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Vanishing Occupations: Black Farmers | AWARE! | WSRE

October 19, 2019


>>THIS ORIGINAL WSRE PRESENTATION IS MADE POSSIBLE BY VIEWERS LIKE YOU. THANK YOU. ♪>>IN 1920, NEARLY 1 MILLION BLACK FARMERS WERE WORKING ACROSS THE UNITED STATES. BY THE END OF THE CENTURY, THAT NUMBER HAD DECLINED TO LESS THAN 18,000. WHILE THOSE FIGURES ARE SIMILAR TO THE DECLINE OF FARMING NATIONWIDE, THE DOCUMENTARY, “HOMECOMING” HIGHLIGHTS THE FACTORS THAT LED TO THE DECLINE OF BLACK FARMERS AND SHEDS A SPOTLIGHT ON INSTITUTIONALIZED RACISM THAT STRIP MANY AFRICAN AMERICANS OF THEIR FARM LAND. HI. I’M DEE DEE SHARP. WELCOME TO THIS SPECIAL EDITION OF THE AWARE SHOW. WE’RE GLAD TO HAVE YOU THERE. OUR GUEST IS AN AWARD-WINNING FILM MAKER NATIONAL PBS PRODUCER AND ADMINISTRATOR AND PROFESSOR AT OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY. TONIGHT, OUR AWARE PROFILE GUEST IS CHARLENE GILBERT, PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR OF THE EXTRAORDINARY DOCUMENTARY, “HOMECOMING, SOMETIMES I’M HAUNTED BY MEMORIES OF RED DIRT AND CLAY”. CHARLENE, THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE FOR THE AWARE SHOW.>>GLAD TO BE HERE.>>CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR AWARD ON YOUR FILM MAKING OF THIS DOCUMENTARY. EXTRAORDINARY, I HOPE OUR VIEWERS WILL GET A CHANCE TO SEE IT AT ONE POINT EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO GO ONLINE AND CHECK IT OUT. IT WAS EXACTLY AS WE’RE SAYING. IT WAS EXTRAORDINARY.>>THANK YOU.>>WE’LL START WITH A LITTLE BIT ABOUT I KIND OF TRIED TO SET IT UP IN THE OPENING OF THE SHOW BUT I KIND OF WANT TO GIVE YOU AN OPPORTUNITY TO TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE FILM AND WHY YOU DECIDED TO DO THIS.>>SO THE DOCUMENTARY IS REALLY ABOUT THE HISTORY OF LAND LOSS FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN FARM EFFORTS IN THE SOUTH AND I USE A COUPLE OF STRATEGIES IN THE TELLING OF THE STORY, I USE TRADITIONAL DOCUMENTARY HISTORICAL DOCUMENTARY APPROACH, WITH EXPERTS AND A LOT OF OUR COW IMAGERY AND FACT AND FIGURES BUT I ALSO WOVE IN THE STORY OF MY FAMILY. BECAUSE MY GRANDFATHER WAS A FARMER, MY COUSIN AT THE TIME I MADE THE FILM WAS THE YOUNGEST FARMER IN MACON COUNTY, GEORGIA. I TOOK THOSE VARIOUS STORY LINES AND WOVE THEM TOGETHER SO THERE’S THE HISTORICAL MORE DISTANT PUBLIC HISTORY PIECE AND THERE’S THE PERSONAL MEMORY PIECE OF MY FAMILY AND THE FAMILY HISTORY PIECE OF MY EXTENDED FAMILY THROUGHOUT THE 20th CENTURY AND ENGAGEMENT WITH FARMING IN THE SOUTH.>>AND THEN WATCHING THIS FILM, I FOUND THAT THERE WAS AN OUTPOURING OF LOVE. I MEAN YOU’RE PERSONALLY TELLING YOUR STORY, BUT YOU’RE ALSO TELLING THE STORIES OF BLACK FARMERS FROM PAST, PRESENT AND EVEN THE FUTURE. TALKING ABOUT WHAT THEY HAVE HAD TO GO THROUGH, WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN THROUGH AND WHAT THEY’RE STILL GOING THROUGH IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN, KEEP THEIR LAND, CONTINUE DOING WHAT THEY DO AS FARMERS.>>YES.>>SHARING YOUR LOVE, THAT’S WHAT YOU DID IN THIS.>>YEAH. I GAINED A LOT OF INSIGHT MAKING THIS FILM, I LEARNED A LOT MORE ABOUT MY MOTHER’S STORY, GROWING UP IN THE SOUTH, ABOUT MY GRANDFATHER, AND ABOUT HOW MUCH — HOW IMPORTANT THE LAND AND FARM WAS TO MY FAMILY AND HOW IT WAS REALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE — ALL THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT I HAD IN MY LIFETIME. THERE’S A WAY AS A YOUNGER PERSON, I JUST DIDN’T KNOW TA THAT THERE HAD BEEN ALL THIS THAT I WAS — I KNEW I STOOD ON SHOULDERS I HAD NO IDEA EVEN IN MY OWN FAMILY I STOOD ON TREMENDOUS SHOULDERS OF PEOPLE WHO SACRIFICED AUDIT GREAT DEAL FOR ME AND MY MOTHER AND THAT ENDED UP BEING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ME AND EVENTUALLY FOR MY OWN CHILDREN. THIS REALLY ALL STARTED WITH ONE SMALL BLACK FARMER IN THIS SMALL COUNTY WHO UNDERSTOOD THE VALUE OF LAND AND VALUE OF FARMING AND LEVERAGED THAT FOR THE FUTURE OF HIS CHILDREN.>>WE’RE GOING TO GET A MOMENT TO GO TO AT LEAST THE FIRST FIVE MINUTES OFF THE TOP OF THE SHOW, TO GIVE YOU AN OPPORTUNITY TO SEE WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT WHEN WE SAY EXTRAORDINARY AND THEN WE’LL SHARE EXCERPTS AS WELL THROUGHOUT THE AWARE PROGRAM THIS EVENING. BUT IN YOUR OWN WORDS, YOU WERE ABLE TO WIN AN AWARD, YOU DIDN’T KNOW THAT WHEN YOU WERE PUTTING THIS TOGETHER BUT YOU DID. SO TELLING YOUR STORY IS OBVIOUSLY SOMETHING THAT IS TOUCHED A LOT OF PEOPLE AND IN A WAY THAT YOU COME OUT WINNING AN AWARD BUT YOUR TRUE REWARD AS WE CAN SEE HAS BEEN TO SHARE YOUR STORY AND TO PASS DOWN THE LEGACY.>>YES. ABSOLUTELY. I THINK TONY MORRISON, THE AUTHOR WHO WROTE BOOKS LIKE “BELOVED” AND I THINK SHE WAS TALKING ABOUT THE BELOVED ONCE IN AN INTERVIEW AND SHE TALKED HOW SHE FELT OVERCOME TO — WITH TO WRITE THIS SO SHE FELT SORT OF THAT ANCESTORS WERE DRIVING HER TO TELL THE STORY IN MER HER BOOK. I REALLY FEEL THAT I WAS FORTUNATE, I LOVE THIS FILM, THIS IS THE — WAS THE FIRST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY HYMN I HAD EVER MADE, IT WENT AND DID EXTREMELY WELL AND IT WAS A — DEFINITELY SOMETHING THAT REQUIRED A LOT OF LOVE, A LOT OF TIME, WORK AND ENERGY, IT WAS — I COMMITTED PROBABLY FIVE YEARS OF MY LIFE TO MAKING THIS FILM. IT WAS — IT DEFINITELY FELT LIKE SOMETHING BIGGER THAN ME, LIKE WHEN I WAS MAKING IT I FELT LIKE THERE WAS JUST — I HAD AN OBLIGATION TO NOT JUST MY OWN FAMILY BUT ALL AFRICAN AMERICAN AMERICANS IN THE SOUTH THAT TOILED ON LAND, ON FARMS AND LOST THOSE FARMS AND THAT LEGACY OF ALL THOSE PEOPLE THAT COME BEFORE ME. AND I HOPE I DID JUSTICE TO IT, THE IT WAS DEFINITELY — I DID MY VERY BEST AND I WAS VERY PROUD OF THE WORK WHEN I WAS DONE.>>IN SPEAKING OF THAT WORK WE’RE GETTING READY TO SHOW AT LEAST THE FIRST FIVE MINUTES OF IT BUT I WANT TO GIVE YOU AN OPPORTUNITY THE IN YOUR OWN WORDS TO SET UP WHAT WE’RE ABOUT TO SEE IN THIS EXTRAORDINARY DOCUMENTARY.>>SO THIS IS JUST THE OPENING ACT WE’RE GOING TO SEE WHERE I AM SETTING UP THE CONTEXT FOR THE FILM. I’M LETTING VIEWERS KNOW THIS WILL BE A LITTLE DIFFERENT KIND OF DOCUMENTARY, IT WON’T BE JUST SOMEBODY SITTING IN FRONT OF A STACK OF BOOKS TALKING HISTORICAL DATES. SO THIS IS WHY I SHOW WE’LL TALK ABOUT THE HISTORY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN FARMERS AND ALSO TALKING ABOUT MY OWN FAMILY HISTORY IN THIS ONE COUNTY IN GEORGIA. AND WE’RE ALSO GOING TO TALK ABOUT MY PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE ON AS THE FILM MAKER WHO IS ALSO YOU SEE IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE STORY. SO THIS BEGINNING SEGMENT SETS UP THOSE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF STORY TELLING.