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The themes will be both spiritual and political when Afro-Cuban Filmmaker Gloria Rolando introduces screenings of two of her films today. The first one, Oggun: The Eternal Present, shows how the myths of two Yoruba gods, Oggun and Oshun, survive on this side of the Atlantic; it features performances by leading Cuban Yoruba singer Lazaro Ros and depicts a Yoruba ceremony in Havana with members of the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional. The second film, Eyes of the Rainbow, shows how former Black Panther leader Assata Shakur has become part of African-rooted culture in Cuba, the country where she’s lived for two decades. A reception will follow the films. At 5 p.m. at Howard University’s Armour J. Blackburn Center Auditorium, 2400 6th St. NW. Free. (202) 806-7047. (Mark Jenkins)
While every other Biblical scholar seems to be taking a crack at the Gospels, Catholic University Professor Emeritus Joseph A. Fitzmyer has decided to re-read the Acts of the Apostles. The account of the activities of Jesus’ apostles in the period after the Ascension, the Acts depicts the earliest days of the religion that would soon grow from insurgent cult to the official church of the world’s largest empire. Fitzmyer has translated the Acts, and he recently wrote a new commentary on the Gospel of Luke (both books have been attributed to the same writer); in this lecture, he’ll discuss the Acts’ possible author, the meaning of the story of the spirit’s Pentecost appearance to the apostles, and the reason the book repeatedly recounts such events as the Ascension and Paul’s conversion. At the National Museum of American History’s Carmichael Auditorium, 14th & Constitution Ave. NW. $13. (202) 357-3030. (MJ)