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LGM Film Club, Part 130: Family Across the Sea

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I recently finished reading Michael Twitty’s The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South, a really fantastic book that follows this well-known cook’s attempt to connect growing up as a mixed race Black gay man with the food cultures of the South that reflected so many influences and with the DNA tests showing different ethnic aspects of his family. It’s a really first rate book. Near the end he discusses the 1989 film Family Across the Sea, which explores the direct connections between the Africans who grew rice in Sierra Leone and their Gullah-Geechee descendants who were enslaved in the lowcountry South Carolina and who still live there today. Exploring connections that include linguistics and basket-making, as well has the president of Sierra Leone visiting South Carolina and a large group of Gullah-Geechee people returning the visit, including to the ruins of the nation’s infamous slave trading fort, this is a pretty fantastic documentary.

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