Rhythms of the Land film screening a ‘valentine’ to Black farmers

Rhythms of the Land film screening a ‘valentine’ to Black farmers

By Kathy Chouteau

Urban Tilth’s Black Caucus is welcoming community members to the “Rhythms of the Land Screening & Q&A with Director Dr. Gail Myers” Nov. 16 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Richmond Art Center.

The free admission, indoor/outdoor event will include dinner and a documentary featuring the stories of Black American farmers, followed by a discussion with cultural anthropologist and creator of the film project, Dr. Myers.

Urban Tilth referred to Rhythms of the Land as “a valentine to generations of Black farmers in the United States from the enslavement period to the present,” noting that the farmers’ “intense love of the land and dedication to community” saw them prevail amid seemingly insurmountable odds.

While in 1920, more than 920,000 Black families were farming in the U.S., according to info provided by Urban Tilth—which noted that most “were sharecroppers and tenant farmers”—today there are a little over 48,697, representing a 95 percent drop over 100 years.

“Black farming families have lost their land and their stories are quickly disappearing and should be preserved so that we may understand the history and nature of lives on the farms,” per Urban Tilth, which said the documentary aims to “preserve their stories and honor their lives and agrarian legacies.”

The schedule for the event will be: 5:30: Check-in and dinner, which will be served in the courtyard of the Richmond Art Center with a tent/heaters, but warm clothes and blankets are suggested; 6:15: Screening begins; 7:15: Q&A with documentary Director Dr. Gail Myers; 7:45: Mix & Mingle; and 8:30: Event ends.

The Richmond Art Center is located at 2540 Barrett Ave. in Richmond. RSVP for the free admission dinner, documentary and discussion event here. Click the link to learn more about Rhythms of the Land and check the film’s latest updates out on social media at @rhythmsoftheland. Get the 411 on Urban Tilth’s work here.