In East Texas, an illegal 60-year lockout of
African-Americans from their family burial grounds challenges descendants still.
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Special Thanks to
Rudollf Steiner Foundation
Frances Verhalen and Don Smith
Wyna J. Baron
Donald O. and Ronald R. Collins
Kathy Barry & Bob Burnett
Kenny and Susie Johnson
M C Jurzykowski
click on the cover
China Galand with Love Cemetery family descendant Shundricka Love and Archie Rison.
Perspectives on the Film:
"How do we talk about race and honor our history of slavery? Visiting Love Cemetery may be difficult due to the extremely limited access provided by the surrounding landowners, but with your support, we can produce the film, Resurrecting Love, for a national if not international audience. It is vital kindling, lighting the conversations around which we can gather together and engage in healing." [read more]
Danielle Drake Burnette,
"What’s so exciting about this documentary is that it centers on an obvious and easily understood human dilemma: how we honor the dead. The padlocked gate on the mile and a half long, dirt road to Love Cemetery makes the conflict over access simple and real. We see two women, one black, and one white, take up the struggle of the small aging community ..."[read more]
Founder of "Be Present"
Resurrecting Love is a film about the fight for freedom to visit, to experience and to exalt this important burial ground and historic site. It is a fight that has been going on for 60 years.
This film is the heartfelt effort of China and her collaborating filmmakers to bring the issue to light again with images, voices and music that imprint the mind and awaken the soul.
Watch the trailer for the film:
And now, please watch the responses of people who screened it for the first time in Teaneck, New Jersey, a suburb of New York City, and in Berkeley, California, two places that are about as far from East Texas as you can get.
And then donate. Your contribution will make certain that the film gets exposure at major film festivals and from there out into a world that needs to see and hear this story.
Something to listen to while reading further:
What's New with the Film?
Resurrecting Love is a feature length documentary film, which will be available for festivals, theatrical and streaming distribution and educational applications by the spring of 2024. We are right now engaging in a campaign to raise the $49,000 needed to get us there.
We still must:
1.) clear the rights for the archival footage and music,
2.) initiate and secure all legal protections, including a Fair Use Opinion and Errors and Omissions Insurance,
3.) promote the film, screen in film festivals, secure national and international distribution, and send our people out to discuss the wider issues addressed in the film: race, reconciliation and continued unpacking of the true history of slavery, reconstruction and the ongoing struggle for civil rights.
Hundreds of people around the country have contributed toward the making of this film. Our first footage was shot in 2003. We have relied on tax deductible contributions to keep us moving forward.
Creator of the book that launched this film and one of our filmmakers, China Galland, continues to connect with HBCUs around the country in an effort to keep the story and struggle alive. We are finally getting close to realizing our dream. Please help.
Once again, go here to make a tax deductible contribution:
Now is the time for Resurrecting Love.
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Love Cemetery could have been a monument to African American struggle, suffering and survival. It could have been a place where the descendants of slaves came to mourn and celebrate their ancestors and the descendants of slave-holders came to mourn and acknowledge their historical responsibility. It could have been a symbol of both loss and transcendence - like the AIDS quilt and the Viet Nam memorial.
But that is not being allowed to happen in East Texas. Instead a double murder is going on - the murder of the memory of murdered people. Bodies and history are being buried there. With the padlocking of the cemetery gates and the obstructive actions of the surrounding landowners access is being denied to both.
In 2007 filmmaker China Galland brought this issue
to national and international attention with her book,
Love Cemetery, Unburying the Secret History of Slaves. There were hearings and a temporary victory but as the eyes of the public turned away hostile local forces took over again, barring the 2 1/2 mile road leading to the cemetery by putting a new lock on the gates.
China with the film's featured subject Doris Vittatoe