>>HERE WE HAVE IT. CHARLENE GILBERT, PROFESSOR, PRODICER, FILM MAKER, AWARD-WINNING FILM MAKER THAT IS, WITH HER AWARD WINNING DOCUMENTARY HERE HIGHLIGHTED ON THE AWARE SHOW AND THE NAME OF THIS ONCE AGAIN IS HOME COMING, SOMETIMES I’M HAUNTED BY MEMORIES OF RED DIRT AND CLAY”. HERE IT IS. ♪>>LAND IS THE BUSINESS OF ALL INDEPENDENCE. LAND IS THE BUSINESS FOR FREEDOM, JUSTICE AND EQUALITY.>>9 MILLION NEGROES IN OUR SOUTHERN STATES AND THE MAJORITY OF THEM LIVE ON FARMS. WHILE MANY OF THESE FARMERS HAVE ACHIEVED INDEPENDENCE AND PERHAPS PROSPERITY, ALL TOO MANY BARELY MAKE A LIVING.>>IN 1910 BLACK FARMERS OWNED 15 MILLION-ACRES OF LAND. SINCE THAT TIME, THE 15 MILLION HAVE BEEN REDUCED TO 4 MILLION ACRES. THE FUTURE, 1984 WILL MARK THE BLACK RACE AS A LANDLESS PEOPLE.>>MAJOR FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY THE CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING. ADDITIONAL FUNDING WAS PROVIDE TABID NATIONAL BLACK PROGRAMMING CONSORTIUM. THE OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE, THE WATERMAN FUND OF THE PHILADELPHIA FOUNDATION, THE PENNSYLVANIA HUMANITIES COUNCIL, THE MID ATLANTIC ARTS FOUNDATION. THE FUNDING EXCHANGE AND THE BLOODSTREAM COVERLER FOUNDATION.>>WE WANT TO BE IN THE STREETS OR WHATEVER, SO IT’S ALSO RENEWING OUR HERITAGE AND OUR PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS.>>THESE ARE MY COUSINS, VERNA AND JESSICA DOING WHAT I DID WHEN I WAS THEIR AGE EXCEPT I DIDN’T USE WORDS LIKE ANCESTORS BACK THEN. AND I THINK I WAS FEELING MORE LIKE JESSICA, DREADING OVER MOMENT IN THE HOT SUN. ♪ OTHER THE LAND, HOMECOMING ♪ ♪ OER THE LAND, THE LAND, FOR THE LAND, THE LAND, FOR THE LAND, HOMECOMING ♪>>BY ALL ASSESSMENTS AND EVALUATION IT IS ACHIEVEMENT OF BLACK PEOPLE BY 1910 IN THEIR OWNERSHIP OF JUST OVER 15 MILLION ACRES OF LAND IS REMARKABLE. HISTORIANS TELL A STORY OF THE LATE 19th CENTURY RECONSTRUCTION AS ONE OF BETRAYAL, TRAGEDY, DISAPPOINTMENT FOR BLACK PEOPLE BUT ALSO A PERIOD OF TIME OF ASPIRATION AND HOPE. AND A PERIOD OF TIME OF HARD WORK.>>DEAR SIR, IN SEPTEMBER 1847, I ARRIVED –>>HE STATED TOOK A HAS BECOME AGO DIG FANTASTIC IN CONSEQUENCE OF SALE OF MUCH OF THE CREEK TERRITORY WHICH GENERAL MCINTOSH MADE WITH THE GEORGIA PEOPLE AND THEY DETERMINED TO MAKE HIM ANSWER FOR THE TREASURY BY THE FORFEITURE. I DETERMINED TO KILL MCINTOSH IN HIS OWN YARD IN THE PRESENCE OF HIS FAMILY AND LET HIS BLOOD RUN UPON THE SOIL OF THAT RESERVATION WHICH THE GEORGIANS SECURED TO HIM AND THE TREATY HE HAD MADE WITH THEM. THEY FREQUENTLY SHOUTED WITH MUCH EXITATION, MCINTOSH, WE HAVE COME. WE HAVE COME. WE TOLD YOU, IF YOU SOLD THE LAND TO THE GEORGIANS WE WOULD COME.>>VERY HARD.>>NOT REALLY, IT’S NOT REALLY HARD, YOU JUST HAVE TO CONDITION YOUR MIND TO WANT TO DO IT. BECAUSE YOU KNOW, IT GETS HOT OUT HERE. AND YOU’RE NOT WANTING TO DO IT BUT IF YOU CONDITION YOUR MIND IT’S NOTHING TO IT REALLY.>>JESSICA — YES. IT IS REALLY HOT LIKE SHE SAID.>>I DON’T THINK I WANT THEIR MINDS TO BE CONDITIONED FOR ANYTHING. BUT VERNA IS RIGHT, A HUNDRED YEARS AGO A 6-YEAR-OLD ANCESTOR OF HEARSE AND MINE WORKED IN THE HOT SUN ON DAYS LIKE THIS FROM SUN UP TO SUN DOWN.>>I LIKE TO START WITH END OF THE CIVIL WAR WHEN 4 MILLION AFRICAN AMERICAN WERE FREED AND THEN YOU GO THROUGH SOME BITTER YEARS OF RECONSTRUCTION AND THE POPULOUS MOVEMENT AND THEN ALL THE SEGREGATION LAWS AND STILL, WHEN YOU GET UP TO 1910, THERE WERE 200,000 AFRICAN AMERICANS WHO HAD BOUGHT LAND THAT THEY FARMED. AND THAT’S JUST A REMARKABLE RECORD. CONSIDERING THAT DURING SLAVERY PEOPLE WEREN’T ALLOWED TO LEARN TO READ AND WRITE. BUT THEY LEARNED A LOT ABOUT FARMING AND THEY UTILIZED THAT ONCE THEY WERE FREE.>>THIS IS MY COUSIN, WARREN JAMES. WARREN WORKS LONG DAYS IN HOT WEATHER BY CHOICE. WARREN IS A FARMER. ONE OF ONLY 18,000 BLACK FARMERS LEFT IN THIS COUNTRY DOWN FROM A HIGH OF NEARLY 1 MILLION IN 1910. WARREN FARMS HERE IN MONTEZUMA, GAY G THE ONLY PLACE I KNOW MOST PEOPLE I MEET ARE RELATED TO ME BY BLOOD OR MARRIAGE. WHEN PEOPLE ASK WHERE I’M FROM, THAT’S THE ONLY THING THAT COMES TO MIND. EVEN THOUGH I HAD NEVER LIVED HERE LONGER THAN A FEW WEEKS UNTIL I BEGAN THIS THIS FILM.>>THIS IS THE STORY OF MY FAMILY, THIS IS THE STORY OF BLACK FARMERS IN THE 20th CENTURY, THIS IS THE STORY OF LAND AND LOVE.>>THERE’S A LOT TO BE LEARNED BY WATCHING THIS AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY IN ITS TOTALITY. BUT FROM THE FIRST FIVE MINUTES OF WHAT WE HAVE SEEN, TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT WE COULD EXPECT TO LEARN THROUGHOUT THIS IF WE WERE ABLE TO SEE THE ENTIRE FILM.>>THE FOCUS OF THE ENTIRE FILM IS REALLY JUST TRYING TO CAPTURE WHAT HAPPENED IN THE 20th CENTURY, HOW DID WE GO FROM 15 MILLION ACRES OF LAND AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 20th CENTURY TO LESS THAN FOUR AT THE TIME BY THE TOWARDS THE END OF THE 20th CENTURY. AND REALLY, FOR ME THE QUESTION THAT CAUGHT MY ATTENTION ABOUT THE STORY WAS THINKING ABOUT WHAT THOSE EARLY FARMERS IN THE EARLY 1900s, WHAT THEY HAD COME OUT OF. SO YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT IN A VERY SHORT WINDOW OF TIME, BETWEEN THE END OF SLAVERY AND BEGINNING OF THE 20th CENTURY, FREED AFRICANS, FREED AFRICANS WHO WERE ENSLAVED DENIED TO RIGHT TO LEARN TO READ AND WRITE, AND FRANKLY WERE BEING TERRORIZED THROUGHOUT THE SOUTH, HAD MANAGED TO ACCUMULATE LANDS AND RESOURCES THAT WERE — IT WAS JUST A TREMENDOUS ACCOMPLISHMENT. AND THEY DID IT THROUGH — AS PROFESSOR DOLLY TALKS ABOUT A COMBINATION OF SORT OF HARD WORK, TAKING AND DOING SIDE WORK AND DOING OTHER SIDE JOBS TO SUPPORT THEIR ABILITY TO BUY LAND, SUPPORT THEIR OWN FARMING OPERATIONS, AND SO IT WAS JUST — AN AMAZING ECONOMIC ACCOMPLISHMENT AND I REALLY WANTED TO EVERYONE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT HAD HAPPENED SO THE DOCUMENTARY TALKS ABOUT SORT OF WHAT HAPPENED IN THE EARLY YEARS, HOW MUCH LAND FARMERS HAD, BLACK FARMERS HAND AND THEN IT TALKS AS WE GO THROUGH THE 20th CENTURY HOW THEY LOST THE LAND AND HAVE THAT LAND TAKEN FROM THEM AND FARMS TAKEN FROM THEM AND WHAT WERE THE FORCES AT WORK THAT WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT. SO THAT TREMENDOUS DECLINE. SOY THINK THAT THAT — THE FILM IF YOU CAN SEE THE SEE THE FILM YOU WILL SEE THAT BUT I DIDN’T WANT THE FILMTOR A SORROW SONG, I DIDN’T WANT IT SIMPLY TO BE THE STORY OF LOSS SO I WANTED TO ALSO TALK ABOUT MY COUSIN WHO WAS THE — AT THE TIME THE FILM WAS MADE THE YOUNG FARMER IN MACON COUNTY, GEORGIA HE WAS STILL FARMING AND WORKING HARD AND STILL THERE AND I WANTED THAT TO BE A TESTAMENT TO WHAT WAS POSSIBLE AND WAY FOR YOUNGER PEOPLE TO ENTER INTO THE STORY. SO I THINK ABOUT THE FILM AS PROVIDING LOSS OF WAYS FOR PEOPLE TO ENTER INTO THIS HISTORY. THEY CAN ENTER FOR FROM PERSPECTIVE OF UNDERSTANDING WHAT HAPPENED IN THE PAST AND THE FARMERS AND THE PEOPLE WHO MADE ALL THIS POSSIBLE, THEY CAN ENTER INTO IT FROM FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF MY COUSIN WHO WAS A CONTEMPORARY FARMER, FARMING RIGHT NOW, STILL DOING THIS WORK AS A YOUNGER PERSON, OR THEY CAN ENTER IT FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF ME AS SOMEONE WHO WAS BORN IN THE SOUTH BUT NEVER LIVED IN THE SOUTH. HAD LEFT THE SOUTH, WAS LIVING IN MOSTLY URBAN AREAS IN THE NORTHEAST PART OF THE COUNTRY BUT STILL HAD THIS REALLY POWERFUL CONNECTION TO THE SOUTH. SO I THOUGHT THERE WERE LOTS OF WAYS PEOPLE CAN ENTER INTO THE STORY AND I WAS TRYING TO TELL THE HISTORY BUT TELL IT USING A BUNCH OF LENSES, HOPEFULLY TO MAKE IT A MORE FULL AND ROUNDED OUT HISTORICAL PROFILE OF THIS TOPIC.