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The Blood of Jesus

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2024 at 3:30 pm

Location: Redstone Theater

Followed by a panel discussion featuring Ina Archer and Dr. David Bering-Porter. 

Dir. Spencer Williams. 1941, 58 mins. U.S. DCP sourced from the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection at Southern Methodist University. With Spencer Williams, Cathryn Caviness, James B. Jones, Rogenia Goldthwaite, Juanita Riley. This is the first feature film directed by pioneering filmmaker Spencer Williams, whose screenplay was inspired by a Langston Hughes poem. Full of fantastic symbolism, this American drama follows Baptist newlywed Martha Jackson (Caviness) on a spiritual journey after she is accidentally shot by her husband Razz Jackson (Williams). In the afterlife, she encounters Satan (Jones) and a false prophet who tests her beliefs while the Angel (Goldthwaite) offers guidance. By Martha’s bedside, a choir of sisters and brothers from the church pray for her salvation and sing gospel songs such as “Amazing Grace” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” The Blood of Jesus offers a glimpse into Southern Baptist life from a Black American perspective and remains one of the most highly regarded films of Williams’s career, featuring impressive, stylistic visuals and an unforgettable soundtrack. 

Following the screening, Ina Archer and Dr. David Bering-Porter will discuss Black representation on screen, the legacy of Spencer Williams’s The Blood of Jesus and his films produced in Texas, and the importance of juke joints in Black American history. 

Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / free for MoMI members at the Senior/Student level and above. There is a $1.50 transaction fee per ticket for all online purchases. The cost of admission may be applied toward a same-day purchase of a membership. 

Order tickets. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission.