5 Provocative New Films From the Southern Foodways Alliance

May 1963: Tougaloo College students stage a sit-in at the Woolworth's lunch counter in Jackson, MS. © Fred Blackwell
By Chelsea Morse Posted February 18, 2015

While everyone is getting caught up on the Oscar contender movies, we’re engrossed in Counter Histories, a series of five new short films produced by the Southern Foodways Alliance in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. 

While everyone is getting caught up on the Oscar contender movies in preparation for the awards ceremony this week, we’re engrossed in five new short films produced by the Southern Foodways Alliance, which has just released the film series Counter Histories in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. The films explore the historic moment of restaurant desegregation in the American South in the 1960s, nodding at the ongoing relevance of civil disobedience in social movements today. The SFA website features an interactive timeline chronicling the slew of sit-ins at diners, luncheonettes and department stores between 1957 and 1964, the major moments around which the films are centered. Each film is available for viewing on the Southern Foodways Alliance’s website here, as well as at two upcoming screenings:

Feb. 20, 7 p.m.
Underexposed Film Festival
Rock Hill, SC
The longer version of Counter Histories: Rock Hill will make its world premiere as part of this film festival and its focus on Black History Month.

Feb. 24, 7 p.m.
Culinary Historians of the Piedmont
Flyleaf Books
Chapel Hill, NC
Filmmaker Kate Medley will present an overview of the project and screen some of the films. Jesse Paddock (lead filmmaker of Counter Histories: Durham) will be present, along with Durham movement veteran Virginia Williams.

For more information, visit the SFA website.

Related: Best Southern Food in the US
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America's Best Diners

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