The Film and Its Impact
Resurrecting Love documents the powerful racial conflict over the right to visit cemeteries and to know your ancestors.
This work-in-progress follows two women, one black, one white, as they rally the community to fight a large timber corporation and in the process change the face of Texas history. Resurrecting Love shows us how a diverse group of people can come together to heal the deep racial divisions that still threaten to tear our country apart.
The film grew out of China Galland's book, Love Cemetery, Unburying the Secret History of Slaves (HarperOne).
The book ignited a controversy over people being able to get into cemeteries throughout Texas and set off an investigation by the State Attorney General's Office.
As a consequence, new legislation was passed making it potentially a criminal offense to deny people reasonable access to cemeteries in Texas. Nonetheless, this widespread problem continues in Texas and across the U.S. today. The controversy addressed in this film is now a national issue.
Texas periodically buys millions of textbooks and over the last decade attempted to delete the word “slavery” from all of them. Only a 5-4 vote by the State Textbook Committee saved students from the distortions of history that would have been the result. With Juneteenth now a national holiday, people are learning what a holdout Texas was for the Confederacy.
Through the years, it’s Texas’s colleges and universities – including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) like East Texas Baptist University (ETBU) - and in edition other institutions, like Southern Methodist University in Dallas, the University of Texas at Denton and Stephen F. Austin in Nagadoches, that have all given support and student encouragement to the film.
Most importantly it’s the outreach of two HBCUs in Texas: Wiley College in Marshall, and, recently, Texas Prairie View A& M that have stepped up with support. We are honored to have included many Wiley and ETBU students and faculty in our documentary. Having their faculty and students reach out to us affirms the importance of our work in ways that few acknowledgments could. You’ll see them in our film, along with a local Boy Scout Troop. Now, especially now, authentic history can be lifesaving.
Resurrecting Love will contribute to the vital discussion going on now in this country. Its story is reaching young people, many who never felt much connection with those who came before and how they touch the future. The time is now.