"Struggle & Hope" tells forgotten, multicultural story

Journalism professor’s new documentary on all-black towns premieres at Nevada Museum of Art in July

Spencer Nero and Darius Ford ride horses at sunset

Spencer Nero and Darius Ford ride horses at sunset in Rentiesville, Oklahoma, one of 13 all-black towns in the state that still survives

"Struggle & Hope" tells forgotten, multicultural story

Journalism professor’s new documentary on all-black towns premieres at Nevada Museum of Art in July

Spencer Nero and Darius Ford ride horses at sunset in Rentiesville, Oklahoma, one of 13 all-black towns in the state that still survives

Spencer Nero and Darius Ford ride horses at sunset

Spencer Nero and Darius Ford ride horses at sunset in Rentiesville, Oklahoma, one of 13 all-black towns in the state that still survives

Reynolds School of Journalism Assistant Professor and Reno-based filmmaker Kari Barber's new feature-length documentary "Struggle & Hope" will have its Reno premiere on Thursday, July 20, at the Nevada Museum of Art, following screenings in Cannes and Paris, France, and awards at the Accolade Global Film Competition, Broadcast Education Association as well as festival recognition.

"Struggle & Hope" focuses on historically all-black communities that were formed after the Civil War in a little-known effort to create an all-black state. The film mines the stories of the last-remaining residents of these towns, while charting their heroic efforts to ensure their town retains its independence, character and even hopes for a better future. The film provides a unique look into this fascinating and largely untold story of American history.

"This is a forgotten story and relates to the multicultural background in Nevada's own history," said Barber. "I'm so honored to be able to bring this story to my own community and spark a discussion about the importance of race and self determination."

It is Barber's first feature-length film as a director. "Struggle & Hope" premiered internationally in April at the Pan African Film Festival in Cannes, France. The film has won numerous awards including five from the Accolade Global Film Competition. The film has screened in festivals from Harlem to Las Vegas.  

Barber will be in attendance at the event and will participate in a panel discussion about historically all-black communities and African-American history in Northern Nevada. The panel will also include University of Nevada, Reno professor and historian Dr. Greta de Jong.

The production of "Struggle & Hope" was sponsored by Nevada Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Reynolds School of Journalism, the Puffin Foundation, Oklahoma Humanities and the Nightingale Family Foundation.  

Doors for the event open at 6 p.m. and tickets are available online at the Nevada Museum of Art website.

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