>>THAT’S WHAT WHY WE WANTED YOU ON THE AWARE SHOW TO DO THIS THIS PROFILE WITH YOU TO TALK ABOUT THESE THINGS BECAUSE IT IS VERY LAYERED AND IT DOES TOUCH ALL OF US IN ONE WAY OR THE OTHER, WITHOUT US EVEN REALIZING IT. AND THE EXTINCTION SO IT SEEMS OF THE BLACK FARMER AND BY YOU BEING ABLE TO DOCUMENT THIS STORY, YOUR LOVE, YOUR LIFE, YOUR FAMILY STORY, YOUR KIND OF HOLDING ON TO THAT FOR US TO BE ABLE TO SEE THROUGH YOUR EYES AND THROUGH YOUR FAMILY. JOB WELL DONE. YOU DON’T NEED ME TO SAY IT.>>I APPRECIATE IT. ALWAYS.>>ABSOLUTELY. YOU ALSO CAREFULLY CHOSE SOME OF THE PEOPLE WHOM YOU WANTED TO SPEAK IN THE DOCUMENTARY, AS LIKE YOUR EXPERTS. YOU MENTIONED ALREADY MARSHA WHO IS WITH GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY. YOU ALSO HAD PETE DANIELS WHO IS AUTHOR OF BREAKING THE LAND, THAT SORT OF THING SO THERE WAS THOUGHT PUT INTO THAT AS WELL. TELL US ABOUT IT.>>AGAIN, THE BACKBONE OF THE FILM WAS A PRETTY FAMILIAR FORMAT IN TERMS OF HISTORICAL DOCUMENTARY SO I FOUND EXPERTS WHO HAD DONE RESEARCH ON AFRICAN AMERICAN FARMERS LAND LOSS WERE INVOLVED THROUGHOUT — HAD DIFFERENT CONNECTIONS SO THERE WERE ACADEMICS, BUT THERE ARE ALSO PEOPLE WHO ARE INVOLVED IN SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS THAT HAVE BEEN WORKING ON BEHALF OF AFRICAN AMERICAN FARMERS INCLUDING RALPH PAGE WHO IS THE — I THINK STILL THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF FEDERATION OF SOUTHERN LAND COOPERATIVES, AND THE — WHAT’S THE GENTLEMAN’S NAME, REPRESENTATIVE FROM GROUP THAT HAD DONE A LOT TO HELP BLACK FARMERS IN THE ’60s AND DONE INITIAL RESEARCH. AND SO USING THAT — USING — SO THAT WAS ONE PIECE OF THE DOCUMENTARY, WE’RE USING KIND OF EXPERTS TO TALK ABOUT IT. ONE THING I DID A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY THAN YOU WOULD HAVE SEEN IN TRADITIONAL DOCUMENTARY I TOOK A LOT OF THOSE EXPERTS AND I PUT THEM OUT ON THE LAND TO DO THE INTERVIEWS. SO ALMOST ALL ARE INTERVIEWED ACTUALLY AT — ON A ROAD IN MONTEZUMA, GEORGIA, MACON COUNTY, A ROAD THAT IS ALSO AT THE TIME I WROTE THIS AT A CROSS ROADS BECAUSE IT’S LIKE THIS PAVE ROAD THAT — IF YOU LOOK INTO THE BACKGROUND OF THE SHOT YOU WILL SEE THAT PAVED ROAD GOES INTO A UNPAVED SORT OF RED PATH ROAD, GOING FURTHER BACK INTO THE HORIZON. SO FOR ME THAT WAS A METAPHOR IN JUST THE SETTING THAT I PUT THESE EXTRAS SO I TOOK THEM WHERE YOU MIGHT THINK OF SEEING THEM AND PUT THEM THERE LITERALLY AND FIGURATIVELY AT THE CROSS ROADS AND HAD THEM TALKING ABOUT THIS OFFICIAL HISTORICAL RECORD AND THEN I TOOK THE LAYER OF TALKING WITH PEOPLE WHO LIVE THAT HISTORY, SO THERE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO STUDIED IT IN BOOKS AND ARE VERY SMART AND WELL INFORMED, THERE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO WORK IN ORGANIZATIONS TO TRY AND HELP AFRICAN AMERICAN FARMERS BUT THEN I WAS ABLE TO USE VOICES OF ACTUAL FARMERS WHO WERE FARMING AND LIVING THROUGH THIS ON DAY-TO-DAY BASIS AND I ALSO WAS ABLE TO USE GENERATIONAL MEMORY IN MY OWN FAMILY, MY COUSIN WAS A CONTEMPORARY FARMER AND I INTERVIEWED MY GREAT UNCLE WHO COULD TALK ABOUT HIS MEMORIES OF BEING FARMING AS IS A A YOUNG MAN AND LIKE IN THE 1930s, AND HE WAS ONE OF THE TWO OLDEST — ONE OF THE TWO OLDEST LIVING PEOPLE IN MY FAMILY. SO WE HAVE THE EXPERIENCES OF FARMERS, AFRICAN AMERICAN FARMERS ALSO LAYERED IN THE FILM, AND THEN USING ALL THE ARCHIVAL IMAGES I DID A LOT OF ARCHIVAL RESEARCH, I WENT ALL OVER THE COUNTRY ACTUALLY, I WAS IN JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI, LOUISIANA, GEORGIA, D.C. LOOKING FOR — AND I DON’T RECOLLECT LOOKING FOR IMAGE — AND NEW YORK LOOKING FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN FARMERS AND ARCHIVAL INFORMATION. I WOVE THAT INTO THE STORY. THAT BECAME ARCHIVAL IMAGES BECAME A PLACE HOLDER FOR THE MISSING VOICES, THE VOICES OF THE PEOPLE WHO HAD DIED WHO WEREN’T THERE, I COULDN’T INTERVIEW ANYONE FROM 1845 BUT I HAD THEIR IMAGES SO I USED THE IMAGES AND I SOMETIMES USE QUOTE FROM ALL HISTORIES — ORAL HISTORIES TAKEN EARLY IN THE 20th CENTURY TO CAPTURE THE EXPERIENCE, BY PEOPLE INTERVIEW OLDER PEOPLE WHO ENDURED SLAVERY AND SO I FOUND SOME OF THOSE QUOTE AND USE THAT TO TRY TO INFUSE IT WITH NOT ONLY THE CONTEMPORARY VOICES BUT ALSO PAST VOICES THAT HAD BEEN LOST TO US. BUT WE HAVE SOME RECORD OF SO THE COMBINATION OF THOSE THINGS WERE JUST — SOME OF THE ELEMENTS OF THE FILM AND THOSE ARE SOME OF THE DIFFERENT VOICES IN THE FILM.>>WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE EXTINCTION OF THE BLACK FARMER AND WE LOOK AT THE DECLINE WHERE WE WERE A MILLION FARMERS IN THE 1920s AND NOW, 18,000, AND HOPEFULLY CLIMBING AND NOT CONTINUING TO DECLINE, A LOT OF ISSUES ALONG THE WAY. THEY HAD TO FACE. SO VERY IMPORTANTLY, AS YOU — HAVING YOU TO ACTUALLY DOCUMENT THIS, BUT YOU PROBABLY LEARNED A LOT ABOUT SOME OF THE ISSUES THAT WE WOULDN’T KNOW JUST LAYMEN, ABOUT SOME OF THE PROBLEMS AND THE ISSUES THAT THEY FACE.>>YEAH. YEAH. I THINK — I LEARNED A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT ABOUT HOW THIS ALL HAPPENED. SO THE CHALLENGES WERE MANY, UNFORTUNATELY BUT SOME OF THE MAJOR ONES, THERE’S A QUOTE WHERE ONE OF THE GENTLEMEN IS TALKING ABOUT HOW AFRICAN AMERICAN FARMERS LOST LANDS THROUGH ILLEGAL WAYS BUT THEN ALSO WAYS THAT WERE QUASI LEGAL, SO THEY WERE TRICKED INTO THINGS. PEOPLE MIGHT — PEOPLE WOULD BE — THERE’S STORIES, I WAS TOLD SOMEONE WANTED FARMERS LAND, THEY SEND THE FARMER A NOTICE AND TELL THEM — OR SOMEONE COME BY AND SAY THEY’RE AUCTIONING YOUR FARM, IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE MONEY NEXT SATURDAY YOUR FARM WILL BE THIS — THERE’S GOING TO BE AUCTION, THEY’RE COMING AND FARMERS WOULD JUST PANIC AND NOT KNOW WHAT THEY COULD DO AND THAT OFTEN END SADLY FOR FARMERS ONE FARMER TOOK HIS OWN LIFE BECAUSE HE THOUGHT HIS FARM WAS ABOUT TO BE TAKEN FROM HIM. OTHER STORIES OF BANKERS AND LAWYERS COLLUDING TO TAKE LAND FROM A FARMER. THINGS WHERE THEY WOULD SOMETIMES THERE WAS A THING WHERE YOU CAN GO AND — SOMEONEIO OWED TAXES YOU CAN PAY THE TAXES FOR THEM SO MAYBE THE PERSON DOESN’T GET NOTICE OF BACK TAXES SOMEONE IS PAYING YOUR TAXINGS FOR LANDS FOR FIVE YEARS THEN THEY CAN MAKE A CLAIM ON THE LAND. SO THAT WAS ANOTHER STRATEGY, IT WASN’T THAT IT WAS ILLEGAL, BUT IT WAS CERTAINLY NOT — IT WAS CERTAINLY DONE FOR ILL MOTIVES.