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Thursday, February 21, 2008

BANISHED - must see documentary

This documentary, directed by Marco Williams, aired on our local PBS affiliate tonight and blew my mind. I have never heard the issue of reparations discussed in these direct and practical terms. The film examines one case where a black family was run off the land which was then claimed by whites and sold. There are reliable records tracing the land back to a black family and reliable records tracing the ancestry of the original owners to the Strickland family members living today. The land is now of tremendous value. Are the Strickland's owed something and if so, how should this happen? By placing the conversation in the context of land and title, director Marco Williams makes the issue of reparations much more accessible than the typical discussion about abstract values of suffering and injustice which surround slavery. This is an excellent film.

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