Morehouse College

25 years later, writer-director Julie Dash looks back on the seminal 'Daughters of the Dust'

25 years later, writer-director Julie Dash looks back on the seminal 'Daughters of the Dust'

The year is 1975 and Julie Dash is a conservatory student at the American Film Institute. Struck with the idea to create a silent film, she began writing with the hope of doing “a historical drama that redefined African American women — in an epic sort of way.” She wanted black women on the big screen to look different and she wanted to chronicle the culture of her father, a Gullah from the Sea Islands of Georgia. “Because we deserved it,” she said.

But from script to filming, it took 15 years. After all, she was a black woman trying to do a feature-length film centered on a culture of which most people never heard.

“I think I came a...

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