Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Journalist and Concerned Mom Brings Her 'Lynchings' Doc to Florida

In the fall of 2012, Jackie Olive reported for NPR on the recent history of American lynchings and some controversial reenactments. Next Friday, December 5th in Gulf Breeze, Florida, she will host a Q&A screening of her related in-progress documentary Always in Season.

Olive is a veteran journalist who has worked on the production side of the PBS series Independent Lens and Global Voices. In the shadow of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin, her project has connected to new layers of race-relations discussion.

Here for example is what Olive was telling her son, several weeks before the Martin shooting:

I admonished my 13-year old son for wearing a hoodie on his bus ride home. With love and conviction, I explained that he could put his hood on if it gets cold or starts to rain, but otherwise not to pull it over his head, "especially when talking to strangers," because others might misread his brown face and 5’9” frame as menacing. Easily the gentlest person I know, my child was stilled by my seriousness.
Even as I spoke, I questioned whether this was paranoid, over-protective parenting. But, I also knew that if he had blonde curls instead of the Afro spirals that poked beneath his hood, I would not have to place limits in this way on how he could just be in the world.

The goal of the Always in Season documentary and related multi-media strands is to remind viewers of the full scope of "lynchings," that they occurred in the U.S. until the mid-1960s and that their history continues to be felt today:

With the intimate stories of relatives of lynching victims, perpetrators and spectators, along with the collection of photographs and postcards taken with the victims called "Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America," Always in Season shows how lynching still affects Americans and follows the efforts of descendants and others who are seeking restorative justice as they work to acknowledge the victims, repair the damage and reconcile.

[Always in Season screening]

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