New film on Black Farmers

Gae Broadwater (
Thu, 28 Jan 1999 12:51:08 -0500

Attention: Here is an anoucement from NewsReel about a
film on Black Farmers that I thought you might find interesting.
Ordering and contact information is listed below the
Through the lens of autobiography, filmmaker Charlene Gilbert
seeks to understand African Americans contentious relationship
with the land. The film unearths the startling fact that African
Americans have been dispossessed from their lands by an
unspoken policy of poor management practices within the
USDA. Through interviews with family and friends who
did not leave or were not forced off the farm, this documentary
reveals the centrality of land ownership in the pursuit of power
and entitlement for the African American. Today, African
Americans run the risk of becoming completely disenfranchised
since, as one farmer put it, *the only real power in this country
is land.*

This story continually returns to the city - to the urbanization of an
entire people and the effect that has had on the rural space they
have left behind. An investigation of place, Homecoming makes it
clear that home cannot exist without that longing for red dirt and
clay that so many urban African Americans endure. Starting her own plot in a
community garden in Philadelphia, Gilbert wonders
what would have happened to African Americans
had they been able to hold onto their ancestral lands and what it
means to call a place of former enslavement an ancestral space.

California Newsreel is a not-for-profit film distribution company
specializing in independent documentaries. We offer our videos
free of charge to academic conferences and on occasion can
provide facilitators to lead post-screening discussions.

Anna Beatrice Scott
Conferences & Reviews
California Newsreel
149 Ninth Street, Suite 420
San Francisco, CA 94103;
415.621.6196/ fax 6522

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