This Belongs To Us

Rocky Mount, North Carolina | Film Feature

Documentary

Atinuke Akintola Diver

1 Campaigns | North Carolina, United States

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This campaign raised $22,530 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

164 supporters | followers

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THIS BELONGS TO US chronicles the stories of Black women brewers in the American south and explores their journeys of reclamation and revival as they navigate the predominantly white-, male-dominated landscape of beer in the United States.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

Following the journey of Black women beer brewers in the US South, THIS BELONGS TO US will explore the question of how a craft and tradition that began in Africa in the East became synonymous with White, male, blue-collar identity in the United States.

The Story

If one were to distill white American masculinity into a single beverage, it's hard not to imagine a silver can plucked from an ice-thick cooler, beads of condensation glistening down its length -- or a sturdy, frosted mug, brimming with an amber draught whose foamy head streams golden down its side. When it comes to embodying white, male, American identity, as far as beverages go, beer has set the bar. But the practice of brewing beer is as old as human civilization. And while a look at the modern craft brewing industry in the U.S. wouldn't suggest it, brewing beer began with women, who originated the practice in the parts of the world we now refer to as Africa and the East.

In recent years, the craft beer industry has exploded. Today, craft beer accounts for roughly 25% of the total U.S. beer market and generates $29.3 billion dollars every year. At the epicenter of the industry in the American South is the State of North Carolina, whose breweries contribute over $9 billion annually to North Carolina's economy. And while the State boasts over 300 breweries -- the most of any state in the American South -- only two are owned by Black brewers.

THIS BELONGS TO US is about them. Following the journey of one of these brewers, Briana Brake, CEO of Spaceway Brewing in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, THIS BELONGS TO US chronicles the journey of Black women craft brewers in North Carolina and explores how an art form and craft that began in Africa and the East became synonymous with White, male, blue-collar identity in the United States.  THIS BELONGS TO US will cover the historical, systemic and current barriers faced by Black-owned breweries in general, as well as in particular for a Black, woman/female brewer in the American South, Eastern North Carolina, and explore Briana's decision to name her brewery Spaceway as an homage to afrofuturism and her Durham, North Carolina upbringing.

THIS BELONGS TO US will weave interviews, verite scenes, archival footage, and animation together to tell the untold story of race and beer. From beer's cultural misappropriation and the gentrification that accompanies craft brewery openings, to the influence of religion on alcohol consumption in the Black community and the ongoing debate over whether beer is a tool of oppression or liberation, THIS BELONGS TO US takes a fresh, relevant, unflinching look at America's favorite beverage.

Hey ya'll -- it's Tinu, the Director of THIS BELONGS TO US (I'm the Black woman in the blue dress and blue mask pointing at Briana Blake (center), CEO of Spaceway Brewing in Rocky Mount, North Carolina).

I'm passionate about sharing the stories of the communites that I'm connected to -- communities that have shaped me as a person, and that hold me accountable as an artist. I'm also committed to supporting as many Southern, Black and Brown filmmakers, artists and creatives as possible through this project.

THIS BELONGS TO US was really an epiphany that came to me when I noticed how craft beer and the culture that surrounds it -- like many American traditions -- failed to acknowledge the legacy and contributions of Black and Brown people. The first professional beer brewer I ever met was a Black, African man. I grew up with an Afro-centric orientation to the history and practice of beer brewing as the daughter of Nigerian immigrants and the granddaughter of a woman who brewed and sold a fermented drink made from local grain to neighbors in her village. In my work as a Community Organizer in Durham, NC, I grew to recognize breweries as reliable canaries in the coal mine of gentrification. Many breweries are located in, or in close proximity to, historically Black and Brown communities experiencing rapid growth and economic exclusion. And they attract a customer base that looks very different from their surrounding community. So I began to wonder: "How did this happen? This tradition is so Black...how did it get so white? And why do Black folks have to fight for recognition and legitiamcy in a space that's been theirs all along?"

Due to the impacts of COVID-19, we've had to push out our production schedule, keep our crew size to a minimum on shoot days, and limit our travel for interviews.  

All the money that we raise will go towards a local, NC-based film crew; equipment rentals; local travel expenses; and archival research. Our goal is to raise $15,000 in 45 days and we have stretch goals of $20K and $25K. 

Thanks for the support y'all!

-AOD

Wishlist

Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Nothing About Us Without Us | NC-Based Crew

Costs $8,000

We're committed to building the ecosystem of artist in the South.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Archival Research

Costs $2,500

We know a big part of this project will be education about the history of race & beer in the US.

Equipment Rentals

Costs $2,500

We want to be ready for any situation that arises while making a documentary during a pandemic!

Graphic Design

Costs $2,000

We're excited to start work with an AMAZING local graphic designer to create TBTU's visual style.

About This Team

 

Atinuke Diver: Director 

Grounded in the spirit of Charles Hamilton Houston’s adage that a lawyer is either a social engineer or a social parasite, Atinuke “Tinu” Akintola Diver grounds her creative, legal, and community practices in ways that seek to build and regenerate, rather than to purely extract and exploit.

A first-generation American and the daughter of Nigerian immigrants, Tinu was born in Boston, Massachusetts, raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland and currently resides with her family in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is a graduate of the Creative Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earned her Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina School of Law, a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of North Carolina School of Social Work, and a Certificate in Documentary Arts from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.

Tinu is Co-Director of the short documentary film QUILT JOURNEYS, Co-Producer the short audio documentary, MASTERPIECE, and Director/Producer of the short documentary 98.

 

Ezra Baeli-Wang: Writer

Ezra is a speechwriter, poet, and essayist working in politics, AAPI leadership, and LGBTQ+ activism in athletics. His commitment and approach to writing stems from his experiences as a poet and the mixed-race child of a queer parent and a first-generation immigrant parent. He is the recipient of the Ruth Stone Poetry Prize, and his writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the Best New Poets award. 

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