Directed By Sabiyha Prince & Samuel George
Produced By The Bertelsmann Foundation & DC Legacy Project
Length: 50 minutes
Take a right off of the Anacostia Freeway on to Firth Sterling Ave – what do you see? You see empty fields. You see new development just breaking ground. Construction equipment. Sweeping views of the capital. As one community member states in this film, if you are a developer, you see a gold mine.
But these empty fields hold powerful memories. Enslaved people once worked this land. Later, during Reconstruction, the formerly enslaved purchased it, and built one DC’s first thriving Black communities.
Here, the city built a sprawling public housing complex in the 1940s, beloved by insiders, if notorious to outsiders. Here, the movement for Welfare Rights took shape. Here, the Junkyard Band honed its chops on homemade instruments before putting a turbocharge into the city’s Go-Go music. Here, residents lived in the Barry Farms Dwellings up until 2018, when the final community members were removed for the redevelopment.
This is their story. Featuring folks who lived on Barry Farm over generations as well as some of Washington, DC’s leading historians, artists, musicians and analysts, this sweeping documentary tells the story of a community—one, like so many others in Washington, that risks being erased from the map.