On and offstage, performance artist Khalil Abdul Malik Raheem Munir grapples with the conflicting legacies—and names—he has inherited.

Khalil Munir and son in South Philly

One-hour Television Documentary, in development with support from Independent Television Service (ITVS).

In an inventive one-man show, actor and hoofer Khalil Abdul Malik Raheem Munir examines his South Philadelphia upbringing. Offstage, he embraces a new life as father and husband. However, contradictions from his childhood still nip at his peace. What scars linger from growing up as a black boy named after four incarcerated men, including dad?

The canvas for this story is an African American community in South Philly with a tradition of self-reliance and entrepreneurship dating back to the 1920s. It became home to hardy Black migrants from the American South like Khalil’s grandparents, who owned a fleet of small businesses. Yet by the early 1980s when he was born, the neighborhood’s social fabric and his family were unraveling.

Khalil Munir Sr and Jr

Today, Khalil wonders about the legacy he will pass on to his newborn son. As his family rallies to mount Khalil’s play at a local theater, we meet three generations of fathers and sons on divergent paths to self-determination.

Your tax-deductible gift will help bring this intimate, powerful film to completion. Produced by Malkia K. Lydia and Khalil A. M. R. Munir. Directed by Malkia K. Lydia.

PGAHC logoPA Council on the Arts logo
WHAT’S IN A NAME? has been supported by an Artist Fellowship award from the Prince George’s Arts & Humanities Council. WHAT’S IN A NAME? also received state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.