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First Friday features black history documentary

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ROCKY MOUNT — A black history documentary will headline the city’s First Friday event this week.

“The Other Boys of Summer,” focusing on Negro League baseball, will be screened at 6 p.m. Friday at the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences.

The showing is a part of activities held the first Friday of each week from November to March.

The documentary is an exploration of civil rights in America through the lives of men and women Negro League baseball players, who played professionally in the 1930s-50s. The Negro Leagues were a form of high-level baseball that existed before blacks were allowed in Major League Baseball.

Filmmaker Lauren Meyer, an Emmy-nominated director with more than 20 years of experience, will be on hand as well as panelists who have insight into the Negro National League. The documentary will be followed by a question and answer session.

Rocky Mount has a longstanding history with the Negro Leagues and is the hometown of Negro League star Buck Leonard, whose name adorns a boulevard within the city limits. The Buck Leonard Association also offers a yearly baseball league to inner-city youth.

First Fridays include free arts and crafts activities for youth as well as “No Shame Theater,” which allows for up to five-minute performances in poetry, music, song, dance and more. No Shame Theater signup begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by 7 p.m. performances.

Exhibits on display also include The Black Light Project, Anne Willson’s Markings of Wildness and the handcrafted juried exhibition.