The Great Migration: A City Transformed (1916-1930)
Presented by Scribe Video Center

Aug 6 • 5:30pm • International House
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The Great Migration: A City Transformed (1916-1930) explores the historic tide of African Americans moving north that changed Philadelphia, the United States, and the world. The center of this project created by Scribe Video Center is a series of commissioned media arts works that reveal the ties between the agricultural world the migrants left behind and the new industrial world they would in turn help create. A nationally-renowned team of artists (Julie Dash, Kevin Jerome Everson, Lonnie Graham, Tina Morton, and Mendi + Keith Obadike), explore five institutions that were created or reformed during the period of the first Great Migration.

The Great Migration: A City Transformed (1916-1930), a project of Scribe Video Center, is supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Additional support is provided by the Department of History of Art and the Center for Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania.

Pew + Scribe


Improvement Association

dir. Kevin Jerome Everson • United States, 2016, 12 min.

Malik Hudgins, a long-time member of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) of Philadelphia Pennsylvania, talks about his life.



The Legacy of Migration

dir. Lonnie Graham • United States, 2016, 14 min.

The Legacy of Migration is a visual notation of the route of the Pennsylvania Railroad from its terminus at Port Charles, Virginia to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The video contains excerpts from interviews conducted at the Wissahickon Boys and Girls Club. The interviews were captured by student interns trained by Lonnie Graham and Julie Rainbow during a six-week oral history workshop at the Club. The inclusion of the interviews punctuates the visual journey that retraces the path of migration taken by thousands of African-Americans during the early part of the last century. This video is an introspective reflection of a metaphorical journey composed to suggest the meditative aspects of the DelMarVa peninsula.




dir. Kevin Jerome Everson • United States, 2016, 15 min.

Eason, part of the one-hundredth anniversary celebration of the start of the first great Black migration to Philadelphia Pennsylvania, is loosely based on the life of James Walker Hood Eason (1886-1923) a leader of the UNIA of Philadelphia.



When We Came Up Here

dir. Tina Morton • United States, 2016, 12 min.

Mrs. Adeline Behlin as a little girl remembers the exact date in 1944 she and her family fled from South Carolina. She vividly recalls The Philadelphia Tribune reporter coming to her home to write an article regarding the mob beating of her grandfather George Golston. When We Came Up Here by Tina Morton, explores the emergence of the ‘Great Migration’ from the migrant’s perspective and voice, and the vital role The Philadelphia Tribune played in the migrant’s daily life by reporting on issues and events valued by the African American community.



Standing at the Scratch Line

dir. Julie Dash • United States, 2016, 10 min.

Traveling between Mother Emmanuel A.M.E Church in Charleston, SC to Mother Bethel A.M.E. in Philadelphia, PA, Dash creates a cinematic tone poem about returning to sacred spaces of departure and return.



Finding Home: The Ruth L. Bennett Story

dir. Directed by current and former residents of the Ruth L. Bennett Homes (Chester Housing Authority), produced through Scribe Video Center’s Precious Places Community History Project • United States, 2016, 11 min.

The Ruth L. Bennett Home for Women and Girls was a safe haven for women and children who arrived from the South during The Great Migration. This was at a time when steel and ships rolled off the docks of Chester’s waterfront and job opportunities drew thousands of African Americans into the city along the Delaware River.  Ruth L. Bennett and 14 other women raised money to purchase a three-story building with nine bedrooms where women and their children could live safely while they navigated their new lives in the north.


On exhibit at the Slought Foundation (4017 Walnut Street) from August 3-12, 2016.

Sonic Migration
Mendi + Keith Obadike

Based on the echoes of life inside historic Tindley Temple and the hymns of Reverend Charles Albert Tindley.

Ancestral Correspondence
Lonnie Graham

Elders from the Wissahickon Boys and Girls Club and their stories of migration.