Daughters of the Dust

  • Introduction

    Nadia Ellis, an Associate Professor in the Department of English at UC Berkeley, specializes in Black diasporic, Caribbean, and postcolonial literatures and cultures.


Alva Rogers, Cora Lee Day, Barbara O. Jones, Cheryl Lynn Bruce,

“There exists a fear of Black people using our culture to make statements in codes. It’s the modern variation on the fear that led slaveholders to take our drums away,” explained director Julie Dash. On a summer day in 1902, the Peazant family prepares to leave their island home off the Georgia coast and leave a way of life to which there is no return. With authenticity in every detail—including the Gullah language, with its syntax and cadence retentive of West African influence—Dash tells her story in the circular manner of a West African griot or storyteller, “the way an old relative would retell it, not linear but always coming back around.” A film experienced in sequences, from the perspectives of several generations of women, including an unborn daughter, Daughters of the Dust creates a fabric of universal themes: the conflicts between personal and collective history, and between spiritual and industrial life, and the strength of bonds between sisters, daughters, and mothers. In Daughters of the Dust, Dash creates her own cinematic codes, a challenge that faces all women filmmakers. 

Lisanne Skyler
  • Julie Dash
  • Arthur Jafa
  • English
  • Gullah
Print Info
  • Color
  • DCP
  • 113 mins
  • Cohen Media

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