New video on Black Farmers [Sonny repost] FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Fri, 6 Nov 1998 23:54:38 -0400


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[repost bounced FWD from HPN member Sonny Covington]

Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 10:41:05 -0800
From: Steve Guy +ADw-contact+AEA-newsreel.org+AD4-
Subject: New video on Black Farmers

HOMECOMING

Homecoming is the first film to explore the rural roots of African
American life. It chronicles the generation-old struggle of African
Americans for land of their own which pitted them against both the
Southern white power structure and the federal agencies responsible for
helping them. Director Charlene Gilbert weaves this history together with
a fond portrait of her own Georgia farming family into what she calls, "A
story of land and love."

Like so much African American history, the Black farmers' story is one of
perseverance in the face of prejudice and perjured promises. As part of
radical Reconstruction, Congress allotted 45 million acres of land to
former slaves but he rapid reimposition of white supremacy meant that
little land was ever actually distributed. Despite formidable obstacles,
one million African Americans, mostly former sharecroppers, managed to
purchase over 15,000,000 acres of land by 1910.

This achievement was threatened by the agricultural crisis of the '20s and
'30s which led to a raft of farm foreclosures and, eventually, to the
system of federal farm loans and subsidies on which all farmers depend
today. But the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture was a white man's club, often
working hand in glove with local bankers and big landowners to dispossess
Black farmers of their land. For example, during the '30s the Southern
Tenant Farmers Union had to force the Farm Security Administration to
include African American farmers in their tenant purchase program. It was
through this program that the filmmaker's grandfather purchased his land,
the farm her cousin now owns. Black farmers are currently suing the
U.S.D.A. successfully for discriminatory loan practices over the last
three decades. As a result of these policies, there are only 18,000 Black
farmers left in America and it is predicted there will be none in the next
century.

Homecoming is also a mediation on the unfinished work of redeeming the
land African Americans worked as slaves for hundreds of years. August
Wilson asserts that African Americans are a rural people who after the
Great Migration found themselves in an alien urban milieu. This film
argues that Black farms, though small in number today, can continue to
provide African Americans with a sense of cultural stability and family
unity in the 1990s. In a country which has never tired to make African
Americans feel at home, this film, like the farming families it
celebrates, offers a real "homecoming."

A unique documentary. Viewers will learn how African American family,
culture and community have been knitted together since the days of slavery
from rural Georgia to inner city Philadelphia.
-- Gene F. Summers, University of Wisconsin-Madison

This film tells a distressing story but delivers an uplifting message.
We're all in this struggle together, whether displaced Black farmers of
downsized white workers.
--Jim Hightower

A poignant, personal, political and historical mediation. It will teach,
inspire and empower us to correct the injustices which continue to plague
Black farmers.
--Tera W. Hunter, Carnegie Mellon University

+ACI-Watching this documentary elicits sadness, laughter, thoughtfulness and a
feeling of connection. It captures not only the struggle of the Black
farmer but urban Black America's remembrance of farm life and the South.
--Gary R. Grant, Black Farmers Agriculturalists Association

Producer/Director: Charlene Gilbert
56 minutes, 1998
California Newsreel
149 Ninth Street
San Francisco, CA  94103
phone: 415.621.6196
fax: 415.621.6522
contact+AEA-newsreel.org
http://www.newsreel.org

END FORWARD
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__________

[repost bounced FWD from HPN member Sonny Covington]


Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 10:41:05 -0800

From: Steve Guy +ADw-contact+AEA-newsreel.org+AD4-

Subject: New video on Black Farmers


<paraindent><param>right,left</param>HOMECOMING

</paraindent>

Homecoming is the first film to explore the rural roots of African

American life. It chronicles the generation-old struggle of African

Americans for land of their own which pitted them against both the

Southern white power structure and the federal agencies responsible
for

helping them. Director Charlene Gilbert weaves this history together
with

a fond portrait of her own Georgia farming family into what she calls,
"A

story of land and love."


Like so much African American history, the Black farmers' story is one
of

perseverance in the face of prejudice and perjured promises. As part
of

radical Reconstruction, Congress allotted 45 million acres of land to

former slaves but he rapid reimposition of white supremacy meant that

little land was ever actually distributed. Despite formidable
obstacles,

one million African Americans, mostly former sharecroppers, managed to

purchase over 15,000,000 acres of land by 1910.


This achievement was threatened by the agricultural crisis of the '20s
and

'30s which led to a raft of farm foreclosures and, eventually, to the

system of federal farm loans and subsidies on which all farmers depend

today. But the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture was a white man's club, often

working hand in glove with local bankers and big landowners to
dispossess

Black farmers of their land. For example, during the '30s the Southern

Tenant Farmers Union had to force the Farm Security Administration to

include African American farmers in their tenant purchase program. It
was

through this program that the filmmaker's grandfather purchased his
land,

the farm her cousin now owns. Black farmers are currently suing the

U.S.D.A. successfully for discriminatory loan practices over the last

three decades. As a result of these policies, there are only 18,000
Black

farmers left in America and it is predicted there will be none in the
next

century.


Homecoming is also a mediation on the unfinished work of redeeming the

land African Americans worked as slaves for hundreds of years. August

Wilson asserts that African Americans are a rural people who after the

Great Migration found themselves in an alien urban milieu. This film

argues that Black farms, though small in number today, can continue to

provide African Americans with a sense of cultural stability and
family

unity in the 1990s. In a country which has never tired to make African

Americans feel at home, this film, like the farming families it

celebrates, offers a real "homecoming."


A unique documentary. Viewers will learn how African American family,

culture and community have been knitted together since the days of
slavery

from rural Georgia to inner city Philadelphia.

-- Gene F. Summers, University of Wisconsin-Madison


This film tells a distressing story but delivers an uplifting message.

We're all in this struggle together, whether displaced Black farmers
of

downsized white workers.

--Jim Hightower


A poignant, personal, political and historical mediation. It will
teach,

inspire and empower us to correct the injustices which continue to
plague

Black farmers.

--Tera W. Hunter, Carnegie Mellon University


+ACI-Watching this documentary elicits sadness, laughter,
thoughtfulness and a

feeling of connection. It captures not only the struggle of the Black

farmer but urban Black America's remembrance of farm life and the
South.

--Gary R. Grant, Black Farmers Agriculturalists Association


Producer/Director: Charlene Gilbert

56 minutes, 1998

California Newsreel

149 Ninth Street

San Francisco, CA  94103

phone: 415.621.6196

fax: 415.621.6522

contact+AEA-newsreel.org

http://www.newsreel.org


END FORWARD

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