This year’s National Day of Racial Healing at Hope College will feature “Black Man,” a documentary film produced by a Muskegon native about Black men in Muskegon County, on Tuesday, Jan. 16, at 6 p.m. in the Knickerbocker Theatre.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

 “Black Man” is a raw, honest, riveting, kaleidoscopic view of 32 Black men in a small community in Muskegon sharing their thoughts on life, love, longings, losses and their place in America. The men range in age from 21 to 91.

“[In the film], you see men on the screen in ways you’ve not typically seen men,” said director/producer Jon Covington. “They are vulnerable. They are honest. They are transparent. They are emotional, and that’s not something we typically see.”

A panel discussion will follow the screening, and will include Covington and a few of the men featured in the film.

“Black Man has toured around the country, including the Capital City Black Film Festival.  A preview is available.

Born in Muskegon, Jon Covington has traveled the world while working in radio, television and film. 

He was bitten by the entertainment bug as a child after being selected to appear on a PBS special with Gerald R. Ford Jr., who at the time was the U.S. House Representative from Michigan.

Covington has produced and moderated countless political debates, 

as well as, created, spearheaded and participated in a myriad of multi-media campaigns for the likes of BET (Television Network), Gatorade, and the iParticipate campaign spearheaded by the former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.  He has interviewed everyone from former U.S. presidents to Motown founder Berry Gordy.

He is the founder of Men of Color in the Industry (M.O.C.I.T.I.) (mokeetee), a service organization based in Los Angeles, California, that provides a support network and business vehicle for men of color in the entertainment industry; and of Men of Color Read (MOCR), an elementary-school literacy initiative operating in Kent and Muskegon counties that he launched to eradicate functional illiteracy in the urban core. His company, The Jon Covington Group, has quietly been responsible for branding and rebranding businesses and school districts.

Among other honors, Covington was recently named a Paul Harris Fellow, the highest recognition awarded by Rotary International. 

National Day of Racial Healing falls annually on the Tuesday following Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  The event at Hope, along with an NDORH Racial Healing Circle at 11 a.m. (registration is available at this link), is sponsored by the college’s Office of Culture and Inclusive Excellence; Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center; Center for Diversity and Inclusion; and GROW Advocacy Council.  

The Jan. 16 film screening and panel discussion are among multiple events taking place during the college’s Civil Rights Celebration Week.  Additional activities include a multi-session leadership summit on Monday, Jan. 15, that will feature the theme “History in the Making: Behind the Dream” that will include two sets of concurrent breakout sessions at 9:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.; the Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Lecture on Monday, Jan. 15, at 2 p.m. by John Yelding, an emeritus member of the Hope education faculty, who will present “Reflections on MLK, Civil Rights, and DEI at Hope College”; and the exhibition “Deep Roots, New Shoots: Modern and Contemporary Art from the KAM Collection,” showing 40 African artworks created between the 1960s and the early 2020s, running at the Kruizenga Art Museum from Friday, Jan. 12, through Saturday, May 18.  Additional information about the week’s events is available online.

Along with the week’s public events, Hope students will engage in service projects throughout the area during the morning of Saturday, Jan. 20, through the college’s “Hope Serves” program.  In addition to the college’s events, the Holland-based I AM Academy will hold its Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at Hope: on Monday, Jan. 15, at the Richard and Helen DeVos Fieldhouse.

To inquire about accessibility or if you need accommodations to fully participate in the event, please email  Updates related to events are posted when available at in the individual listings.

The Knickerbocker Theatre is located in downtown Holland at 86 E. 8th St., between College and Columbia Avenues.