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Folklorist’s Advocacy for Africatown Inspires Hope

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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
December 23, 2022 GMT

Award-Winning Film Descendant Named to 95th Academy Award Shortlist

WASHINGTON, Dec. 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Health equity and social change public affairs firm Langco + Partners congratulates folklorist, oral historian, and African American Studies professor Dr. Kern Jackson’s contributions to academic research, equity, and advocacy.

The award-winning film Descendant, which Dr. Jackson co-produced and co-wrote, was named to the 95th Academy Awards shortlist for the Documentary Feature category. His research illuminates the need for social justice, as the moral and political significance of Africatown is made visible by the first-hand accounts of community leaders.

The nominations for the 95th Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. The Oscars ceremony will be held on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at the Dolby® Theatre at Ovation Hollywood and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 200 territories worldwide.

Dr. Jackson played a pivotal role collaborating with remarkable director Margaret Brown, as well as Kyle Martin and Essie Chambers who produced the project. Executive producers are Participant’s Jeff Skoll and the late Diane Weyermann; Kate Hurwitz of Cinetic Media; Two One Five Entertainment’s Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Shawn Gee, and Zarah Zohlman.

“I’m so honored and humbled to be a part of a tremendous team and to join forces with Margaret once again,” said Dr. Jackson. “Making The Academy’s shortlist, and, most importantly, bringing the leaders of Africatown and descendants of Cudjo Lewis into the project, has galvanized awareness to this part of our history. Together, we give voice to the ancestors and people of Africatown,” he added. “While the film educates and celebrates the power and resilience of the human spirit, my hope is that the world stage will finally rise to face and rectify the on-going economic, environmental, health, and social injustices that inspired the film.”

Descendant follows members of Africatown, a small community adjacent to Mobile, Alabama, as they share their personal narratives and community history as descendants of the Clotilda, the last known ship carrying enslaved Africans to the United States.

“I love the attention the film is bringing to Africatown. The job though is not done,” said Emmett Lewis, a descendant of Africatown founder Cudjo Lewis. “Africatown still needs justice!”

The shortlists sweep across 10 categories, which includes Documentary Short Film, International Feature Film, Makeup and Hairstyling, Music (Original Score), Music (Original Song), Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film, Sound, and Visual Effects.

Descendant premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah in January, where it won the U.S. documentary special jury award for creative vision.

Netflix and Higher Ground joined forces to publicly distribute and release the film on October 21, 2022.

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SOURCE Langco + Partners