For almost a century, tens of thousands of men, women, and children attended the lynchings of more than 4,000 African Americans that often included torture, mutilation and photography. This form of racial violence occurred in every state across the U.S. but four, and for reasons as arbitrary as sheer boredom. Lynchings were at times highly organized and akin to the sport of hunting, and blacks were “always in season.”
Always in Season is a film with Danny Glover by ABHM friend and colleague Jacqueline Olive (producer/director). It will be shown on PBS (public television) channels around the country in early 2017.
Always in Season will be the centerpiece of ABHM’s 2017 Founder’s Day Gathering for Racial Repair and Reconciliation on February 25, 2017. Director Jackie Olive and representatives of the communities featured in the film will show the movie and answer audience questions in a talkback. Then they and local activists doing similar work will meet with participants in small breakout groups to dialogue about the issues raised by their healing community projects to commemorate lynchings. For more info about this event, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why is it important to talk about lynching today?
Always in Season is a transmedia documentary project that ties the facts of lynching to the present with a feature film that encourages viewers to consider where their own family stories intersect with this difficult chapter in American history. With intimate stories of relatives of the perpetrators, victims, and others–along with the collection of photographs spectators took with the victims called Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America—Always in Season shows how lynching still impacts Americans and follows the efforts of descendants and others in four communities who are seeking justice and healing as they work to acknowledge the victims, repair the damage, and reconcile.
- In Laurens, SC, Rev. David Kennedy fights to shut down a KKK shop while seeking acknowledgement of the 1913 lynching there of his great uncle.
- In Monroe, GA, Cassandra Greene helps organize an annual reenactment of a 1946 lynching with a multiracial group of amateur actors and works to bring the perpetrators, still living there, to justice.
- In Duluth, MN, Warren Read unravels the secret of his great-grandfather’s involvement in a 1920 lynching and seeks reconciliation with relatives of the victims and others, while reexamining his very identity and working to help heal the community.
- And in Bladenboro, NC, the FBI is currently investigating the suspicious death of 17-year old Lennon Lacy, who had been dating a white woman before he was found hanging by a belt from a swingset in a white mobile home park on August 29, 2014.
These stories demonstrate the impact of past and current racial terrorism on our country today.
Ever wonder about the choices you’d make if you lived during this time in history?
Always in Season Island uses an immersive, role-playing virtual world environment to give users an experiential look at the choices and circumstances that brought 10,000 men, women and children out in Marion, Indiana to watch the 1930 lynching of Abe Smith, Thomas Shipp, and the 16-year old who narrowly escaped, James Cameron. Not only will this interactive 3D environment give visitors insights into the multiple perspectives of many of the people involved in the events in Marion, but they can also learn how their actions can contribute to or prevent racism and violence in a safe, facilitated virtual world space. To learn more about Always in Season Island, click here.
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