25 Jan Black Culture in South Carolina – Now and Yesterday
Touching on themes which affect the present generation of African Americans resulting from the legacy of slavery, we asked black Americans how their life has been shaped by segregation and white domination.
Dewayne Barton, designer and contractor of the Garden of Peace explains his art-installation: These two umbrellas hanging from the tree symbolise the crack-cocaine rain that fell during the 80s in the black suburbs of Ashville, North Carolina State. There is an installation depicting the mechanism of falling into the trap of the private prison system worth billions (prisoners are a free source of labor). “I ask teenagers what they see in my sculptures – I want them to know that their opinion is important”.
Catherine Cobbs and Regina Duke live in Ashville. Their great-grandfather Waren Duke was a ‘stud’ on the cotton plantations who was transported like a breeding stallion (measuring 2m20, 150 kg) inseminating slaves to produce robust offspring. Regina: “You understand that’s the way it was at the time….. and I think we have a lot of family out there.” Catherine: “I feel that it was probably degrading to him… I feel saddened by it”. Moreover, those times are not completely gone.
Fred and Ulysses Counts, classmates of the well-known Jazz singer Nina Simone in her hometown Tryon, explain why she had to get out of America to fulfil her destiny.
Filmed in Asheville and Tryon, North Carolina in September 2012.
All rights reserved Apple Republic Films, 2012
Interviews: Natalia Laska
Camera, light and sound: Grant Hennessy
Editing: Natalia Laska and Grant Hennessy