October 17, 2016 | You Belong to Me | West Long Branch, NJ
“Those men and women who lived through the 1940’s and 50’s told stories of discrimination they experienced in the north which were much more subtle than in the south yet still as memorable and hurtful with the pain still fresh.”
Growing up at the New Jersey shore, I was thrilled to screen You Belong To Me at Monmouth University at their beautiful Pollack Theatre. Things have definitely changed on campus during my lifetime including new buildings and athletic fields.
While it seemed like most of the audience consisted of my family and friends and I was so proud to show them the result of my work on a big screen, I was jolted back to reality during the question and answer session by the realization of how the film resonated with the African Americans in the audience. Those men and women who lived through the 1940’s and 50’s told stories of discrimination they experienced in the north which were much more subtle than in the south yet still as memorable and hurtful with the pain still fresh.
Among those in the audience who stayed long after the Q and A session was William L. Brown who is a producer of Cultural Diversity Arts Programs. I was so struck by him because he actually prayed during the Q and A – a prayer in part of thanks for those white people in the audience. Also in the audience was a director who is working at a Manasquan theatre about to present a production of A Raisin In The Sun and he wanted to see You Belong To Me to get a feel for the times and for inspiration.
We all ended up taking a group photo and laughed and left with a hope for future generations.
Vaune Peck, the Director of the Center of Distinction for the Arts facilitated our event.
Post provided by On Screen/In Person filmmaker Jude Hagin