WATCH I FREEDOM BAGS
FREEDOM BAGS
  • PRODUCERS Stanley Nelson and Elizabeth Clark-Lewis

Awards:

  • 1991 National Educational Film & Video Festival, Gold Apple
  • 1991 American Film & Video Festival
  • 1990 Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, Best Non-Fiction Film
About

Freedom Bags is the story of African-American women who migrated from the rural south during the first three decades of the 20th century. Hoping to escape from the racism and poverty of the post-Civil War South, they boarded segregated trains for an uncertain future up North. Having had limited education, most could find jobs only as domestic workers.

With spirit and humor, the women remember their tactics for self preservation in the homes of their employers, where they often faced exploitation and sexual harassment. After hours they relished their independence and enjoyed good times with friends and family. Their stories are interwoven with rare footage, still photographs, and period music to create a portrait of the largest internal migration in U.S. history. The film places these personal stories within the historical perspective of the Depression Era and the founding of Social Security and domestic unions in this tribute to the domestic worker. These were proud women who kept their dignity and sense of worth through difficult.