Into the Light" as part of our annual L.A. Fest. In previous years we have partnered with organizations such as the Q Youth Foundation, Returning Soldiers Speak, and the Sp¡t Spoken Word Workshop in an effort to open up EST/LA’s doors and introduce our audience to striking new work. Because of the stay-at-home orders, this year’s projects will all be hosted online and will be free of charge to attend.

Black Vietnam: Into the Light is a soulful documentary about a group of black Vietnam war veterans and their journeys toward healing and self-fulfilment. Sparked by her family’s connection to Vietnam - James’ own father is a veteran and subject of the film - her approach towards the subject matter draws light out of the darkness of war.

We were fortunate to have a prestigious panel to discuss the film and the issues brought to light in it. This panel includes Ms. James, her father, Charles, who is featured in the film, and more.

The Panelists

Dr. Jessica L. Adler

Dr. Jessica L. Adler is Assistant Professor of History and Health Policy & Management at Florida International University.

Please click below to download a Brief Historical Reference List that Jessica has provided:

Ann C. James is a filmmaker, theatre producer and stage director living in Los Angeles. She is making headway in the very new field of Intimacy Direction and Coordination. She is the director of “Black Vietnam: Into the Light” and daughter of Charles James, a veteran included in the documentary.

Ann has an extensive career in theatre education. As an internationally certified educator she has had the opportunity to teach on 4 continents. Her stage directing career has allowed her to work on premier stages of the American Theatre such as Steppenwolf, Hartford Stage, The Alley and The Goodman. With over 100 directing credits and in addition to owning China's only registered Expat theatre, DreamWeaver Productions, she is now devoted to making both stage and screen safe places for People of Color to practise their craft. To that end, Ms. James looks forward to pursuing America's first doctoral degree in Intimacy Direction for People of Color.

Charles James is a retired US Army Major who served 2 tours in Vietnam and his last his military appointment was at the Pentagon.

Dr. Delvena Thomas is a mother, an American soldier, a scientist, and a physician who advocates tirelessly for healthy living to strengthen individuals, families, communities, and workplaces around the world. Trained in medicine and psychiatry at the University of Maryland Medical Systems in Baltimore (MD), she is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and maintains a private practice in psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, and alternative health. Dr. Thomas is a consulting psychiatrist for the National Football League.

For more information on Dr. Thomas please visit http://drdelvena.help/

Robert N. White, known by all as Bobby, served in the U.S. Army in from 1969 to 1971 as a combat veteran with the 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam. He later completed his Masters Degree in counseling psychology at St. Thomas University in Miami and worked for the department of Veteran Affairs for 32 years as the director of the fort Lauderdale veteran center. This program specializes is counseling Vietnam and other veterans suffering from PTSD. Along with Danny Shannon they founded the VFW8195 Stone of Hope Program which has now been operating for 20 years. Bobby has been the is a formal Commander of the VFW 10 years. The Governor of the state of Florida recognized Bobby in the Hall of Fame for the state of Florida for his work for the state’s veteran’s community.He is also contributing author of the book, POST 8195 BLACK SOLDIERS TELL THERE VIETNAM STORIES.

For more information on VFW 8195 Stone of Hope Center and to purchase the book please visit: https://www.vfwpost8195.org/stone-of-hope.html

Our company member, Ray Xifo, acted as moderator for this event.

The Screening Event