“When I think about land justice, as a Black person in South Carolina, I think of justice I have yet to see. I think about our experience in this country, our relationship to the land, and what land ownership has meant to our people from Emancipation through the present. I also think of all of the ways in which the land has been systemically stripped from us— which includes the discrimination Black Legacy Farmers’ have suffered at the hands of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. I grew up listening intently to my grandmother’s stories of our own family land, and how hard they worked to acquire it. As artists, our goal was to approach Black Farmers’ stories with the same care, unbridled honesty, and artistic elements that would help emphasize the decades-long demands for justice.”

– Benny Starr, Co-Director, Native Son

“When I hear the phrase land justice, I immediately think of my late grandmother and her house in Goose Creek, SC. There was a time when my family served as the key-keepers for the church that sat beside the house. I consider our family legacy in carrying this rich tradition and reflection of community responsibility and pride. I remember how I used to go to my grandmother’s house as a child, and reflect on shared family moments and memories made there. I’m reminded of this robust connection to place, family, and community all on our family land. I still have the memories, but when I think about how the house is no longer in the family, I feel a great sense of loss. All I can do in the aftermath of this loss is to equip myself with knowledge and information, deepening my understanding and recognition of how this phenomenon continues to happen to Black folks across the South; now I use my skills, my music to work towards stopping it.”

– Rodrick Cliché, Co-Director, Native Son

“In 1900, in the small rural town of Alvin, South Carolina, my great-great-grandmother Susie Kinlaw (Mama) married her sweetheart Willis Green (Papa) and bore fourteen children throughout the course of their marriage; seven of whom survived into adulthood. Shortly after their marriage the Greenes acquired what was believed to be about one hundred acres of land. Through criminal manipulation, a local white farmer who possessed resources, privilege, and power swindled away the Greene’s property. Ten years later, Mama and Papa only had the opportunity to purchase back eighteen acres of what was previously their own. With the purchase of seven more acres some years later (with the help of their son Addison’s military earnings) they created the foundation for what is now known to most in Alvin as Greentown. Viewed through the prism of my family’s story, land justice in this country still hasn’t been served. Taken together with what we know as the capitalistic white supremacist apparatus that is USDA, the story of land justice in this country is characterized by Black ingenuity, doggedness, and interdependence working together to combat white land theft.”

– Dekera Greene Rodriguez, Co-Producer, Acres of Ancestry Initiative/Black Agrarian Fund

After an abundant year of community praise and notable accolades from film festivals across the country and internationally, Acres of Ancestry Initiative/Black Agrarian Fund is excited to share RESTORATION: A Concert Film through KweliTV, a Black-owned video streaming platform dedicated to promoting African/African Diasporic media content. An avant-garde in the technology and entertainment industry, KweliTV showcases high-quality independent films, documentaries, web series, news, children’s programming, and live experiences from independent and globally diverse filmmakers and journalists. Over 98 percent of the films curated by KweliTV have been official selections at film festivals and more than half are award-winning.

Produced by Acres of Ancestry Initiative/Black Agrarian Fund and directed by Native Son, RESTORATION explores southern Black agrarian stories of self-determination, land ownership, and folkwit; amplifies ongoing struggles for restorative land justice in this country including the Black Farmers’ Appeal: Cancel Pigford Debt Campaign; and weaves together live musical performances from Native Son and the personal narratives of Black legacy farmers and land stewards throughout the film. RESTORATION has been screened at the Pan African Film Festival, WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, Seattle Black Film Festival, Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival & Lecture Series, Greenwood Film Festival, BronzeLens Film Festival, Seattle Black Film Festival, Baltimore International Black Film Festival, Nice International Film Festival, and more.

To subscribe to KweliTV and watch RESTORATION, click here. As a KweliTV subscriber, 60 percent of your subscription dollars goes to 300+ filmmakers on the platform.