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“Anne Braden, Southern Patriot,” a documentary film about a woman from a white segregationist family in Kentucky who became a civil rights champion, will be screened at a Community Forum in Newbury Park on Saturday, Feb. 23.
Braden and her husband made national headlines in 1954 when they were charged with sedition and accused of being Communists after they bought a house in a segregated white neighborhood in Louisville on behalf of a black couple who could not buy it directly because of Jim Crow laws. Both families were subjected to violence and the house was dynamited. Carl Braden was convicted of sedition but the verdict was later overturned.
Anne Braden, who died in 2006, was a lifelong champion of racial justice and inclusiveness in her years as a grassroots organizer, journalist, educator and mentor to three generations of activists.
The 7 p.m. screening at 3327 Old Conejo Road in Newbury Park will be hosted by the Conejo Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Community Forum. A discussion will follow, to be led by panelists from three co-sponsoring groups: Lucky Lynch of Showing Up for Racial Justice- Ventura County, Shannon Lopez of Educators Doing Justice and Malcolm K. Oliver, Ph.D., director of Cal Lutheran University’s Master of Public Policy and Administration Program.
Anne Braden was hailed by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” as a white Southerner whose rejection of her segregationist upbringing was “eloquent and prophetic.” King named her as one of the few Southern whites he could count as allies.
Carolyne Ali-Kahn, who teaches about multiculturalism and social foundations at the University of North Florida, describes the documentary as a deeply important film in exploring racism, classism and paths to action. “Anne Braden highlights the notion that oppression is not someone else’s problem; whatever our race or social position, we are all implicated, impacted, and morally obligated to fight injustice,” Ali-Khan comments on the film’s website.
The forum is open to the public and free. Donations are welcome to help with expenses. For information, contact Randall Edwards through the church office at (805) 498-9548 or visit forum.cvuuf.org.