Today, I watched a new documentary with my kids called Silver Dollar Road for one of their homeschool assignments. I often teach them about the past to help them better understand the present, in regard to black life, and this documentary was a perfect example of that.
Silver Dollar Road is about a black family fighting to reclaim their ancestral land, a 65-acre waterfront property in rural North Carolina that they’ve owned for over a century, from racists and developers. The family’s legal trouble dates back to the 1970s when their patriarch, suspicious of Southern courts, died without leaving a will. His land was then passed to his children, but one of the co-owning relatives secretly sold the land to a developer through a legal loophole, similar to the methods used to steal land away from hundreds of other black families across the nation.
The film is told from the firsthand accounts of Mamie, the daughter who attempts to keep a family strong; Kim, a niece who served as the family’s mouthpiece for help; Melvin, the oldest son who won’t stop fighting to reclaim their land; and LiCurtis, the son whose life halted after serving almost nine years in jail for simply being black.
This film makes one thing clear: Over the course of the 20th century, Black Americans lost about 90 percent of their farmland. But as others may take their loss on the chin and move on, the Reels’ family decided to fight for their land. And they are still fighting till this very day!
My kids still don’t quite understand how racism works and why a certain color of people treat the original color of people so wrongly. So, it was hard to explain to them how the black family were being removed from their own land. But they admired the fight of the Reels’ family to keep what’s theirs. And so did I!
Whether you’re into documentaries or not, Silver Dollar Road is an eye opening, heartfelt, and empowering doc that will inspire you to make sure your business is in order and to always fight for what’s yours.
Silver Dollar Road is now streaming on Amazon Prime!