Film Based on the Life of Charlie Beckham to Premiere at The WRIGHT

“A film adaptation of the successful one-man play based on the life of longtime City of Detroit executive Charles (“Charlie”) M. Beckham will premiere on Thursday, November 11, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 31.

“The Charlie Beckham Story: Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time” stage play debuted to rave reviews at the Wright Museum in 2018. Now, the engaging and inspirational memoir has been put to film with Beckham sharing memories, musings, anecdotes, lessons learned, and light-hearted recollections.

“I originally got the idea to tell my life story in this format after watching Mike Tyson’s one-man play, ‘Undisputed Truth,’ “ said Beckham. “The challenge for me was transforming from a guy who has done 50 years of public service into telling my story in front of audiences in a play. Actually, it turned out not to be as hard as I thought.”

The film gives audiences an intimate glimpse into Charlie Beckham’s more than 40 years of service to the City of Detroit. He served as a trusted advisor and executive manager in the administrations of the city’s last six mayors.
Beckham’s life and career hit its lowest point in the 1980s when, as director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department under Mayor Coleman Young, he was convicted of federal bribery charges and sentenced to three years in prison.

In the film, Beckham addresses how he endured the scandal, which he describes as one of the most intense onslaughts the federal justice system has ever mounted against a government official in Detroit’s history.
Beckham retired in 2018 from his position as the City of Detroit’s group executive in charge of neighborhoods under Mayor Mike Duggan.”

A Live Q&A with Beckham will follow the showing of the film. The session will be moderated by Beckham’s nephew, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson of WDET-FM’s “Detroit Today” and Detroit Public Television’s “American Black Journal.”

Tickets to the film premiere and Q&A are $20 each for general admission and can be purchased on Eventbrite at: and
A portion of the proceeds from the premiere will benefit the William Beckham Academy of Detroit, which is named in memory of Charlie Beckham’s late older brother, William J. Beckham, Jr.

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