The Wrap-Up! Denzel Washington Career Retrospective at ABFF, Jon Baptiste at Rickwood Games, Inside ‘SING SING’

The American Black Film Festival closed with a Denzel Washington career retrospective, ABFF’s first of its kind celebrating the careers of extraordinary black artists. Greeted with a standing ovation from the crowd, Washington spent the next hour lobbing softball questions from the night’s moderator and turning them into legendary panel gems. That included Facetiming his wife of 41 years, Pauletta, who joked he wouldn’t be receiving a gift on Father’s Day due to the impromptu call. The audience watched an exclusive clip from the upcoming Netflix film, The Piano Lesson, produced by Washington and directed by/starring his sons Malcolm and John David, respectively. The night was a not-to-be missed conversation of his achievements on screen as well as his significant cultural impact off-screen as a director, producer, humanitarian, husband and father.

(Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Brittney Spencer, Willie Ones, CS Armstrong and Jon Batiste at the 2024 Rickwood game in Birmingham, Alabama. Image: Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images.

Jon Batiste joined Brittney Spencer, Willie Ones and CS Armstrong performed at the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals 2024 Rickwood Game at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama. The MLB paid tribute to Willie Mays and the Negro Leagues during the festivities.

Cast and creatives of SING SING.
Cast and creatives of SING SING. Image: Todd Williamson, January Images.

Clarence ‘Divine Eye’ Maclin and Sean ‘Dino’ Johnson were on hand for the screening of SING SING, held inside the historic, 200-year-old correctional facility in Ossining, New York. Incarcerated persons and outside guests were presented with the movie and an emotional panel discussion from its stars and creatives. SING SING is the stirring true story of resilience, humanity and the transformative power of art, starring an unforgettable ensemble cast of formerly incarcerated actors and Oscar nominee Colman Domingo.

Updated: June 21, 2024 — 6:02 pm