(CHICAGO) ― Gravitas Ventures has acquired the U.S. and Canadian distribution rights for “Twenty Pearls: The Story of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.,” an intimate documentary film introducing the storied history of Alpha Kappa Alpha, America’s first sorority for Black college women. Narrated by Phylicia Rashad and written and directed by Deborah
Draper, Twenty Pearls tells the story of a powerful sisterhood created in 1908 that has influenced significant watershed moments in history, including World War II, NASA, Civil Rights, Voting Rights, Women’s Rights, HBCUs, and Public Health.
With a multi-platform launch date of February 22, 2022, Twenty Pearls will be available on Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube, Google Play, and Vudu, to name a few. Retailers like Amazon will carry DVDs for sale and the film will be available in libraries as far as Canada. Initially released on Comcast’s Black Experience channel in March 2021, the acquisition by Gravitas and launch during Black History Month is timely in presenting this documentary to broader North American and worldwide audiences.
“The story of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is not a Black story; it is an American story. Through our partnership with Gravitas, our goal is to ensure that our story is broadly told by making it more accessible to diverse audiences,” explained Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover, International President and CEO of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® and President of Tennessee State University.
Director Deborah Riley Draper, a 2022 NAACP Image Awards nominee for the OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network docuseries “The Legacy of Black Wall Street” for Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Television), is well known for her previous documentaries “Olympic Pride, American Prejudice” and “Versailles ‘73: American Runway Revolution.” Draper said having the luxury and privilege of interviewing Alpha Kappa Alpha member and Vice President Kamala Harris for Twenty Pearls was an extraordinary moment for her as a filmmaker. “Vice President Harris spoke to the power of Black women when we come together and organize, what that looks like, and how that force can change the world.”
The film also features interviews with International President and CEO of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®️ Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover, Miss Universe Ireland Fionnghuala O’Reilly, Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt Fierst, and many more. As a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®️ herself, Draper said, “Being able to tell our own stories is our cultural inheritance. If we don’t tell our stories, who is going to tell our stories the way they should be told?”
Twenty Pearls is produced by Coffee Bluff Pictures (Deborah Riley Draper and Lacy Barnes, Producers) and executive produced by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® International President and CEO Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover, The Honorable Kimberly M. Esmond Adams, Cynthia D. Howell, Martha Perine Beard, and Cheryl Polote Williamson.