Brunch & Discussion w/ Peter Rutkoff, The Language You Cry In
Over brunch, watch and discuss this remarkable film, The Language You Cry In, about cultural resiliency and survival against the odds of the Gullah people of the Sea Islands. A distinctive traditional burial song in the Mende language of Sierra Leone had been preserved by a Gullah family in coastal Georgia. When researchers visited the community, they were astonished to find that the local people knew all the words and could freely sing it, five generations after the Middle Passage. Filmed in both Sierra Leone and the Sea Islands, The Language You Cry In is also a beautiful story of transatlantic encounters among African people. A Mende elder suggests that “[y]ou can speak another language. You can live in another culture. But, to cry over your dead, you always go back to your mother tongue…You know who a person is by the language they cry in.” Peter Rutkoff is Professor of American Studies at Kenyon College and director of the Kenyon Academic Partnership. (Alvaro Toepke and Angel Serrano, 1998, 52 minutes)
Brunch will be inspired by Gullah food traditions.