>>YOU HAVE APPROXIMATE UNCLE IN THE DOCUMENTARY WHO EVEN SAYS THAT WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM WAS MEANT TO GIVE HIM A HEART ATTACK.>>IA. THEY WERE TRYING TO TAKE HIS LAND. AND SO THOSE — AND THEN SOME OF THE OTHER THINGS REGARDING THE USDA WERE FARMING IS A VERY LABOR INTENSIVE BUT ALSO DEPENDENT UPON WEATHER AND TIME OF THE YEAR. SO YOU HAVE TO PLANT DURING A CERTAIN WINDOW. SO ONE STRATEGY THAT WAS USED OFTEN TO UNDERMINE BLACK FARMERS SUCCESS WAS BLACK FARMER WOULD GO TO THE LOCAL USDA OFFICE TO GET THE OFFICE FARM BUREAU OFFICE TO GET SAY THE PAPERWORK TO FILL OUT A LOAN TO GET AN OPERATING LOAN WHICH IS FAIRLY STANDARD. ONE FARMER TALKED ABOUT GOING AND EVERY TIME HE WENT HE WAS TOLD COME BACK NEXT TUESDAY. COME BACK NEXT TUESDAY. COME BACK NEXT WEEK. WE’RE OUT OF THE FORMS. WE DON’T HAVE APPLICATIONS. COME BACK NEXT WEEK. BY THE TIME IT GETS BY THE TIME THEY ACTUALLY MAKE THE APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE THE PLANTING SEASON IS GONE, YOU MISSED THE THE PLANTING WIN NGUYEN DOE SO THEY CAN’T PLANT. THOSE ARE THE KINDS OF THINGS SOMETIMES PEOPLE ASK LIKE YOU KNOW, WELL DID THAT NOT GIVE AN APPLICATION? YEAH THEY GAVE THEM THE APPLICATION A MONTH AFTER THEY KNEW IT WOULD BE HELPFUL TO THEM. A WHITE FARMER WOULD GO AND GET AN APPLICATION, THERE WOULD NEVER BE — THEY WOULDN’T SEND THEM WAY BUT THE AFRICAN AMERICAN FARMERS THEY WOULD SEND AWAY AND SAY WE’RE ALL OUT. SO THINGS LIKE THAT, NOT PROVIDING THE KINDS OF RESOURCES BEING PROVIDE FOR OTHER FARMERS FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN FARMERS SO THEY CAN SUCCEED, NOT GETTING EQUIPMENT YOU NEEDED, CRITICAL EQUIPMENT THAT DON’T OWN BUT YOU RENT AND PEOPLE WOULDN’T RENT THEM THE EQUIPMENT THAT THEY NEEDED TO DO THEIR WORK.>>THERE ARE EVEN STORIES THAT FARMERS EVEN WENT TO VOTE THAT — AND WHITE PEOPLE FOUND OUT ABOUT IT. THEY WOULD DO THINGS TO MANIPULATE THOSE SORTS OF THINGS AND UNDERMINE THEM AS WELL. STORIES GO ON AND ON. THAT WOULD BE BEST TOLD BY THOSE WHO ARE NO LONGER WITH US BUT THANK GOODNESS THEY HAVE SOMEONE LIKE YOU, CHARLENE, WHO IS ABLE TO TELL THEIR STORIES.>>I THINK I CAPTURED SOME OF IT AND THERE’S A LOT IN THE FILM AND I HOPE THIS IS PART OF THE DOCUMENT THAT’S PART OF THE TESTAMENT TO WHAT WE EXPERIENCED GOING FORWARD. I THINK IT IS EASY TO FORGET SOMETIMES, I THINK NOW IN THE 21st CENTURY, SOME THINK THINGS SEEM TO BE GOING WELL, WE SEEM TO BE DOING OKAY AND SOMETIMES IT’S GOOD TO REMEMBER HOW MUCH WE HAVE GONE THROUGH TO GET TO WHERE WE ARE TODAY.>>AND BRINGING THIS A LITTLE BIT TO TODAY, $2 BILLION PLUS SETTLEMENT WAS SUPPOSEDLY REACHED BY THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE TO TRY TO GO BACK AND MAKE RIGHT SOME OF THE THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN — HAD BEEN DONE, I GUESS TO FARMERS, YOU KNOW THE HISTORY BEST. ABOUT HOW EVEN THAT WAS PROBABLY AT SOME POINT, THERE WERE SOME ISSUES THAT FARMERS STILL DIDN’T GET SOME OF WHAT WAS SUPPOSED TO COME TO THEM.>>THE IMPORTANT THING IS TO ABOUT THAT, IT ONLY COVERED 1983 TO 1997. SO IT WAS A VERY SPECIFIC WINDOW OF TIME, I THINK THE — THERE WAS EXTENSION OF THE TIME FOR THE SECOND SETTLEMENT EXTENDED THE TIME FARMERS HAD TO APPLY SO THEY CAN I THINK IT WAS 2012 THEY EXTENDED IT TO. BUT THERE WERE A WHOLE LOT OF FARMERS WHO WERE DENIED ACCESS RESOURCES, HAD THEIR LAND STOLEN, TAKEN, BETWEEN LIKE 1910 AND 1980. SO WE STILL HAVE MANY, MANY DECADES OF INJUSTICE AND MANY DECADES OF AFRICAN AMERICAN FARMS BEING TAKEN THAT WE HADN’T ACCOUNTED FOR, THERE’S NO ACCOUNTING FOR THAT. SO I’M GLAD THE SETTLEMENT IS ONE OF THE LARGEST SEVERAL RIGHTS DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT SETTLEMENTS IN HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY AND TREMENDOUS. I THINK THAT THE NATIONAL BLACK FARMERS ASSOCIATION JOHN BOYD, HEAD OF THAT, DID A FANTASTIC JOB OF BEING ADVOCATES FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN FARMERS AND I’M PUSHING THIS AND IT’S SO AMAZING. BUT I DO THINK IT’S WORTH SAYING THAT THERE ARE — THERE ARE STILL MUCH TO BE DONE TO ACCOUNT FOR ALL THAT WAS TAKEN FROM US IN THE 20th CENTURY.>>YOU HAVE YOUR COUSIN IN THIS DOCUMENTARY, WARREN, WHOM I LOVE DEARLY, YOU JUST CAN’T HELP BUT TO WATCH THIS AND THESE PEOPLE BECOME YOUR FAMILY.>>YEAH, YEAH, YEAH.>>LIKE MY COUSIN, COUSIN WARREN WORKING THE LAND, THAT SORT OF THING. HE’S STARTING HIS MORNINGS 6, 7, EARLY MORNING AND ENDING YOU CAN SEE THE LIGHTS ON THE TRACTOR, LATE AT NIGHT IN THE FIELD, HE DOESN’T KNOW WHETHER HE’S GOING TO HAVE TIME TO HAVE LUNCH IN THE FIELD OR WHETHER HE’S GOING TO BE ABLE TO GO BACK TO THE HOUSE. I MEAN, YOU HAVE GOT A LOT GOING ON BECAUSE HE’S WORKING AGAINST MOTHER NATURE, HE’S WORKING WITH A LOT OF THINGS, HE HAS TO WORK WITH IT AND HE CAN’T WORK AGAINST IT AND YOU HAVE TO KNOW THOSE KINDS OF THINGS SO THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS THAT ARE ALSO JUST NATURE ITSELF THAT THEY HAVE TO WORK WITH AND BEING FARMERS. THAT’S A LOT TO THIS, IT’S MULTI-LAYERED. AS YOU’RE SAYING. AND EVEN AT ONE POINT WHERE EQUIPMENT BREAKS DOWN YOU CAN’T GET THE EQUIPMENT FOR FOUR DAYS. THAT’S THIS DAY AND TIME WHEN THERE’S NOT — THE DISCRIMINATION ISN’T SO MUCH A FACTOR AS IT IS TIME ITSELF AND GETTING WHAT YOU NEED AND STILL BEING ABLE TO DO IT, YOU HAVE GOT RAIN IF IT COMES AT THE WRONG TIME, COMES TOO MUCH, THAT SORT OF THING. BUT YET HE IS STILL DOING WHAT HIS GENERATION HAS HANDED DOWN TO HIM TO DO. YOU CAN TELL HE DOES IT WITH A LABOR OF LOVE AND EVEN HIS WIFE CHIMING IN, BEING A WIFE OF FARMER THAT SHE NEVER EXPECTED TO BE BUT THERE SHE IS. BEING THERE TO SUPPORT HIM. AND HIS FAMILY. THUS YOUR FAMILY AND ALL.>>YES.>>YOU ARE T AT SOME POINT FARMING TOO IN YOUR LITTLE AREA. SO YOU PROBABLY ARE REALIZING WHAT IT’S TAKING TO EVEN DO IT IN YOUR LITTLE NICHE OF LIFE.