A poetic investigation of Black inheritance, trauma, and generational wisdom in “After Sherman” on POV – June 26 at 10 pm

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“After Sherman”

Monday, June 26 at 10 pm


two black men looking opposite directions off cameraGeorgetown, South Carolina is a community deeply rooted in Gullah culture, from coastal Southern recipes to incantations for survival. Filmmaker Jon-Sesrie Goff spent childhood summers there soaking up stories told on his grandmother’s porch. He grew up determined to explore his relationship with his father and the history of African people on the land, to investigate the cultural and spiritual rituals that banded people together. On June 17th, 2015, Jon spoke to his parents as they were on their way to lead a quarterly meeting at Mother Emanuel church. Within several hours, nine parishioners had been shot dead including Reverend Pinckney. His parents unharmed, Jon’s father was appointed interim pastor of Emanuel AME Church in the aftermath of the shooting. In a state of shock, he began to create After Sherman, a film about his community’s collective American inheritance.

Both a history lesson and a visual survey, After Sherman is a reclamation of space and acknowledgment of spatial tension. Structured around Jon’s journey to tell a personal story of national significance, this is a film about being present in a corner of the American South that is often forgotten except in moments of violence. The film speaks to intergenerational questions between the post-civil rights and civil rights generations. Rather than depicting Black subjects as at the whim of violent forces, After Sherman documents the imparting of wisdom between generations of African Americans on how to survive not just materially, but spiritually.