Marco Williams Director and Producer
Stephen McCarthy Cinematographer
Banished: How Whites Drove Blacks Out of Town in America is a 2006 documentary film about four U.S. cities, which were part of many communities that violently forced African American families to flee in post-reconstruction America. In incidents which took place in Texas, Missouri, Georgia and Indiana between 1886 and 1923. Banished was screened in competition at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.
I just recently view this film, and was saddened to learn of some Racial Cleansing incidents that occurred in this country post slavery and reconstruction. This is what I would call the trail of tears that no one knew of, displaced African American families whose valued assets were lost, stolen, and then reclaimed, and appropriated by whites only to be turned into, all white racist enclaves.
My first question is how we do as a nation fixes this, seeing that even today these communities are still highly segregated and thriving off the stolen banished land. Secondly, aside from any monetary reparations, when will we acknowledge that these horrific acts did in fact happened, and accept them as a part of the history from the federal level to the local levels of government. Just as in 1988 when President Ronald Regan signing of the reparations bill for the Japanese Americans interned during WWII, and 2001 when the German Foundation distributed $5 Billon to compensate victims of the Holocaust.
In closing, if we as a country are to reach that place of amazing grace, we must have a watershed moment, and have fair and open dialogue to confront these issues. And then we must do what’s fair and just, even if this mean doing something radical and hard, we must reconstruct the civility of the American community.