The Story of African-American Farmers
Publication Date: January 6, 2002
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An illustrated history of African-American farmers, Homecoming is a requiem for a way of life that has almost disappeared.
Based on the film Homecoming, produced for the Independent Television Service with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The videocassette of Homecoming is available from California Newsreel at www.newsreel.org.
Charlene Gilbert is an independent filmmaker and professor of film at the State University of New York, Buffalo. Quinn Eli teaches English and creative writing at the Community College of Philadelphia and is a columnist for the Philadelphia Weekly.
Homecoming tells a distressing story but delivers an uplifting message. --Jim Hightower
"Revisiting the unbearable hardships encountered by my great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents as they sought to survive the inhuman sharecropping system of the post-Civil War South-a system in many ways more brutal than slavery-my heart breaks again. But reading Homecoming's account of our ancestors' determined humility, obdurate courage, and fierce pride in and love of the land, my heart is healed. I see why there is such a thing as ancestor worship. I could not love my sharecropping ancestors more if I had created them myself. That black Southerners still love nature and revere the earth is the legacy of a people whose innate elegance and dignity was always expressed in essentials." --Alice Walker