Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The life and times of controversial African-American politician Adam Clayton Powell Jr. is chronicled in this made-for-cable biopic. Constructed in Citizen Kane fashion, the film begins as the aging Powell (Harry J. Lennix) recalls his career to an inquiring reporter. From humble beginnings as a pastor at Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church, Powell rises through the ranks to be elected America's second black congressman in 1945. Though reverent and sympathetic to its subject, who is shown battling deeply entrenched racism to bring equality and dignity to his people, the film also sheds light upon Powell's many shortcomings, among them his spotty marital record, his financial shenanigans, his expensive vacations on the public's dime, and his ultimate ouster from Congress. Vanessa L. Williams co-stars as Powell's beleagured ex-wife, celebrated pianist Hazel Scott. Co-produced by Adam Clayton Powell Jr.'s sons, Keep the Faith, Baby was first seen on February 17, 2002, as part of the Showtime cable network's celebration of Black History Month.
African-American, career, Congress, marital-problems, racism, reporter, pianist