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Oct 26 2020, 6:00pm
This month we will be screening the documentary “Anne Braden: Southern Patriot” to get a sense of how white people organized during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and then discussing how that should inform our role in today’s movement.
About the film:
“If it was Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King who convinced me to join the struggle, it was Anne Braden who showed me how to do it. — Bob Zellner, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) first white field secretary
“This film is a must-see.” — Tim Wise, anti-racism activist and author, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son
Anne Braden: Southern Patriot is a documentary film exploring the extraordinary life and legacy of this American civil rights leader. After she was charged with sedition for attempting to desegregate a Louisville, Kentucky neighborhood in 1954, Braden used the attacks to turn herself “inside out” and embrace a lifetime of racial justice organizing matched by few whites in American history. Braden was hailed by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his 1963 Letter from Birmingham Jail as a white southerner whose rejection of her segregationist upbringing was “eloquent and prophetic, ” and named as one of only five southern whites he could count as allies. Labeled a “traitor to her race” and ostracized as a “red” by segregationists and even many in the civil rights movement, she fought for an inclusive movement community and demonstrated that protecting civil liberties was essential to gaining civil rights.
Described as “one of the great figures of our time” by historian Jacquelyn Hall, Braden died in 2006 leaving a remarkable legacy as a grassroots organizer, committed journalist, movement strategist, social chronicler, teacher and mentor to three generations of social justice activists.
In the film Braden recalls 60 years of activism that intersected and linked issues of race with civil liberties, class, gender, sexuality, economic justice, environmentalism, and peace. She delivers a powerful message on the dangers of racism and white supremacy, why it poses such an obstacle to social change, and the necessity of whites organizing with people of color to eliminate it. Braden biographer Catherine Fosl, Angela Y. Davis, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Barbara Ransby, Rev. C.T. Vivian and Cornel West among others add their comments on the far-reaching implications of Braden’s life for activists, students, scholars and anyone interested in building a better world.
“This documentary, in short, is amazing. Aside from the technical success of the film is the fact that Braden herself was an extraordinary human being.” – Leigh Kolb, Bitch Flicks
“A gem of a film, accented with freedom fighters who speak firsthand about carving a path through a traumatized, violent, racist South, to make way for one of the largest and most effective nonviolent movements for social change the world has ever seen.” – folksinger and peace & justice activist Joan Baez”