>>I WISH I HAD DONE IT BETTER. I WAS — I WAS LIVENING PHILADELPHIA WHEN I MADE THE FILM SO ONE STORY LINE IN THE FILM IS ME STARTING MY URBAN GARDENING WAS VERY POPULAR IN PHILADELPHIA AND THE GARDEN URBAN GARDEN PLOT AREA IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD, THERE’S A WAITIN LIST TO GET A PLOT IN THERE SO I GOT ON THE WAIT LIST GOT MY TEN BY TEN PLOT AND I WAS WORKING ON THAT WHILE ALSO MAKING THE FILM IN GEORGIA SO I’M GOING BACK AND FORTH. IT WAS REALLY INTERESTING FOR ME TO THINK ABOUT HOW IN THE NORTH A TEN BY TEN PLOT IN URBAN NEIGHBORHOOD IS LIKE THIS HIGHLY VALUED COMMODITY WHERE LIKE EVERYONE IS DOING IT NOW AND IT’S LIKE THIS HIP THING TO DO AND AGAIN, LIKE THERE’S LIKE PEOPLE ARE ON WAITING LISTS TO TRY TO GET A PLOT, AND SO I’M WORKING MY TEN BY TEN PLOT AND WAR REMEMBER WORKING HUNDREDS OF ACRES OF LAND AND BUT IT WAS/THOUGHT IT WAS IMPORTANT TO SHOW AGAIN, HOW THIS ISN’T A SORROW SONG, YOU HAVE WARREN DOING WHAT HE DOES IN GEORGIA, AND THOUGH I’M NOT IN GEORGIA, I’M ENGAGED. ONE THING I ALSO THAT PIECE OF FILM I THINK WAS INSPIRED BY THE FACT I NOTICE A LOT OF MY MOTHER’S MY MOTHER AND HER BROTHERS AND SISTERS WHO LEFT THE SOUTH WERE LIVING IN URBAN AREAS, THEY ALWAYS HAD GARDENS. SO I GREW UP TAKING SO MUCH OF THIS FOR GRANTED SOY THOUGHT EVERYONE HAS A GARDEN IN THE BACKYARD. SO MINO MOTHER ALWAYS HAD A GARDEN. MY PARENTS HAD THE MOST AMAZING GARDEN, SEEMED LIKE THEY COULD GROW ANYTHING. AND I HAD AN UNCLE HIM AND HIS BEST FRIEND IN ROCHESTER, NEW YORK, WE HAD A FAMILY REUNION AND WENT TO THE HOUSE ONE DAY OF THE REUNION AND I WALKED TO HIS BACKYARD, HE DIDN’T JUST HAVE A GARDEN, IT WAS LIKE IT WAS LIKE A HALF ACRE. AND IT WAS LIKE EVERYTHING WAS BEAUTIFUL AND RICH AND GREEN AND LUSH. AND THIS IS IN ROACHESSER, NEW YORK WHERE IT’S VERY COLD. I THOUGHT — ROCHESTER, NEW YORK. IT WAS MAGICAL, HOW THEY BROUGHT THAT WITH THEM. WE WORK THIS LAND FOR OVER 200 YEARS. WE KNEW SOMETHING ABOUT HOW TO MAKE THINGS GROW. AND I THINK THAT THAT KNOWLEDGE IS IN US AND WAS CARRIED WITH MANY OF US WHEN THEY LEFT THE SOUTH AND THEY — WHEREVER THEY ENDED UP, MY PARENTS THEY WOULD PLANT AND GROW THESE AMAZING THINGS. SO I WISH I PAID MORE ATTENTION AS A KID SO I COULD BE BETTER AT IT. AND –>>BECAUSE I HEARD IN THE FILM SOMEONE SAY THEY WOULDN’T HAVE HIRED YOU.>>MY MOTHER. , YEAH.>>I WASN’T GOING TO SAY IT WAS YOUR MAMA. SO I WISH I LISTENED BETTER BUT IT’S NEVER TOO LATE AND I’M TRYING TO TEACH MY KIDS, MY MOM LIVES WITH US — LIVES IN THE SAME TOWN I LIVE IN NOW SO I’M HOPING THAT SPRING SHE WILL TEACH MY DAUGHTERS TO START A GARDEN.>>WONDERFUL.>>IT’S IMPORTANT KNOWLEDGE.>>YOU TAKE A LOT OF WHAT YOU LEARN GROWING UP GOING BACK AND DOING THIS DOCUMENTARY, YOU TAKE IT PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL ABOUT EDUCATION. BECAUSE YOU ARE A DEAN AT THE UNIVERSITY AND SO THESE THINGS GO HAND IN HAND AND LOVE OF LAND. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THAT? THEN WE’LL GO TO ANOTHER EXCERPT OF YOUR FILM.>>SURE. YEAH, I WAS THINKING OF THE DAY ABOUT THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE — I’M — I STARTED MY CAREER AS A DOCUMENTARY FILM MAKER AND I STILL DO THAT, BUT I’M NOW IN HIGHER EDUCATION ADMINISTRATION SO I’M DEAN OF A COLLEGE AT OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY, DEAN OF THE LYMAN CAMPUS. I WAS THINKING HOW THIS WORK FEELS AS MUCH LIKE A PASSION FOR ME AS MY FILM MAKING WORK DOES AND I WAS THINKING WHY THAT IS. AND I REALIZED THERE’S A DIRECT LINE FROM THE DOCUMENTARY ON HOMECOMING, LEARNING ABOUT HOW MUCH IT TOOK FOR MY GRANDFATHER TO GET MY MOTHER TO COLLEGE. MY GRANDFATHER WANTED TO GIVE EVERY ONE OF HIS CHILDREN AN OPPORTUNITY TO GO TO COLLEGE, HE PUT UP HIS LAND AS COLLATERAL TO GET MONEY TO SEND THEM TO COLLEGE. AND GIVEN HOW IMPORTANT HIS LAND WAS TO HIM, I KNEW WHAT A BIG DEAL THAT WAS. LIKE THAT — THIS IS LIKE GIVING EVERYTHING YOU HAVE IN THE WORLD FOR SOMETHING. AND HE WAS WILLING TO DO THAT FOR EDUCATION. AND SO I THINK WHAT IT REALLY SPEAKS TO FOR ME HOW IMPORTANT EDUCATION HAS BEEN FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE 20th CENTURY TO OPEN UP DOORS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR US AND CRITICALLY IMPORTANT IT IS NOW GOING FORWARD FOR US TO CONTINUE TO REMEMBER THAT EDUCATION IS ABSOLUTELY THE KEY TO OUR FUTURE. SO IN MY POSITION AS A DEAN, I GET TO DO THAT WORK. I GET TO MAKE SURE WE ARE CREATING PATHWAYS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO GET AN EDUCATION AND TO GET OPPORTUNITIES. SO I SEE THE CONNECTION. I DON’T GET TO MAKE AS MANY FILMS AS I WOULD LIKE TO BUT I CONTINUE TO GET TO DO THE WORK THAT I THINK IS IMPORTANT.>>REALLY WONDERFUL THING ABOUT THIS, DR. GILBERT, YOU GET A CHANCE TO EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN OR I SHOULD SAY YOUR STUDENTS ABOUT THE LOVE OF LAND AND THE IMPORTANCE OF LAND. AND YOU DO THAT IN SUCH A WAY THAT THEY UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION AND OWNING LAND. TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHERE YOU — AND BEING AN EDUCATOR AND THAT SORT OF THING, HOW THAT WAS — YOU MENTIONED HOW IT WAS IMPORTANT TO YOUR FAMILY, BUT CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT WHY THAT’S STILL IMPORTANT TO US?>>I — ONE OF THE THINGS I DO IS I TRY TO COMMUNICATE — YOU SAY MY CHILDREN, LITERALLY, — I HAVE TWO BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN AND I REALLY WANT THEM TO LEARN HOW TO GROW THINGS AND GROW THEIR OWN FOOD AND UNDERSTAND WHERE FOOD COMES FROM AND TO APPRECIATE THE PEOPLE, THE FARMERS WHO PROVIDE THAT FOR US AND WE JUST GO TO THE GAUCHE ARERY STORE, I DON’T WANT THEM TO TAKE THAT FOR GRANTED. I ALSO WANT THEM TO UNDERSTAND THE LEGACY OF THEIR FAMILY, THE LEGACY OF THEIR GREAT GRANDFATHER, MY GRANDFATHER, MY MOTHER, HOW IMPORTANT EDUCATION WAS AND WE DIDN’T ALWAYS HAVE OPPORTUNITIES FOR EDUCATION. AND HOW WE HAD TO FIGHT FOR THE RIGHT TO BE EDUCATED, HOW WE HAD TO MAKE HUGE SACRIFICES TO BE ABLE TO GO TO COLLEGE SO I WANT THEM TO UNDERSTAND THAT SO THEY NEVER TAKE IT FOR GRANTED AND NEVER FORGET. SO THAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT TO ME FOR MY OWN CHILDREN AND MY OWN FAMILY. IN TERMS OF BEING A DEAN, I FEEL THE WORTH THAT I DO, I HAVE AS MUCH PASSION NOW ABOUT ADVOCATING FOR EDUCATION AS ID DID WHEN I WAS MAKING THIS DOCUMENTARY FILM AND TRYING TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE UNDERSTOOD THE HISTORY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN FARMERS AND LAND LOSS AND THE ROLE OF BLACK FARMERS IN OUR COMMUNITY. SO I FEEL LIKE IT’S ALL REALLY CONNECTED, I’M JUST DOING A DIFFERENT CHAPTER OF THE WORK NOW, MAKING SURE THAT YOUNG PEOPLE IN MY COMMUNITY HAVE ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION, KNOW HOW TO ACCESS IT WITHOUT GOING INTO DEBT, KNOW HOW TO HAVE CAREER PATHS AND HOW TO MAKE SURE THEY’RE PREPARED FOR THE KINDS OF JOBS THEY WILL BE IN THE 21st CENTURY. KNOWING THIS IS AN INVESTMENT IN THEIRSELVESES AND ONE THING MY MOTHER USED TO SAY TO ME WAS ABOUT IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION, HONEY, MY MOTHER AND FATHER TELL THIS THE ONE THING THEY CAN’T TAKE FROM US IS WHAT YOU HAVE IN YOUR HEAD. SO A THINK — LOOKING BACK, THERE’S SO MANY THINGS I LEARNED IN THE MAYBING OF THIS FILM THAT PUT MY MOTHER IN CONTEXT. SO SHE USED TO SAY THAT TO US AS A KIDS ALL THE TIME. I NEVER KNEW THE HISTORY OF THE OTHER PART SO AFTER MAKING THE THE DOCUMENTARY AND UNDERSTANDING WHAT HAPPENED TO AFRICAN AMERICAN FARMERS THROUGHOUT THE 20th CENTURY I UNDERSTAND WHAT SHE WAS TELLING ME WAS REALLY OUT OF THOSE EXPERIENCE, OUT OF THE EXPERIENCE OF SEEING FARMERS LOSE THEIR LAND, SEEING PEOPLE TAKE THE LAND OF FARMERS. SEEING PEOPLE JUST CREEPING UP ON THEM A LITTLE BIT EVERY YEAR, TAKING ONE MORE ACRE ONE MORE ACRE.