Dear Pennies & Pens,
As you all know, it is now Black History Month. You may not know this but I am a true lover and connossiouer of all things related to Black/African-American people. It is my culture, history, and it defines who I am. I’m quick to say: “Fight the Powers that Be” and I honestly think Malcolm X was husband in my former life. No really, I do. LOL!
So anyway, last week another great press release popped up into my inbox. There’s a new independent film called The Village of Peace. The film explores the story of The African Hebrew Israelites, a community who migrated from Chicago to Israel in the late 1960s during the Civil Rights Movement and intertwines the story of four villagers to provide an in-depth and moving view into the community.
New York Knicks basketball player Amar’e Stoudemire served as Executive Producer of the film. Stoudemire and his production company STATosphere Productions collaborated with a team of young filmmakers to present the untold story of The Village of Peace to global audiences. Stoudemire was first introduced to the project through Twitter, when producer Sam Schuder sent him the film trailer. Stoudemire was compelled by the story and arranged a meeting with the brothers, Sam and Ben Schuder, to view the rough stages of the film. After numerous meetings, Stoudemire came on board the project as Executive Producer, providing valuable input and support during the post-production process. Stoudemire had been to Israel numerous times and maintains a strong connection with the land and people.
“When I saw the rough cuts of The Village of Peace, I was immediately intrigued and wanted to share this story on the global stage,” said Amar’e Stoudemire. “I think everyone can learn something from the plight of these people as they created a new life that was true to them.”
As previously mentioned, The Village of Peace explores a community of African-Americans from Chicago, who in 1967 began a two-year migration to Dimona, Israel. The founders of the Village recount their epic journey from the backdrop of oppression and upheaval in Chicago, through the unfamiliar terrain of Liberia, to what they now call home in the Negev Desert. Approximately 300 people made the original migration. Today, more than 5,000 African-Hebrew Israelites live in Israel. The stories of four villagers are woven together to portray a community unlike any other, inspired by ancient scripture and a determination to live life in its purest form.
Their unique culture evolves from an uncommon interpretation of the Torah (Hebrew Bible), mandating a life practice that includes polygamy, natural birth, veganism and a rigorous emphasis on health. Although the community is growing in numbers, recent immersion into the Israeli Army leaves the youth susceptible to outside influences. Ultimately we learn about the struggle to preserve the African Hebrew culture, and the challenges of passing their traditions to future generations.
This movie sounds really amazing! Though I have not seen it, I wanted to support the film because it has an original story. Plus I thought it would make a great feature for Black History Month because it’s not a history lesson per se but a reflection of history. Movies about African-Americans can be few and far between so it’s lovely to see such an important story being told. Please feel free to visit villageofpeacemovie.com to learn more.
And there it is. de la Pen…All Pen Everything.