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Film 'Black to Our Roots' Will Have Two Screenings on St. Thomas

Feb. 5, 2009 – Love Livin, Strength to Strength Inc., and KWANZAA365 will host the Virgin Islands film premier of Ras Tresubira Whitlow's "Black to Our Roots," the story of a group of teenagers who journey from the inner city of Atlanta to Washington, D.C. to Ghana, West Africa, in search of their ancestral home. It will be shown at 5 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 8, at Arian's Bar & Restaurant, Sub Base, St. Thomas,
Determined to transcend their environments, learn more about their history in America, and see their connection to Africa first-hand, the teens travel with HABESHA, a non-profit community-based organization, to Washington, D.C. to trace their genealogy through a groundbreaking new DNA test, spend the weekend at a Yoruba village on the Gullah Islands of South Carolina, and ultimately travel across the Atlantic Ocean. Through their journey, the film highlights how far inner city African-American youth must go to uncover their identity.
It is an observational film that highlights the courage and determination of these underestimated teenagers as they work to raise money to fund their travels, grapple in focus sessions with issues of African-American/African history, and leave their familiar surroundings.
Finally, it reveals the teens' feelings about Africa as well as America and how they navigate this dual-identity. Their attitudes, as well as those of their families and peers, are bound to evolve after they return, and we will be there to document these changes, as well.
The event will start at 5 p.m. with live entertainment by local artists. At 5:30 p.m., the film showing will start, followed by a question and answer session featuring the film producer, and other local organization members. Local students from various schools have already met the requirements for the July 2009 trip and more are being recruited during school visits on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 9 and 10.
For anyone unable to make it to the Sunday screening, The University of the Virgin Islands Student Government Association Organizations, The Writer's Block and The Black Heritage Committee will host a second screening at 7 p.m., on Monday, Feb. 9, in the UVI Chase Auditorium (BUS 110), featuring the HABESHA organization's founder/film director, Ras Tresubira Whitlow, and other local organization members.
For further information, contact Dara Monifah Cooper at 473-6659 or e-mail dcooper@uvi.edu. Also visit www.blacktoourroots.com or www.habeshainc.org

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