Coal Black Voices is an intimate mosaic of images, poetry, and storytelling by the Affrilachian Poets as they give glimpses of life in the American Black South and Appalachian region. The ensemble of African-American writers challenge simple notions of an all white Appalachian region and culture while drawing on traditions such as the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement, and experiences of the African Diaspora. The poetry of the Affrilachian Poets celebrates their African heritage and rural roots while encompassing themes of racism and Black identity. In this documentary they give voice to the pleasures of family, land, good food, artistic community, music and transformation.
Coal Black Voices was produced and directed by Jean Donohue and Fred Johnson, with consulting producer Frank X Walker.
Watch clips from the documentary:
- Ricardo Nazario-Colon reads "We Raised You"
- Kelly Norman Ellis reads "Raised by Women"
- Nikky Finney "we have been oppressed, we have been repressed, we have never been suppressed."
- Frank X Walker reads "Kentucke"
- Crystal Wilkinson reads "Dear Johnny P"