by Chris Witherspoon – thegrio.com
Legendary musician and producer Quincy Jones is teaming up with USA Network to premiere the Academy Award winning film, In the Heat of the Night, to commemorate black history month.
The 1967 film, which was groundbreaking for its powerful portrayal of racism in America and played a role in advancing the civil rights movement, won five Oscars including Best Picture. Jones, who composed the music for the film, will give a special introduction.
“It was a privilege to compose the music for In the Heat of the Night and be part of a film that played a role in helping to advance civil rights in our country,” Jones said. “Through this film, and the Characters Unite campaign, we can learn more about our past and re-commit to create a better future in which – as the great Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed – all of our children are judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
NBC Universal Cable Entertainment Chairman Bonnie Hammer announced the newest classic in the ongoing Characters Unite Film Series to use the power of storytelling to increase awareness of social injustices and stimulate productive dialogue.
“In the Heat of the Night is a compelling, brilliantly executed exploration of racial tensions nearly fifty years ago, a critical time in our history,” said Hammer. “That it still resonates today is a sad reminder that though we’ve come a long way, intolerance and injustice are still very much with us. It’s a perfect example of the timeless potential of movies to shine a powerful light on complex social issues.”
In the Heat of the Night is the fifth film in the successful Characters Unite Film Series, which launched in April 2012 with To Kill a Mockingbird, featuring an introduction by President Barack Obama. The Color Purple was additionally included in the film series, with an introduction by the film’s Oscar-winning star Whoopi Goldberg.
In the Heat of The Night Premieres February 15 at 9/8c on USA.