Janet Hubert stars in Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story, which will be presented on the opening night of the 30th annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival (PAFF) on April 19th.
The PAFF is a critically acclaimed Black film and arts festival showcasing and celebrating the broad spectrum of Pan African cultures. The film focuses on Jackson’s journey and the trauma she endured during her childhood. The movie demonstrates her ability to uplift herself and follow her dreams to become one of the most recognizable voices in Gospel music. During a time in her life when she had little to no one motivating her, she was able to push herself to stardom. Through those dark moments, she was able to lean on her faith and her bond with God to inspire others with her singing. Jackson was selective on how and where her voice would be heard and turned down millions of dollars to stay true to her gospel roots.
After the passing of Jackson’s mother, she was sent to live with her Aunt Duke, played by Hubert. Aunt Duke’s mannerisms and actions towards Jackson represent how she was raised, taking on responsibilities and putting aside her dreams due to familial duties. The cast includes Grammy Award winner Ledisi as Mahalia Jackson, Columbus Short as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Wendy Raquel Robinson as Cylestine, Vanessa A. Williams as Lucille, Keith David as Ink Williams, Corbin Bleu as Cab Calloway, and Keith Robinson as Thomas Dorsey. The biopic was directed by Denise Dowe and written and executive produced by Ericka Nicole Malone. The story shows the authentic version of what Jackson went through before and after her success.