America’s largest health movement and nonprofit for Black women, GirlTrek, will debut its first film, Daughters Of Sunday at the 2020 BlackStar Film Festival. The film will debut online at 11:30 a.m. ET.
The documentary, directed by Shoppe Black co-founder and Dandy Lion: The Black Dandy and Street Style author Shantrelle P. Lewis in her directorial debut, will focus on uplifting Black women through lineage.
According to the official description: Daughters Of (running time 64 minutes) is a documentary featuring Black women sharing stories of hope, healing and happiness through calling the names of our mothers and our mothers’ mothers mothers… GirlTrek cofounders T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison are among Black women featured along with others such as Tarana Burke, activist, community organizer and founder of the #MeToo movement; Latham Thomas, doula, doula educator and lifestyle maven; and Brittney Cooper, author, cultural critic and associate professor in the department of Africana Studies/Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University.
The documentary is an extension of GirlTrek’s initiative “to examine the immediate and critical importance of self-care and healing for Black women through the lens of their matrilineal traditions.” The campaign began in May and featured conversations between Angela Davis and Nikki Giovanni and Dr. Bernice A. King and Ilyasah Shabazz.
“Our mothers’ names are as epic as those in the Bible. They are spirit-filled, an ancient ohm. Today, we should say their names and remember their secrets. It is a calling upon especially in the midst of such crisis to own our lives, our stories and our legacy,” said Dixon in a statement. “We are the historians because we are the daughters of freedom fighters, poets, builders of nations, lovers, confidants, fire-starters and healers. We are the daughters of time and creation itself.”
“Daughters Of is a visual altar to the women who went through hell, high water and some form of communal healing so that we might be able to exist. An homage to our maternal ancestors, the film is both veneration and socio-political strategy as we look back for lessons passed down, in a fight for our liberation and the right for our community to thrive,” said Lewis. “It was important that I created an aesthetic narrative that was as nuanced and vast as the Diaspora itself, so that any Black woman, anywhere on the globe, could find her mother, grandmother and herself, in the story that is being told.”
Brittney Cooper, author of Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower and Beyond Respectability: The Intellectual Thought of Race Women, said that the film has the power to remind Black women about their strength.
“In these unprecedented political times, where Black women’s political power is rising, this groundbreaking film takes Black women back to our roots. Its stunning imagery and compelling storytelling remind us that Black women have a formidable lineage of freedom fighters, hell raisers and everyday women who made it possible for us to be here,” she said. “The reason that Black women continue to be the soul and conscience of the nation, and the arbiter of our collective futures, is precisely because we remain connected to our pasts, to our foremothers, their stories and lives. We are all somebody’s daughters.”