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I just made this image my desktop screensaver. It is a still from Julie Dash’s 1991 film Daughters of the Dust, which chronicles the experiences of a Gullah family who live on a “sea island” off the coast of Georgia. Most of them are preparing to move inland to cities to enhance, in their best estimation, the quality of their lives. Because of their enslaved African ancestors’ earlier isolation from mainstream culture, many African traditions are intact in this fictitious family whose experiences receive inspiration from Dash’s own ancestors. I am reading the script for the film as I prepare a lecture. These words from the script will work well with a part of the lecture focusing on the northern migration of strong-willed turn of the century people who look back while moving forward. They are an inspiration as I begin a new school year in these difficult times that are still filled with great possibility.

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