>>AND HOW MUCH THAT HAD TO DO WITH NOT BEING EDUCATED AND NOT KNOWING ANY BETTER.>>YEAH.>>AT ONE POINT IN THE DOCUMENTARY, IN FACT I KNOW, IT WAS VERY PROFOUND, TO EVEN HEAR IT BE SAID, THOUGH LOT OF THINGS WERE SAID BACK IN THOSE TIMES, THAT IT WASN’T IMPORTANT FOR A NEGRO GET AN EDUCATION, THEY COULD JUST WORK THE FIELDS AND FARMS, THAT SORT OF THING. THAT’S AN IMPORTANCE IN HAVING EDUCATION AND STILL — I THINK THAT’S WHAT YOU’RE TRYING TO TEACH AND PASS ALONG.>>ABSOLUTELY.>>LET’S SET UP THE NEXT PART OF THIS DOCUMENTARY HERE THAT YOU HAVE DONE AND I’LL LET YOU DO IT IN YOUR OWN WORDS.>>THIS IS THE CONTINUATION OF THAT OPENING CLIP. RIGHT?>>RIGHT.>>SO THE NEXT PART WE’LL SEE IS JUST — YOU SAW THE OPENING OF THE FILM, AT THE TOP, THIS PART GOES FURTHER IN AND YOU WILL SEE MORE PIECES OF THE STORY, THE DIFFERENT — THERE ARE ESSENTIALLY THREE STORIES GOING ON IN THE DOCUMENTARY, THERE’S THE OFFICIAL HISTORY, THE FAMILY TESTIMONY AND THEN THE — OF THE FARMERS AND MY OWN PERSONAL STORY — ENGAGEMENT WITH THE STORY, SO THE NEXT SECTION YOU’LL SEE THE PIECES PLAYING OFF EACH OTHER. SO THERE’S THE PART OF ME WORKING MY URBAN GARDEN IN PHILADELPHIA WITH MY MOM AND HELPING EXPLAINING AS WE GO AND THERE’S MARSHA AND THE PROFESSOR TALKING THE ECONOMIC HISTORY AND HOW THE IMPACT OF THE DEPRESSION YEARS ON FARMERS AND HOW JUST THE FALL AND THE OVERALL ECONOMY ALSO IMPACTED FARM — BLACK FARMERS CONSIDERABLY. THERE’S THE TESTIMONY OF MY GREAT UNCLE WHO TALKS ABOUT BEING A FARMER IN THE 1930s, HIS EXPERIENCES LIVING THROUGH THAT ERA. SO ALL THOSE PIECES COME TOGETHER IN THIS NEXT SECTION.>>ALL RIGHT. YOU’RE WATCHING AN AWARE PROFILE WITH PROFESSOR CHARLENE GILBERT AND THIS AWARD-WINNING PRODUCER, HERSELF WINNING AN AWARD WITH THIS. WE WANTED TO SHARE IT WITH YOU ON THE AWARE SHOW. AN EXTRAORDINARY DOCUMENTARY CALLED “HOMECOMING, SOMETIMES I’M HAUNTED BY MEMORIES OF RED DIDDER AND CLAY”. TAKE A LOOK AND LISTEN.>>THE CIVIL WAR OF COURSE THE END OF THE CIVIL WAR OPENED THE POSSIBILITY WITH THE BLACK AGENDA, 40 ACRES AND A MULE LITERACY AND THE FRANCHISE, IT OPENED THE POSSIBILITY OF SOME LAND REFORM PROGRAM AND THEY WERE BASICALLY TWO EFFORTS, GENERAL SHERMAN’S FIELD ORDER NUMBER 15ING LAND TO BLACKS ON GEORGIA AND SOUTH CAROLINA COAST AND THE SOUTHERN HOMESTEAD ACT WHICH SET ASIDE 45 MILLION ACRES OF LAND IN THE SOUTHERN STATES WERE FRIEDMAN AND FOR REFUGEES. UNFORTUNATELY, MOST OF THAT LAND NEVER DID GET INTO THE HANDS OF BLACK PEOPLE.>>GENERAL WE WANT HOMESTEADS. WE WERE PROMISED HOMESTEADS BY THE GOVERNMENT. WE ARE LEFT IN A MORE UNPLEASANT CONDITION THAN OUR FORMER. YOU WILL SEE THIS IS NOT THE CONDITION OF REALLY FREE MEN. YOU ASK US TO FOR GIVE THE LAND OWNERS OF OUR LAND. YOU ONLY LOST YOUR RIGHT ARM IN A WAR AND MIGHT FOR GIVE THEM. THE MAN WHO TIED ME TO A TREE AND GAVE ME 39 LASHES AND WHO STRIPPED AND FLOGGED MY MOTHER AND MY SISTER AND WHO COMBINES WITH OTHERS TO KEEP AWAY LAND FROM ME KNOWING I WOULD NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THEM HAD I LAND OF MY OWN. THAT MAN I CANNOT WELL FORGIVE. DOES IT LOOK AS IF HE HAS FORGIVEN ME? SEEING HOW HE TRIES TO KEEP ME IN A CONDITION OF HELPLESSNESS?>>I LIVED HERE FOR SIX MONTHS WHILE I MADE THIS FILM. I LEARNED A LOT WHILE I WAS HERE. I LEARNED THAT THEY CALL THIS BREAKING THE LAND. I LEARN THE COTTON SEEDS ARE BLUE, THERE’S A SMALL WINDOW OF TIME TO PLANT, A BREAK DOWN OF ONE DELAY CAN COST YOUR CROP, THAT ONLY FOOLS WORRY ARE ABOUT THE WEATHER AND ONLY GOD KNOWS HOW THE DAY WILL END.>>LAND PREPARATION WILL CONSIST OF SEVERAL TRIPS ACROSS THE FIELD WITH THE CHISEL PLOWING, BEDDING AND WAITING ON THE SEASON TO PLANT. FROM SO IF IT’S THE PLANTING SEASON YOU WOULD BE PLANTING ALL DAY AND UNLESS YOU HAD A BREAK DOWN OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. ♪>>YOU AIN’T GOING TO WANT TO HEAR IT BUT UNFORTUNATELY WE DON’T HAVE A FOUR RIB.>>HOW MANY YOU GOT?>>THREE. ON THE COMPUTER IT SAID WE HAD TWO FOUR RIBS BUT UNDOUBTEDLY WE LOOKED IN STOCK AND WE DIDN’T HAVE ANY FOUR RIBS, THEY’RE ALL THREE, THEY MUST HAVE BEEN ENTERED WRONG IN INVENTORY OR SOMETHING. I DON’T HAVE A NEW TIRE. I CAN HAVE YOU ONE HERE IN –>>FEW MINUTE?>>I WISHED I COULD. BAD AS I HATE IT.>>YOU CAN HAVE IT IN THE MORN SOMETHING OKAY.>>MAYBE IT WILL GET HERE TOMORROW.>>OKAY. WE CAN DO THAT.>>WHEN WARREN WENT BACK TO TIRE SHOP, THEY TOLD HIM IT WOULD BE FOUR DAYS BEFORE THEY COULD GET HIM A NEW TIRE. WARREN DIDN’T HAVE FOUR DAYS. BUT HE HAD FAMILY. AND THEY FOUND HIM A TIRE.>>THIS PROCESS OF BLACK PEOPLE WORKING TO ACQUIRE THIS EQUITY BASE, IT SEEMS TO ME IS ONE OF THE GREATEST ECONOMIC ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE EARLY 20th CENTURY, ALL THE MORE BECAUSE BY 1910 MOSTLY ALMOST EVERY SINGLE SOUTHERN STATE HAD POLITICALLY DISFRANCHISED, BLACK MALE VOTERS WHO HAD BEEN GIVEN THE RIGHT TO VOTE WITH THE 15th AMENDMENT.>>THERE WERE A NUMBER OF WAYS IN WHICH BLACK PEOPLE ACQUIRED LAND BUT IT ALMOST ALL CASES, IT WAS REALLY THE RESULT OF A LOT OF HARD WORK AND SAVING MONEY AND OFTEN TAKING JOBS OTHER THAN FARMING IN THE OFF FARMING SEASON. IN THE TURN TUNE INDUSTRY, STEEL INDUSTRY OR OTHER INDUSTRIES IN THE SOUTH, JOBS INTENDED TO BRING CASH WAGES SO THERE WERE A NUMBER OF WAYS BLACK PEEP AIL QUIRED LAND. BUT — PEOPLE ACQUIRED LAND BUT HARD WORK BASICALLY AN PERSEVERANCE.>>100 YEARS LATER BLACK FARMERS ARE STILL RELYING ON OFF FARM WORK TO MAKE THEIR CROPS. THE AVERAGE BLACK FARMER MAKES $15,000 IN FARM INCOME. WARREN SUPPLEMENTS HIS INCOME BY HAULING CHICKEN LITTER, IN HIGH DEMAND AS A NATURAL FERTILIZER. HAULING AND SPREADING LITTER CAN BE MISERABLE WORK. THE DAY AFTER SPREADING THIS LITTER, PEANUT HIS HELPER QUIT. MY ASSISTANT ALMOST QUIT TOO.