Black ownership of farmland has dwindled to alarmingly low numbers. From Executive Producer Al Roker, Gaining Ground: The Fight for Black Land examines the causes, effects, and solutions to this issue.
In just a few decades after the end of enslavement, Black Americans were able to amass millions of acres of farmland. Today approximately 90% of that land is no longer in Black hands. Various factors have been employed to take Black land including violence, eminent domain and government discrimination. But it is a little-known issue, Heirs’ Property which has had a devastating effect on Black land ownership. Gaining Ground: The Fight for Black Land from Emmy Nominated Director Eternal Polk examines the causes, effects, and what is being done to fight the exploitation of this law and how landowners are reclaiming their agricultural legacy and creating paths to generational wealth.
What is Heirs' Property?
What is The LEAP Coalition?
Why is Black Land Ownership Important?
Connection to Land:
Why land is important for food, fuel and infrastructure?
News / Events
The Hayti Heritage Film Festival serves as the home for Black southern film and artists committed to preserving the wisdom, traditions, and solutions coming from Black Southern culture and identity. We're honored to debut Gaining Ground here this Friday Feb. 23 with a post-screening discussion featuring special guests: Eternal Polk (director) & Savi Horne (Executive Director of the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers, Land Loss Prevention Project). Click through to read more and reserve your free tickets. .
Gaining Ground: The Fight For Black Land continues to garner accolades and awards, recently grabbing the Platinum MarCom Award for BEST DOCUMENTARY, and BEST TRAILER at the Carolina Film Festival. But wait, there's more! Since embarking on its festival screening schedule in June, Gaining Ground has been recognized with seven awards throughout its Summer festival run. Click through to read more and to check out the festival award laurels.
From blogs to Black radio, Gaining Ground has inspired a good deal of coverage from those interested in not just the award-winning documentary, but also the issues the film spotlights regarding Black land loss. We are grateful for the various and varied coverage of this film and its journey as we continue to present it at Summer film festivals. Click through to link to the many ways Gaining Ground has been presented in the media and be sure to follow the film on Instagram for the latest news, events, and press links.
Fri. Feb. 23 – 6:30pm – Hayti Film Next Level Series – Durham, NC (includes conversation with Director Eternal Polk & Savi Horne- Executive Director of the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers) – info HERE
Thurs. March 21 – 6:30pm – Boston College Law – Heirs’ Property and the Racial Wealth Gap Conference – Boston MA (Q&A with film Director Eternal Polk, film participants, and Tharlyn Fox, Manager LEAP Coalition) – Info HERE
Meet the Filmmakers
In addition to being the iconic Emmy Award-winning weatherman and co-host of NBC’s Today Show, Mr. Roker is also an author of 13 books and is a multiple award-winning television producer. As owner/CEO of Al Roker Entertainment, Inc. (@alrokerent), Mr. Roker develops and produces television and film programming for broadcast, network, cable, streaming, and digital/social platforms. Al Roker Entertainment also creates trusted branded video content for the world’s leading corporations, brands, and nonprofits messaging the social impact activities and corporate give-back designed to help create a better world. Al Roker Entertainment is NY-based with offices in Los Angeles and Philadelphia. Connect with Al Roker on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Eternal Polk is a two-time Emmy-nominated director, writer, and segment producer with over 20 years of directing short and long-form projects including documentaries, music videos, branded content, & commercials. Intimate, nuanced, and intentional while placing subjects on a pedestal to display their humanity is how Eternal describes his directing style and mission. Eternal has served as a creative director participating in ideation and copywriting of client commercial and branded content spots, while earning Telly, Webby, Shorty, and Ooma awards. His work has been featured on HBO, FOX, ESPN, ABC, BET, VH1, and MTV. Gaining Ground: The Fight For Black Land is his first feature film as director and executive producer.