AFRICATOWN hosts Motion Picture and Television Movie Producers & Production Companies
Led by Mobile’s own award winning documentary producer Margaret Brown and her crew from Rake Productions, three other world known movie production companies visited The Africatown Community this past weekend to introduce themselves to the community and to uncover more of the story about the voyage of the last slave ship The Clotilda and the past, present and future of The Africatown Community. Those other motion picture companies were: Netflix Productions, Higher Ground Production “owned by President Barack & Michele Obama” and Participant Productions.
On Friday evening, April 22nd, a small reception was held at The Robert Hope Community Center for those residents that were interviewed by Margaret for her Sundance award winning documentary “Descendant” and to introduce them to the three production companies mentioned above that purchased the rights to the documentary to stream it on cable and possibly produce a television mini series and, dare I say it, a full length motion picture. A full 2 hours (6-8) was spent with them explaining to us the “next steps” involved in this “new to us” movie industry process. In addition, the residents were given the opportunity to ask anything and everything on their mind about the documentary, the movie industry and of course, Michele & Barack Obama. Everybody wanted to know when could we expect to see the Obamas in Africatown. After that reception at The Hope Center ended we all went to Marc Jackson’s Place, Kazoola’s, for dinner and drinks.
The next morning 20 of us met again at the Hope Center at 10 am for what was to be a 2 hour tour of Africatown. The tour lasted 3 hours and could have lasted longer if not for the fact that box lunches had been ordered for a 1:00 lunch. We rode around in a 25 passenger tour bus owned by Africatown Native Lamar Howard & his wife Chiquitta. Their bus includes a TV and was purchased to do Africatown Tours as soon as Africatown is declared “Open For Business”, which should happen soon. The tour guide was “Africatown Joe” Womack. The tour is laid out to tell the complete history of Africatown, its cultural heritage & historical significance and its deeply rooted struggle against environmental injustices. Lunch lasted from 1 to 2 after which other locals were invited to participate in a 3 hour discussion about Africatown. Everyone was very open about their feelings about Africatown, local and state politics and politicians. The producers mostly listened and took lots and lots of notes. One common theme in the room was that The Last Slave Ship, The Clotilda, should be raised and placed on exhibit in Africatown.
The movie producers said they would return soon for another fact finding trip with a more definite timing on when the Sundance Award Winning Documentary would begin “streaming” on Netflix.