Descendant Documentary

A couple of weeks ago, Shelly and I watched the 2022 documentary “Descendant.” Produced by Higher Ground, the production company founded by Barack and Michelle Obama, “Descendant” tells the compelling story of the survivors from the Clotilda—the last ship that carried enslaved Africans to the United States—as they reclaim their narrative. We highly recommend this film.

For those interested in learning more, the official movie trailer is available, and further details can be found on both the official website and the English Wikipedia page dedicated to the film. The film is currently streaming on NetFlix.

“Descendant” highlights the significance of connecting with our personal, family, and historic community ties to our shared history of chattel slavery. For some, the legacy of slavery may seem almost invisible, yet its wounds and scars persist in the lives and legacies of descendants of both kidnapped and enslaved African-Americans and those who enslaved them. Engaging with this history, processing it collectively, and seeking healing within these community connections is the focus of “Coming to the Table,” a group Shelly and I hope to connect with in 2024.

I have included “Descendant” and other websites related to the film project on the resources page of the “Heal Our Culture” project, under the heading “Other Documentaries on Black History and African American Cultural Contributions.”

Our introduction to this film came through the “Confronting Whiteness” course we took online via Zoom in the fall of 2023. This nine-week course is offered by Myers Park Baptist Church in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina. We attended their annual conference in early February 2024. More information about the course and conference can be found at The book and curriculum for this course, “Participant’s Guide to Confronting Whiteness,” is available on Pastor Ben Boswell’s website.

Add this movie to your personal “watch list” or movie queue.

Descendant Movie Visualization
Descendant Movie (visualization)” (CC BY 2.0) by Wesley Fryer





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