We continue our guest blog series in which we ask Docs In Progress staff and alumni to let us in on how they spent their summers. Next up, Docs In Progress Director of Planning and Special Projects Sam Hampton.
A Summer of Community Outreach
by Sam Hampton
As I continued to teach classes and work to raise funds for Docs In Progress, I also spent some of this summer showing my documentary, My Mother€™s Journey, to groups in various community settings. The documentary is fulfilling its goal of being a unique tool for discussions on issues related to race, community, and social justice. Diverse audiences representing a wide range of backgrounds and socio-economic levels have seen the film: students and faculty at Solomon Schechter School in White Plains, NY€¨; students, faculty and community at The Harley School in Rochester, NY; and staff and field workers at The Center for Youth Services in Rochester, NY. The film is now also making the festival circuit, first at the Tacoma Film Festival in Washington State and on Thursday, October 22 at the Utopia Film Festival in Maryland.
The discussions following the documentary have been animated and illuminating. It is fascinating to see a young, white tenth-grader engaged in an honest discussion about racial equality with an 82 year-old African American! I hope that the documentary continues to encourage this type of dialogue.
Another highlight of my summer was the opportunity to meet and spend some time with award-winning filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris. Mr. Harris was a guest speaker at the SilverDocs Film Festival in June. There he introduced his new media platform, the Digital Diaspora Family Reunion, which taps into a vast US network of black photographic archives, in which my family is participating. This is all part of his new film about black photography entitled, Through a Lens Darkly.
Photo courtesy of the Digital Diaspora Family Reunion.