Hollywood, Congress meet at CBC’s movie screening

A beautiful voice can stop you cold.

Add to that five others and you have the scene at the Uptown Theater Sunday night at the Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s inaugural event, a screening of “Gospel Hill.” The event also featured the South Carolina gospel group “The Promises.”

The cold night heated up as the film’s stars, Angela Bassett and Danny Glover, walked the red carpet and were immediately bombarded with flashbulbs and questions from news crews.

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“It’s exciting to me, a dream realized and we’re still on the journey,” Bassett, who looked every bit the movie star she is in a full-length black fur coat and exquisite diamond earrings, said of the occasion. She gave tribute to the “power art has in our lives.”

Bassett also spoke of fear: “It’s about an era, about standing up, releasing fear, about speaking for those who don’t have a voice.”

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, like Bassett, arrived in good, sentimental spirits. “We’re happy to cosponsor the viewing,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.). “It represents the South, [from] which so many members of the black caucus hail.”

Other lawmakers in the audience included Reps. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) and Hank Johnson (D-Ga.). House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) was scheduled to speak before the movie began, but he got stuck in traffic.

Glover greeted Thompson as he walked into the theater. “Hey buddy, what’s going on?” Glover asked, shaking the congressman’s hand.

Actor Tim Reid, who played the father in TV’s “Sister, Sister,” was in the lobby just before the film began.

“Oh of course,” he remarked when asked if he was a big fan of President-elect Obama.

It turns out that Reid campaigned for the incoming president in his home state of Virginia.

“First (win) in 40 years,” he said with an edge in his voice.