>>WHEN I WAS FIVE MY FAMILY LEFT THE SOUTH. MY MOTHER WENT HOME TO M ONTEZUMA TO SAY GOODBYE. I DON’T REMEMBER ANYONE TELLING ME WE WERE GOING OR HOW LONG WE WOULD BE BUT I DO REMEMBER PLAYING IN THE DIRT BY BARN. RIB MAKING MUD PIES AND BEGGING MY GRANDMOTHER FOR A FRESH EGG, A KEY INGREDIENT TO A MUD PIE. WHEN THEY CALLED ME I SCOOPED UP THE MUD I CAN PACK AND TOOK IT TO THE CAR. I DON’T THINK MY MOTHER FOUND THE DIRT UNTIL LONG AFTER WE HAD GONE. I’M CHURCHY THROUGH IT OUT AND NEVER THOUGHT TWICE ABOUT IT. I ON THE OTHER HAND THINK ABOUT THAT RED DIRT EVERY TIME I LOOK DOWN AT MY FEET.>>PUSH ALL THE WAY DOWN. ALL THE WAY. NOW PICK IT UP AND TURN IT OVER.>>PEOPLE USED TO DO WITH ACRES? I’M TIRED NOW.>>ALL THE WAY OVER. DOWN. GOOD.>>OKAY. ALL RIGHT. THAT’S GOOD. THAT’S CALLED BREAKING UP THE SOIL, TURNING THE SOIL OVER. ABOUT THREE DIFFERENT NAMES BUT THE SAME THING.>>HOW MANY TIMES DO YOU DO IT BEFORE IT’S READY?>>WHEN WE RAKE IT AND GET GET THE ROOTS OUT OF IT.>>ALL THE WAY ACROSS.>>OKAY. I’M GETTING GOOD AT IT? GOOD. WOULD YOU HIRE ME?>>NO I WOULDN’T.>>I’M YOUR DAUGHTER.>>I KNOW YOU MY DAUGHTER. ♪>>PEOPLE THAT I TALK WITH IN THE SOUTH SUGGEST THAT THE DEPRESSION STARTED HAPPENING IN THE SOUTH LONG BEFORE AN OFFICIAL STOCK MARKET CRASH. WE KNOW THAT 30 INDEPENDENT BLACK BANKS FAILED IN THIS DECADE. WHAT’S IMPORTANT ABOUT ALL THESE BANKS, ONE, THEY REPRESENTED DEPOSITS BY BLACK DEPOSITORS, THESE WERE THE LIFE SAVINGS OF MANY BLACK PEOPLE. TWO, THESE WERE THE ONLY BANKS IN THE COUNTRY AND THE SOUTH PARTICULARLY, THAT PROVIDED OPERATING LOANS TO BLACK FARMERS. AND SO THE PROCESS OF THE COTTON MARKET BOTTOMING OUT BETWEEN 1920 AND 1930 DEVASTATED THE ABILITY OF BLACK FARMERS TO REPAY THEIR OPERATING LOANS AND THAT IN TURN CRIPPLED THE BANKS.>>EVERYTHING WENT TO THE BOTTOM. WHEN I SAY THAT, I MEAN NO MONEY. NO NOTHING. EVERYBODY WAS DRIVING CARS VIRTUALLY THE BIGGEST TO THE BLACK PEOPLE HAD TO JACK THEM UP, THEY WASN’T ABLE TO CONTINUE TO OPERATE THEM. AND THEY WOULD GO TO CHURCH WITH SHOES TIED UP STRINGS SOLD TO THE TOP OF THE SHOE BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY.>>THIS IS THE DECADE OF FORECLOSURES, DURESS SALES, TAX SALES, THE SERIOUS INABILITY TO RECOVER FROM ECONOMIC RECESSION. SO THIS IS A DECADE IN WHICH FOR SOME NUMBERS OF THE PEOPLE WHO MIGRATE TO SOUTHERN CITIES AND TOWNS AND NORTHERN CITIES, ARE PEOPLE WHO CAN’T OTHERWISE MAKE IT AND WHO HAD BEEN JUST ADVERSELY AFFECTED BY THE ECONOMIC CIRCUMSTANCES. AND AGAIN WHILE IT’S HARD FOR EVERYBODY BLACK AND WHITE, WHO ARE POOR, IT WAS MUCH MORE DIFFICULT FOR BLACK FARMERS.>>YOU’RE WATCHING THE AWARE SHOW AND WE WERE JUST HIGHLIGHTING JUST A SMALL EXCERPT OF CHARLENE GILBERT’S AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY, SHE DID AS A LABOR OF LOVE AND AGAIN, AS WE WATCH THAT, WE JUST FEEL LIKE THIS IS OUR FAMILY TOO. SUCH GREAT ARCHIVAL HISTORY THAT YOU WERE ABLE TO USE IN ALL THIS TO TELL YOU STORY. YOUR STRATEGY OF ALL OF THIS?>>ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS IS DOING ARCHIVAL RESEARCH. PART OF MAKING THE DOCUMENTARY, YOU SPEND — I SPENT A GOOD PROBABLY YEAR AND A HALF OR MORE DOING THE RESEARCH FOR THE FILM AND PART OF THAT RESEARCH WAS LOOKING FOR NOT JUST THE HISTORICAL INFORMATION BUT ALSO LOOKING FOR ARCHIVAL IMAGERY, PHOTOGRAPHS, FILM FOOTAGE, ANYTHING I CAN FIND AND I WENT TO THE SEANBERG ARCHIVE IN NEW YORK, I WENT TO THE ARCHIVE AT TULANE IN NEW ORLEANS, I WENT TO THE STATE ARCHIVES IN JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI, THE GEORGIA ARCHIVES, ARCHIVES AT TUSKEEGEE, SO I WENT TO A LOT OF PLACES AND LIBRARY OF CONGRESS AND ARCHIVES IN OTHER — MUSEUMS AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM IN WASHINGTON D.C. SO I WAS ABLE TO GO LOTS OF PLACES AND I WAS LOOKING FOR THESE KIND OF IMAGES TO HELP TELL THE STORY AND I WAS FORTUNATE AND WORKED WITH REALLY GOOD PEOPLE WHO ALSO HELPED ME FIND THE IMAGES TO COMPLIMENT THE STORY.>>NOW WE SEE WHY YOU DON’T HAVE THE TIME –>>ABSOLUTELY.>>WE’LL TALK ABOUT UPCOMING PROJECT BUT BEFORE THAT I WANT TO GET AN OPPORTUNITY TO TALK ABOUT WHERE WARREN AND FAMILY, WHERE THEY ARE NOW. WHAT ARE THEY DOING NOW?>>WARREN AND TINA ARE STILL IN MONTEZUMA, GEORGIA, WARREN IS STILL FARMING, HE FARMS MORE LAND NOW THAN HE DID BEFORE. ONE THING THAT HAS HAPPENED IS SOME OF THE FARMERS ARE IN THE FILM ARE — WERE OLDER WHEN I MADE THE FILM AND SINCE THEN HAVE RETIRED OR STEPPED ASIDE. AND OFTEN WHEN THEY DO THAT, WARREN HAS BEEN ABLE TO PICK UP SOME RESPONSIBILITIES WITH SOME — FOR HIS DAD AND HIS UNCLE. SO — AND I THINK THAT I STILL WONDER WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT BECAUSE THERE ARE STILL FEWER YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING INTO FARMING, ALTHOUGH THE LAST, THERE’S A REPORT THAT SINCE 2007 WE HAVE SEEN UPTICK IN NUMBER OF BLACK FARMERS, SO THAT’S GREAT NEWS AND I HOPE THAT WE KEEP SEEING THAT TRAJECTORY NATIONALLY, THAT MORE PEOPLE ARE GOING INTO THE FARMING MORE AFRICAN AMERICANS GOING INTO FARMING BECAUSE THAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT. SO HOPEFULLY WE WILL CONTINUE TO SEE PEOPLE HOLDING ON TO THE LAND THEY HAVE, AND EVEN CONSIDERING SMALL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES AS FARMERS.>>EVEN LEARNING MORE, OUR PRODUCER, DR. GAIL FRAZIER AND MYSELF IN WATCHING THIS AND PREPPING FOR OUR INTERVIEW WITH YOU, SHE SAID, IT’S FUNNY BUT IT’S NOT FUNNY, BECAUSE I FELT THE SAME THING WHEN I SAW THIS, WAS I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW THAT COTTON SEED WAS BLUE YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? SO THERE’S LIKE A WHOLE THING THERE WITH JUST BEING EDUCATED ABOUT SOME OF THE SMALLEST THINGS THAT WE DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT UNTIL WE SEE IT IN SOMETHING LIKE WHAT YOU HAVE DONE WITH THIS DOCUMENTARY, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?>>YEAH.>>IT MAKES YOU REALIZE HOW UNEDUCATED YOU ARE, NOT THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW THE COLOR BUT I’M JUST SAYING VERY BASIC THINGS ABOUT THE THINGS WE LIVE WITH AND USE EVERY DAY. COTTON. WE DON’T HAVE A CLUE WHERE IT COMES FROM, WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE OR ANYTHING SOMETIMES. SO JUST HAVING THAT, AND JUST HEARING THAT, AND THINKING ABOUT IT, LETS YOU KNOW THERE NEEDS TO BE AN AWAKENING, AWARENESS, UNDERSTANDING OF JUST SOME BASIC THINGS, I THINK YOU DO THAT AND ONE QUESTION I WANTED TO ASK YOU ABOUT IS IN LOOKING AT YOUR DOCUMENTARY, YOU GIVE THAT PAST, THAT PRESENT, THAT CONTEMPORARY FEEL TO HOW THIS TOUCHES EVERYONE EVEN TODAY.>>YEAH.>>SO WHERE WILL WE SEE YOU IN THE FUTURE? YOU SAY WE KNOW THAT YOU’RE DEAN AT OHIO UNIVERSITY, WE KNOW YOU’RE VERY BUSY, YOU’RE AN AWARD WINNING PRODUCER WITH THIS PARTICULAR PROJECT. PEOPLE NEED TO SEE MORE OF WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY ABOUT EDUCATING US.