Fundraiser Friday: ‘An American Nightmare’ Documentary Series Will Explore American Racism’s Roots

By Sameer Rao Sep 25, 2015

As contemporary activism brings the historic and systematic abuse of black labor into the public, organizations based in New York and Mississippi are crowdfunding to support an incisive documentary series that explores the roots and future of American anti-black racism. 

"An American Nightmare: Black Labor and Liberation" is a joint project of Deep Dish TV, a New York-based grassroots media organization, and Cooperation Jackson, a collective of Jackson, MS-based enterprises aimed at empowering economic diversity in the city; Kali Akuno, Cooperation Jackson’s founder, will be directing the documentaries.

The seven-part series will address evolution in segregationist policy and global economic practices that have devalued black labor in America over four centuries. The series’s Kickstarter page elaborates on these creative goals:

For over 400 years Black labor created vast wealth for settler colonies that became the United States. Slavery, convict labor, Jim Crow laws, segregation and the denial of high quality education constrained the life chances for the vast majority of people.  Black labor, slave or "free", was a necessary source of cheap labor to be endlessly exploited. In the 1950s and 60s the Black mass rebellion against this U.S. system of apartheid coincided with the acceleration of globalization and automation — the drive to secure cheaper and more compliant labor and means of production. Over time, this eliminated the dependence of US corporations on Black labor making it disposable. While other communities have also been effected[sic], the impact on Black people has been devastating.  

The crowdfunding campaign already raised just over $3,300 towards their $50,000 goal. Those who donate to the campaign in its next 43 days are eligble to receive, depending on how much they donate, a signed original full-color poster by trailblazing artist and Black Panther Party Minister of Culture Emory Douglas, books by acclaimed writer Devorah Major, and documentaries about worldwide liberation struggles, among other gifts.

Visit the campaign’s Kickstarter page to watch th promo video and donate.