Free movie time: Daughters of the Dust at the Blair-Caldwell Library

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Every once in a while in these vast United States, you come across an area so remote, so isolated, that the people of that area maintain a culture that is completely removed from the mainstream. The San Luis Valley in Colorado, where people still speak an archaic form of Spanish descended from a popular variant from about 400 years ago, is one example of that phenomenon. Another example is the Gullah people of the South Carolina and Georgia Lowcountry, who have retained more of their African heritage -- both culturally and linguistically -- than any other group of black Americans in the U.S. One thing is certain: You don't see too many films about them.

The Gullah were originally brought over as slaves to work the rice plantations in that Southern region; they came from an area of Sierra Leone, where rice was also the dominant crop. Unlike in similar slave-plantation setups in other areas of the South, though, slaves in the Lowcountry had minimal contact with whites, who mostly stayed away due to rampant malaria in the region, and following emancipation, the Gullah were basically left as the lone inhabitants of the area, maintaining their culture and language -- a creole related to the creole spoken in Jamaica -- there for hundreds of years.

Daughters of the Dust is a look at that culture, the story of three women making the transition from one of the South Carolinian sea islands -- traditionally a bastion of the Gullah -- to the mainland around the turn of the twentieth century. Made in 1991, it remains one of the only films ever to focus on the fascinating Gullah culture and people, and a critically acclaimed one at that.

The film, directed by New York City-born Julie Dash, screens tonight as part of the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library's Seldom Screened: Black Directors series, at 6 p.m. tonight, for free. And if that's not enough to get you in, consider this: There will be free popcorn and drinks. What more do you want?

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.