Banished | Chicago Reader

Banished

Video maker Marco Williams (Two Towns of Jasper) exposes the racial cleansing of the American south, revisiting three towns that violently expelled blacks and redistributed their land to whites in the early 20th century. One black family returns to Forsyth, Georgia, to pore over county records and follow the property deeds back to the theft of their land; two other descendants arrive in Pierce City, Missouri, to shame the local government into exhuming their great-grandfather. Two of the towns—Pierce City and Harrison, Arkansas—were still 97 percent white at the last census, but residents consider themselves generations removed from any crime, and the idea of making financial reparations to the descendants meets with courtly demurrals. 88 min.

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