On Monday, Feb. 9, the St. Thomas campus Student Government Association (SGA) Black Heritage Committee and the SGA The Writer's Block will host a U. S. Virgin Island Film Premiere of "Black to Our Roots," an inspirational story of a group of teenagers' journey from the inner-city of Atlanta, to Washington, DC, to Ghana, West Africa in search of their ancestral home. 'Black to Our Roots' is a film by Ras Tresubira Whitlow. The event will start at 7 p.m. in the UVI Chase Auditorium (B-110) with spoken word from members of The Writer's Block. A question and answer session will follow the screening.
Determined to transcend their environments, learn more about their history in America, and see their connection to Africa first-hand, the teens travel with HASHESHA — a non-profit community-based organization — to Washington, D.C. to trace their genealogy through a groundbreaking new DNA test, spend the weekend at a Yoruba village on the Gullah Islands of South Carolina, and ultimately travel across the Atlantic Ocean. Through their journey, 'Black to Our Roots' highlights how far inner city African-American youth must go to uncover their identity. The HABESHA organization founder and film director will be available for discussion at the UVI screening.
"Black to Our Roots" is an observational film that highlights the courage and determination of these underestimated teenagers as they work to raise money to fund their travels, grapple in focus sessions with issues of African-American/African history, and leave their familiar surroundings.
Finally, "Black to Our Roots" reveals the teens' feelings about Africa, as well as America, and how they navigate this dual-identity. Their attitudes, as well as those of their families and peers, are bound to evolve after they return.