Showcasing the City of Lights

With rare and spellbinding footage, filmmaker Joanne Burke and cinematographer David Burke journey to the ‘Paradise for Negroes,’ an escape from the crushing daily life in early 20th Century America for a warm embrace. It gave Black artists and intellectuals permission to achieve and soar to extraordinary heights.

The hour-long documentary opens in 1918 when the all-Black 369th National Guard Regiment
descends on France as part of the Word War I Allied Forces. They would captivate the
Parisians with their intoxicating marching band (Le Jazz) and fierce military prowess, earning
the title Harlem Hell Fighters from the German aggressors.

While textured with contradictions, Paris was a love story between Black American artists and intellectuals – Josephine Baker, Langston Hughes, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Ada “Bricktop” Smith, James Baldwin and scores of other American luminaries – who are still revered a century later.

The filmmakers enlisted Team McKinney to assist in outreach for the screening of the film at the African American Historical and Cultural Museum. The firm was also commissioned to generate an extensive strategy and engagement plan to reach U.S. audiences which traverse a far-flung constituency including film festivals, museums, universities and advocacy organizations. Our 100-page compendium will give life to the film in myriad venues.