Always in Season: A New Documentary Film About Lynching
Always in Season is a new film by Jacqueline Olive that explores the history of lynching as well as its contemporary impact on communities and families in the U.S. It’s the first film of its kind to document grassroots efforts for reconciliation and justice.
Always in Season explores four different communities in the U.S. that are grappling with the legacy of racial terrorism. In Duluth, MN, a monument is resurrected to honor lynched victims which opens up a conversation about lynching in the community. Though lynching has secured a spot in our cultural conversation on racial terrorism forever, as a country, we struggle with its real impact and how it connects to our current attempts for racial justice. This is where Always in Season intervenes.
Always in Season explores a multiracial group of amateur actors in Monroe, GA who reenact a 1946 lynching on the very spot where the violence happened. The impact of lynching on the tens of thousands of perpetrators, spectators, victims’ families and neighbors, and all of their descendants becomes evident despite pervasive denial. It’s important that we understand the lessons of lynching so that we can collectively tackle issues of racial violence and inequity playing out in our communities at this very moment.
What’s new about this film is that it explores the contemporary impact of lynching. In our culture, lynching is popularly viewed as a “historical” event that we need to move on from. In fact, we still struggle admitting how insidious lynching was, considering it’s rarely brought up in our contemporary discourse about racism in the U.S.
In our generation, lynching has been relegated to a metaphor. If you think back to the slaying of Trayvon Martin, terminology like “modern-day lynching” was employed to provide language for his murder.
Always in Season demonstrates this collision between historical racism and contemporary racism, especially through the story of Lennon Lacy, the 17 year old who was found hanging from a swing set on August 29, 2014. Olive documents the aftermath of Lacy’s death and follows his mother Claudia as she works to start an FBI investigation into her son’s death.
Though Lennon’s death was originally ruled a suicide, certain suspicious factors forced his mother to ask for an investigation because she believes he may have been lynched. This film is especially important to Jacqueline because she has an African American son who shares the same age (17) with Lennon Lacy and Trayvon Martin.
As the founder of Tell It Media, Olive has coordinated the production of the Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary series, Independent Lens, and Global Voices for three seasons. Jackie also co-created Black to Our Roots, which broadcast on PBS World.
Always in Season introduces viewers to relatives of the perpetrators and victims of lynchings in communities grappling with how best to acknowledge the victims, repair the damage, and reconcile–all in the midst of pushback and heated national discourse about the value of black lives. Within the film, the viewer actually witnesses conversations between families of lynched victims as well as families of mob inciters.
Always in Season offers strategies for our generation to deal with racial terrorism considering vigilante and police killings of black and brown people today (4 times a week) mirrors the rate of lynching at its height.
Jacqueline Olive is currently running an Indiegogo campaign to complete her film. She’s also trying to raise funds to get Angela Davis to be a part of the project. Please support her and spread the word. It’s important that we support the creative, activist work of black women. If you think #blacklivesmatter, than support the work of black folks who are working to make a difference in our culture.
The Indiegogo page says:
“My goal is for Always in Season to serve as a catalyst for the difficult dialogues ahead and a model for strategies towards justice and reconciliation like the ones created by people featured in the film who are working to heal the racial divides in their communities.”
Please help Jacqueline reach her goal of $20,000. Donate today!
Featured photo credit: Flickr user ccarlstead via Creative Commons
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