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Land Acknowledgement

A person with two buns in their hair watches something on a large screen (blurry in the background) as we see them from behind silhouetted.

BlackStar Land Acknowledgement Video (2022)

“The original people who blessed the land were the Lenni Lenape or Delawares, the eldest nation of the Algonquian confederacy. ..Others would come to rename it — would claim it with their guns and their plows, their dreams. Africans came too — captive, but with dreams of their own.”

– from The Bombing of Osage Avenue, Toni Cade Bambara, 1986.

BlackStar was founded in Philadelphia, in a lineage of global anti-colonial struggle, on land which has been stewarded by the Lenni-Lenape people for centuries.

We call in our Black, Indigenous, and Brown ancestors, who bent time and envisioned a freer, more tender world for us — one that we continue to reach for.

We honor all Indigenous peoples and their lands, and acknowledge the ongoing genocide and displacement of Indigenous and Black communities. Merely naming the people of this land is not an act of repair, nor is it a form of decolonization. After all, decolonization is an unsettling thing. We use this reminder as an opening to consider ongoing self-determination movements of colonized people across the world. From Palestine to Puerto Rico and everywhere in between.

The violence inflicted on our communities is immeasurable and irreparable. Still, we gather in the spirit of generous and joyful exchange and cultural expression. As Toni Cade Bambara has shown us, through cultural work we create space for imagination, critique, gathering, pleasure, love and radical care.

Video Credits

  • Produced by BlackStar Projects
  • Voice Over Brandon P.
    Ciarra Lambert
    Ethel Cee
    Louis Massiah
    Priscilla M.
  • Writers Farrah Rahaman
    Imran Siddiquee
    Maori Karmael Holmes
    Nehad Khader
    Rashid Zakat
  • Footage + Music Red Blanket Singers - Topic (YouTube)
    Indigenous Peoples' Power - The Laura Flanders Show (Internet Archive)
    Fairmount Park , Philadelphia PA (Internet Archive)
    Now Is The Time - Jim Crum (Internet Archive)
    DNC Protests in Philly (Internet Archive)
    2017 BlackStar Film Festival Recap
    2019 BlackStar Film Festival Recap
    2021 BlackStar Film Festival Recap