>>WELL, YEAH. RIGHT NOW IN THIS MOMENT I’M BUSY RAISING KIDS AND WORKING IN THE ADMINISTRATION. BUT I DO HAVE TWO PROJECTS THAT I’M LOOKING AT THAT I WILL BE TRYING TO DEVELOP AND I USE MY SUMMERS FOR RESEARCH AND WORKING ON PROJECTS WHEN I CAN. SO ONE OF THE AREAS THAT I’M INTERESTED IN IS LOOKING AT SORT OF MAYBE A POSTSCRIPT TO THIS DOCUMENTARY SO I’M SORT OF INTERESTED IN GOING BACK TO MONTEZUMA TO CAPTURE WHAT IS GOING ON NOW. SO SORT OF AN UPDATE BECAUSE THERE’S ALSO BEEN A DEMOGRAPHIC SHIFT, NOW — FOR EXAMPLE, MY GRANDFATHER’S FARM, HOME, WAS SOLD AND MEXICAN AMERICAN FAMILY BOUGHT THAT FARM AND THEY’RE NOW LIVING THERE DOING A LOT OF THE SAME THINGS THAT I — MY MOTHER AND I WENT BY AND MET THEM AND THEY’RE DOING — THEY’RE TRAVELING THE SAME PATH MY GRANDPARENTS TRAVELED. SO THEY ARE — THEY HAVE A LARGE FAMILY LIKE MY GRANDFATHER HAD AND THEY ARE WORKING HARD AND TRYING TO CREATE OPPORTUNITIES. IN PURSUIT OF THE AMERICAN DREAM LIKE WE DID. SO THAT’S THE NEXT CHAPTER SO I’M INTERESTED IN LOOKING AT POSSIBLY GOING BACK TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT WHERE WE TALK ABOUT WHAT’S GOING ON NOW.>>IN THE MEANTIME, YOU SHARE GREAT DEAL OF I WOULD SAY LABOR OF LOVE AND TELLING YOUR STORY AND GOING AROUND AND SPEAKING AND LETTING PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT THE PLIGHT OF THE BLACK FARMER, PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE. TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THAT. BECAUSE THAT’S ONE OF THE WAYS THAT I BELIEVE YOU’RE ABLE TO CONTINUE TO EDUCATE PEOPLE.>>I GO WHEREVER I’M INVITED TO GO. IF I CAN. MY SCHEDULE IS REALLY — IT’S A LITTLE HARDER NOW BUT WHENEVER I CAN, I DO TRY TO GO OUT AND TALK WITH THE FILM, THE FILM HAS SORT OF A LIFE OF ITS OWN SO THE FILM IS SCREENED AND LOTS OF PLACES THAT I HEAR ABOUT THE SCREENING SO IT ALWAYS MAKES ME VERY HAPPY AND SOMETIMES I GET TO COME WITH THE FILM AND SCREEN AND TALK ABOUT IT AFTERWARDS SO I HOPE THAT THE FILM ITSELF IS DOING THAT WORK. AND I THINK IT IS. I THINK IT CONTINUES TO BE SOMETHING PEOPLE USE AND UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES AND CLASSES AND ALL KINDS OF WORK AND THAT MEANS A GREAT DEAL TO ME TO KNOW THAT THE FILM IS OUT THERE IN THE WORLD DOING THIS WORK. AND CARRYING THIS MESSAGE.>>TALKING ABOUT SOME OF THE THINGS THAT PEOPLE TALK ABOUT WHEN THEY HAVE HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO SCREEN THE FILM AND THAT SORT OF THING, WHAT DO YOU FIND ARE SOME OF THE MOST COMMON QUESTIONS OR THINGS –>>ONE MOST COMMON THING IS PEOPLE STAND UP AND TALK ABOUT THEIR OWN FAMILIES. THEY WILL TALK ABOUT THE STORY OF MAYBE THERE WAS A FARM IN THEIR OWN FAMILY THEY LOST OR THEY DON’T HAVE ANY MORE OR THAT THEY KNOW THEY HAVE BUT THEY HAVEN’T THOUGHT AIN’T AND DIDN’T THINK OF IT BEING THAT VALUABLE BUT THE FILM MAKES THEM THING MAYBE THIS IS SOMETHING I NEED TO LEARN MORE ABOUT, AND MAYBE I NEED NIKE SURE WE ARE TAKING GOOD CARE OF THIS RESOURCE THAT WE MAYBE TOOK FOR GRANTED SO I’M ALWAYS FASCINATED TO HEAR THE STORIES OF PEOPLE, I THINK THE FACT THAT I USE MY FAMILY STORY TO TELL THE HISTORY OPENS THE DOOR FOR OTHERS TO ADD TO THAT, TO ADD TO THE COLLECTIVE STORY TELLING ABOUT HOW THIS IMPACTS ALL OF US SO I’M ALWAYS FASCINATED TO HEAR THE DIFFERENT WAYS WHICH PEOPLE CONNECT TO THE THE FILM.>>THAT’S INTERESTING. BECAUSE I TOO FOUND MYSELF DOING THE SAME THING. THINKING ABOUT MY FAMILY AND THE FARM LAND. AND WHICH SOME FAMILY MEMBERS STILL OWN AND SOME OF THE ISSUES AND THINGS THEY STILL FACE IN DOING THAT AND HAVING TALKED TO ONE OF MY UNCLES AND TRYING TO FIND OUT SOME OF THE CHALLENGES AND THINGS THAT HE FACES, NOT ONLY THE NATURAL THINGS THAT WE TALKED ABOUT EARLIER IN THIS SHOW BUT ALSO HE WAS TELLING ME EVEN SOME OF THE PESTICIDES AND THINGS THAT ARE USED SOMETIMES TO PROTHE TICKET THE PRODUCT ITSELF, CAN SOMETIMES BE DETRIMENTAL TO THE ENVIRONMENT. SO IN A QUEST TO PRODUCE MORE AND FAST THEN THERE’S ALSO THE POTENTIAL FOR THE EXTINCTION OF OTHER THINGS. IE HE ASKED ME WHEN HE WAS THE LAST TIME YOU SAID A LIGHT BUG WE USED TO CHASE OR HOW MANY BUTTERFLIES SO IT’S THINGS YOU DON’T THINK ABOUT THAT YOU DON’T KNOW HOW THING — NOT SAYING THAT FARMERS ARE — DON’T WANT TO GO THERE BUT HE WAS SHARING THINGS LIKE THAT THEY SEE AND THEY KNOW AND THEY PAY ATTENTION TO THAT WE PROBABLY DON’T PAY ATTENTION TO. SO THEY HAVE TO FIND THE BALANCE OF HOW TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY’RE DOING THE THINGS THEY NEED TO PRODUCE QUALITY PRODUCT. BUT ALSO TO PROTECT ENVIRONMENT. SO YOU’RE RIGHT. IT DOES MAKE YOU HAVE THOSE CONVERSATIONS WITH FAMILY MEMBERS AND ASK WHEN NORMALLY I PROBABLY WOULDN’T — THE FARMERS JUST THERE IN NORTH CAROLINA AND NOBODY THINKS ABOUT IT. THEY HAVE ROADSIDE STANDS WHICH THEY DO IN THE SUMMERTIME AND RAISE MONEY AND THAT SORT OF THING AND HE ALSO TOLD ME ABOUT THE WATER MELONS THAT HE JUST LOADS UP ON THE TRUCKS AND TAKES UP NORTH AND JUST SELLS, AND MAKE AS LOT OF MONEY OFF STUFF LIKE THAT. I DON’T THINK ABOUT — THAT’S HOW THEY MAKE THE FARM WORK. THINGS LIKE THAT. ONE OF THE LAST QUESTIONS THAT I WANT TO ASK BEFORE AWARE WRAPS UP IS, JUST WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE FOR OUR VIEWERS TO KNOW AT THE END OF THE DAY WHEN THEY SEE THE PROGRAM?>>I THINK I LIKE FOR THE VIEWERS TO KNOW THAT AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THIS COUNTRY HAVE CONTRIBUTED A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT TO THE ECONOMIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THIS COUNTRY AS A WHOLE. AND THAT THOSE CONTRIBUTIONS BEGAN, THEY BEGAN WHEN WE WERE BROUGHT HERE AND FORCED TO OUR LABOR WAS EXTRACTED FROM US BY FORCE. A LOT OF STORIES ABOUT THE GREAT ECONOMIC MIRACLE OF AMERICA ARE MISSING A CHAPTER, MISSING THE CHAPTER OF ALL THAT FREE LABOR THAT WENT INTO THE BUILDING UP OF THE WEALTH OF THE COUNTRY. AND I THINK IT’S ALSO REALLY IMPORTANT FOR US TO ALWAYS REMEMBER AND ACKNOWLEDGE HOW MUCH ARE THOSE FREED AFRICANS WERE ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH IN A SHORT WINDOW OF TIME. I ALWAYS SAY TO MY FRIENDS, WHEN I THINK ABOUT WHAT THEY WERE ABLE TO DO I THINK THEN I HAVE TO STEP UP MY GAME. SO I WANT PEOPLE TO REMEMBER AND BUILD ON THAT LEGACY.>>OKAY. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE.>>MY PLEASURE.>>ABSOLUTELY. YOU HAVE BEEN WATCHING AN AWARE PROFILE WITH CHARLENE GILBERT JOINING US HERE WITH HER AWARD WINNING DOCUMENTARY ENTITLED “HOMECOMING, SOMETIMES I’M HAUNTED BY MEMORIES OF RED DIRT AND CLAY”. FOR US HERE AT THE AWARE SHOW, THANKS FOR JOINING US. I’M DEE DEE SHARP SAYING UNTIL NEXT TIME STAY INFORMED AND STAY AWARE. ♪

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