Home movies as technologies of belonging and resistance

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Patton, Elizabeth
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Film and Screen Media, University College Cork
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This article examines the significance of home movies as tools of resistance and belonging, particularly for African American families during the Civil Rights era. Focusing on archival collections from the South Side Home Movie Project (SSHMP), African American Home Movie Archive (AAHMA), and the National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC), the study reveals how African American families, through their cinematic documentation of visits to national parks and other leisure activities, challenged prevailing narratives of national identity. Despite encountering rampant discrimination, these families captured moments of joy and relaxation, highlighting their resilience and assertion of their rightful place within the American narrative. These historical home movies are profound testimonials of Black identity, resilience, and belonging in the face of adversity. Examining these films enriches our understanding of cultural memory, national identity, and the role of African American home movies in presenting a more nuanced American history.
Home movies , Civil rights era , Tourism , Racism , African American
Patton, E. (2024) 'Home movies as technologies of belonging and resistance', Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media, 26, pp. 90-102. doi: https://doi.org/10.33178/alpha.26.06
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