Four films commissioned by Scribe Video Center through its Center-funded project, The Great Migration, will be screened at the 2016 BlackStar Film Festival. Included will be Julia Dash's Standing at the Scratch Line, which maps the journey from Mother Emmanuel A.M.E in Charleston, SC to Mother Bethel A.M.E in Philadelphia; Kevin Jerome Everson's Eason, which explores modes of black life in the North and the South; Tina Morton's When We Came Up Here, which offers a glimpse into the role The Philadelphia Tribune provided for southern migrants; and Lonnie Graham's Ancestral Correspondence: Looking Back at Our Future, which features youth participants from the Wissahickon Boys and Girls Club. The films will be screened at International House on August 6, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
In conjunction with the festival, the Slought Foundation will present a version of Scribe's recent exhibition, The Great Migration: A City Transformed (1916-1930), August 3-12, including Mendi + Keith Obadike's sound and video work, Sonic Migration, and Lonnie Graham's photography installation, Ancestral Correspondence.
Scribe's Great Migration exhibition explored the history and impact of the Great Migration on Philadelphia, when blacks fled the South for economic opportunities in the Northern states, giving rise to new African American neighborhoods. Drawing from oral histories from Philadelphia residents who experienced the Great Migration first-hand, several artists created site-specific installations, interactive games, and audio tours to contribute to a comprehensive narrative of this significant cultural event. Read more about the project in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
In an interview with Montgomery News, Scribe executive director Louis Massiah explained the historical context of the project: "The Great Migration was a movement...that transformed America and many parts of Philadelphia. Today when we use the term urban, we often take it for granted. There's a connotation with that word to the Great Migration when African Americans moved into a city like Philadelphia and created institutions."