Resurrecting Love: Race, Reconciliation, and a Fight for Human Rights

from China Galland's Documentary Film-in-Progress, Resurrecting Love

click photo for more about Resurrecting Love

Because I’ve managed to keep earning a living this year, I’ve been able to say “yes” to at least some of the emails I get everyday asking for some financial help. I’m talking about $5, $10 or maybe even $30 once or twice.  As the brain scientists are confirming, giving does something similar to exercise in the endorphin department. Of course, there are still countless askers I can’t help, and that doesn’t feel so great.

I remember a story my wife,  China Galland,  told me about her experiences in India, years ago, when she would encounter large groups of beggars, many children, some disabled, all very hungry. It was physically impossible to give to all, even if she’d had enough money to. She was deeply troubled by the knowledge that no matter what she did, many would be excluded.

In fact, China has always been deeply concerned with the excluded. That empathy for those on the outside, at the margins, has informed her writing for years and is what’s driving her current documentary film project. Her understanding of her own connection to the “other” and her passion to express its meaning were among the many qualities that made me fall in love with her thirty years ago.

During the last ten years, I’ve watched her join a struggle to reclaim an African-American burial ground in rural East Texas, a place with a sad and shameful history of extreme and violent racism where her great-grandparents started a nursery business around 1900. I watched for seven years as she wrote a book that showed how the epic of America’s tortured racial history played out in what seemed to be a “small,” local story. I watched as our son Ben, a video director and editor, started shooting the lock-outs, re-entries, laborious cleanups and hard-won celebrations  at Love Cemetery and interviews with some amazing scholars, activists all over the country.  Having seen only a small part of the hundreds of hours of video that Ben and China are now editing, I’ve been moved, educated and inspired.

There’s still a lot more work to be done before the film can be completed and do its work in the world.  I believe that it can do a lot to bring us closer to the reconciliation that must happen if the U.S. is to survive.

OK. That’s enough from me. To see what I’m talking about,  please visit the Resurrecting Love Indiegogo site and if you can, donate $5 or $25 or any amount online. It is all tax deductible, but if you want to claim it for 2011, you only have another two days to do it!  If you can’t donate any money at this time, there’s still a lot you can do. Simply passing along this letter or the link to the Resurrecting Love Indiegogo site  in a letter or a tweet of your own, or “liking” it on facebook  is an important part of the effort. Whatever you can do will bring this documentary closer to being seen and can make the possibility of new understanding a little more likely.

Have a glorious, exciting, fulfilling and serene New Year!

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