GirlTrek, the largest health movement and nonprofit for Black women and girls in the country, will debut its first-ever, feature-length film, Daughters Of at the 2020 BlackStar Film Festival on Sunday, August 23rd, 2020.
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.
“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, GirlTrek cofounder. “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.”
Directed by Shantrelle P. Lewis in her directorial debut, Daughters Of is part of a multifaceted-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 launched back in May 2020 with a series of first-ever, ground-breaking conversations between legendary, revolutionary Black women: Angela Davis and Nikki Giovanni; Dr. Bernice A. King and Ilyasah Shabazz, the daughters of historic figures Coretta Scott King and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Betty Shabazz and Malcom X; and the leaders of all four Black sororities. More than 1.2 Million people watched the broadcasts.
“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, co-founder of Shoppe Black and author of Dandy Lion: the Black Dandy and Street Style. “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.”
Daughters Of is collective storytelling of the lineage and legacy of Black women –stories of who we are and where we come from, as told by the daughters of fearless Black women.
“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. 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,” said Brittney Cooper, author of Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower and Beyond Respectability: The Intellectual Thought of Race Women.
Daughters Of will be shown online at 11:30 a.m., Sunday, August 23, 2020. Founded by Maori Holmes, also a Black woman, BlackStar Film Festival is based in Philadelphia and will run online from August 20 to August 26 and highlight more than 80 films.