South Professor's 'Descendant' Premieres at Sundance Film Festival


Posted on January 18, 2022
Marcomm


Dr. Kern Jackson, director of USA's African American Studies program, co-wrote and co-produced the film "Descendant" premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT. data-lightbox='featured'
Dr. Kern Jackson, director of USA's African American Studies program, co-wrote and co-produced the film "Descendant" premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT.

University of South Alabama’s Dr. Kern Jackson, director of African American Studies, will be recognized at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, held from Jan. 20 – 30 in Park City, Utah, for his powerful contributions to “Descendant,” a film about the 2019 discovery of the last known, illegal slave ship Clotilda and Africatown, a historic community founded by descendants of the vessel and African Americans in Mobile. The documentary will premiere on Jan. 22 at The Ray Theatre as part of the US Documentary Competition at Sundance.

“All of our progenitors are helping to reveal this narrative of resilience,” said Jackson. “It is an honor to be a part of this communal process. As a Folklorist, my preoccupation is with the nuances, the nooks and crannies of culture, and that is my inspiration for what I have brought to this film.

“Knowing your roots is empowering for all of us,” he added. “I am so excited to represent this film and the University at Sundance.”

The discovery of Clotilda is an invitation to discuss our past. The film examines the imbalance of power that still exists between the residents of Africatown and the power structures that are the legacy of the man who chartered the vessel.

Jackson is a co-writer and co-producer of the film, which is directed by award-winning filmmaker Margaret Brown. She, along with executive producers Kyle Martin and Essie Chambers, and producers Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann and Kate Hurwitz, as well as Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Shawn Gee and Zarah Zolman from Two One Five Entertainment brought “Descendant” to life.

“We’re all very proud of Dr. Jackson and his phenomenal work on 'Descendant,'” said Jo Bonner, president of the University of South Alabama. “He’s poured so much into this film and it’s our hope that his work inspires curiosity and drives us to unearth more lost chapters of African American history.”

For more information on “Descendant” and this year’s Sundance Film Festival, please visit www.sundance.org.

UPDATE: 

The feature documentary "Descendant" won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award: Creative Vision at the Sundance Film Festival. Netflix purchased its worldwide rights and Higher Ground, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s production company, will present the film alongside Netflix.


Share on Social Media

Archive Search

Latest University News

  • Dr. Todd R. Andel in front of the School of Computing at the University of South Alabama.  The school is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

    Andel Named Computing Dean  
    January 26, 2023

    Dr. Todd R. Andel will lead the University of South Alabama School of ...
  • Snehal Adekar used an industry downturn caused COVID-19 as an opportunity to change course, leaving her job as a flight attendant to continue her education at the University of South Alabama Mitchell College of Business.

    Business Class  
    January 19, 2023

    A former flight attendant from India stops circling the globe and star...
  • Dr. Khaldoon Nusair, the new department head for Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of South Alabama, said the future of South's program includes specializations in the major. Here, Nusair stands in the middle of downtown Mobile's entertainment district – a popular draw for both locals and tourists with restaurants, music and event venues, and lodging.

    New Host For Hospitality  
    January 19, 2023

    Dr. Khaldoon Nusair, an internationally recognized marketing scholar, ...
  • Screen grab of the holiday video card.

    Holiday Greetings  
    December 19, 2022

    The University of South Alabama and Jo and Janée Bonner wish ...