Africans on the Mississippi – Cuttin’ Cane
Africans on the Mississippi – Cuttin’ Cane is a short film episode of a five-part docuseries, exploring the African American connection to water –extending from the Senegal and Gambia Rivers to the Atlantic crossing, to the Mississippi River. This “forced” relationship influenced American music, food, art, language, and culture.
Donaldsonville, one of numerous Mississippi River Black communities, is a product of the bygone era when hundreds of plantations lined the Mississippi River. The plantations are long gone, but the descendants remain.
Cuttin’ Cane invites viewers inside a story circle conversation of community elders, gathered at the River Road African American Museum to share memories of life growing up and living in Donaldsonville, Louisiana. The conversation is joined by Museum Interim Director Darryl Hambrick who provides in-depth historical insights, while Director, Christine Brown, captures intimate interviews, together with sweeping panoramic drone views of sugar cane fields and surrounding areas.
Cuttin’ Cane documents the Mississippi River connection to the Julien family, who has farmed and prospered along the Mississippi River since 1900. In 1964, Leonard Julien Sr, patriarch and self-taught musician and inventor with only a third-grade education, invented a sugar cane planting machine which revolutionized sugar cane production and is still in use today.
Meet the Oubre family at the annual boucherie or hog killing. Listen to the family griot, Theron Oubre, recount Oubre family history, connecting their lineage to an 18th century band of the Houma-Choctaw Native American tribe, as well as interactions with early French and Spanish explorers.
Discover Donaldsonville’s rich Catholic, Jewish, and African American spiritual history with a visit to the historic 155-year-old St. Peters United Methodist church, built by newly freed African people.
Africans on the Mississippi – Cuttin’ Cane is a short film filled with aha moments guaranteed to leave viewers wanting more.
Directed by C Freedom (USA)