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Liberation Film Series presents The History of the Maroons in America​

Saturday, November 14, 2015

2 p.m. - 6 p.m.

The History of the Maroons in America featuring a screening of the film, Quilombo, along with Dr. Nubia Kai Al-Nura Salaam, Adjunct Professor, University of Maryland-Baltimore as the selected speaker.

Palmares is a 17th-century quilombo, a settlement of escaped enslaved Africans in the mountains of northeast Brazil. The story follows a group of Africans who revolt in 1650 and escape to the mountains to the city of Palmares, where they join others who have already been living there peacefully and autonomously. The leader of Palmares annoints Ganga Zumba, who becomes a legendary king (Ganga Zumba and his people keep Palmares safe for years, but eventually he is pursuaded by the Portugese to leave the mountains, submit his land to the state, and receive reservation land (and "peace"). Many people disagree with this change, and the warrior Zumbi emerges as the new generation leader of Palmares, taking the people back to the mountains. Zumbi, unlike Ganga Zumba, represents a new generation in Palmares that demands freedom and independence and refuses to compromise Portuguese. But in 1864 Palmares is once again attacked and taken by the Portugese, with most of its inhabitants being brutally murdered or enslaved (though the film manages to represent these events without victimizing the people or representing much violence). In the end, the film leaves its audience with the feeling that even though it has been destroyed, Palmares can (and must!) live on through memory and keeping alive the traditions of its people.

Book Reading and Pre-Orders: I Spread My Wings and I Fly, an historical novel set in the mid 1850’s in southern Louisiana. The novel focuses on the maroon tradition in the United States, the psychological effects of slavery, and the dynamics of slave culture, folklore, and philosophy. Based on historical documentation, folklore, myths, songs, slave narratives, and ethnographic studies, the novel attempts to illustrate through the epic narrative form the rich, varied, and highly philosophical and metaphysical culture of the slaves, their militancy, self-expression, and quest for freedom.

The Liberation Film Series is FREE and open to the public.

Liberation Film Series: 2015 - 2016 Season


The Liberation Film Series is supported by Black/African Studies Departments, organizations, institutions, and scholar and community activists including: Carl R. Edwards, Esq., Alice Jennings, Esq., Jeffrey L. Edison, Esq., Dr. Errol Henderson (Pennsylvania State University),  Wayne State UniversityEastern Michigan University, Purdue University, Wayne County Community College DistrictOakland UniversityUniversity of Massachusetts – Amherst, National Council of Black StudiesMichigan State UniversityUniversity of Michigan - DearbornUniversity of Michigan - Ann ArborThe Walter P. Reuther Library – Wayne State UniversityWayne State University Press, Bentley Historical Library - University of Michigan, ASALH-Detroit, National Lawyers Guild, John Bolden, Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, League of Revolutionaries for a  New America, Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights, community activists, and individual contributors. 

All films and discussions are free and open to the public, and take place in the Museum's General Motors Theater.
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