News Details

News Details


Blind Poet, Painter, Playwright and Teacher Charles Curtis Blackwell -- Film Screening and Library Event

Livermore Public Library invites the community to watch a virtual screening of the documentary The God Given Talent: The Creative Life of Charles Curtis Blackwell. The documentary will be available from October 22, 2021 through October 24, 2021. Registration is required; register by calling (925) 373-5505. Registrants will receive a link and password to view the film online. In addition, Blackwell will visit the Civic Center Library along with the film’s director, Jeff M. Giordano, on Saturday, November 13, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. for an afternoon of poetry reading, discussion, and Q & A. This in-person event will be held outside on the Library’s patio. The Civic Center Library is located at 1188 S. Livermore Avenue, Livermore, CA 94550.

The God Given Talent is an award-winning independent documentary about Charles Curtis Blackwell, African American blind poet, painter, playwright, and teacher. The film takes viewers on an intimate journey into Blackwell’s past and present, from his challenging upbringing in both California and Mississippi, to his current creative life. Viewers follow Blackwell as he discusses loss, love, pain, and redemption -- all through the prism of his artistic endeavors.

Over the course of the film, Blackwell discusses his involvement in school bus riots in Sacramento, the Civil Rights Movement, and the transformative experience of losing his eyesight, beginning at the age of 20. Throughout these struggles, it was always Blackwell’s artistic endeavors that fortified his resilience and allowed him to connect with his communities.

The God Given Talent premiered at the San Francisco Black Film Festival (2019), followed by screenings at the Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival, Silicon Valley African Film Festival, 68th Columbus International Film & Animation Festival, 15th Poppy Jasper Film Festival, and Superfest International Disability Film Festival (winner of the Disability Justice Award). The film was also featured at UC Berkeley’s Disability Awareness Month Screening in 2020.

The Film Screening and Library event are sponsored by the Friends of the Livermore Public Library as part of the Library’s Authors and Arts Series.