Coal Black Voices: a documentary
Coal Black Voices is an intimate mosaic of images, poetry, and storytelling by the Affrilachian Poets as they give glimpses of life in the American Black South and Appalachian region. The ensemble of African-American writers challenge simple notions of an all white Appalachian region and culture while drawing on traditions such as the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement, and experiences of the African Diaspora. The poetry of the Affrilachian Poets celebrates their African heritage and rural roots while encompassing themes of racism and Black identity. In this documentary they give voice to the pleasures of family, land, good food, artistic community, music and transformation.
Order Coal Black Voices on dvd from the Media Working Group.
Study materials and curricula to accompany the dvd are available for free download.
Coal Black Voices was produced and directed by Jean Donohue and Fred Johnson, with consulting producer Frank X Walker.
Watch clips from the documentary: (Vimeo)
- Intro: Frank X Walker and Nikky Finny discuss the genesis of the term "Affrilachia"
- Kelly Norman Ellis reads "Raised by Women"
- Ricardo Nazario-Colon reads "We Raised You"
- Nikky Finny "we have been oppressed, we have been repressed, we have never been suppressed."
- Frank X Walker reads "Kentucke"