The Emory News Center recently published a Q&A with Dr. Carol Anderson about her experience creating the documentary film, “I, too.” Inspired by Langston Hughes’s poem of the same name, Anderson’s film engages with struggles for citizenship and democracy in America through three pivotal moments of racial and political violence: the Hamburg Massacre of 1876, the Wilmington Coup of 1898, and Ocoee Massacre of 1920. These historical events provide illuminating context for the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 and its role in the history and future of American democracy. Anderson’s film premiered last fall at the Carter Center in Atlanta and has since been screened at Brandeis University and the Athens Democracy Forum in Greece. Read a quote from the Q&A with Dr. Anderson below, along with the full piece by the Emory News Center’s Susan M. Carini here: “‘I, too, am America’: Carol Anderson’s journey to become a documentary filmmaker.”
What is the genesis for “I, Too”?
The film is about patriotism and who is fighting for democracy. The folks who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 had a very narrow vision of democracy. They were trying to wipe out 81 million votes.
All the talk of the election being “stolen” centered on Atlanta, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Detroit — cities with sizable Black populations. Those with that mindset were intentionally linking theft and criminality with urban areas. When I think about the Black citizens of this country, I see a group of people who have always fought for American democracy, even when it has not fought for them. So, my hope was to shine an honest light on this battle about American citizenship and democracy.