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The Gist of Freedom live on location ~ Martha's Vineyard African American Film Festival! The Contradictions of Fair Hope” Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg and featuring the music of jazz musician Christian McBride, chronicles the little-known story of the Fair Hope Benevolent Society in Alabama, one of the nation’s last surviving benevolent societies. They were groups formed after emancipation by newly freed slaves throughout the South to build schools, care for the sick, feed the hungry, and bury the dead. Merkerson co-produced and co-directed the film with Rockell Metcalf, who came to the story through a conversation with his 99-year-old grandmother, the oldest surviving member of the Fair Hope Benevolent Society. This organization was created by six uneducated men 124 years ago,” said Merkerson in a telephone interview. “The film gives a full picture of how Fair Hope evolved and the complexities involved in its continued existence.”
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