What is it like to be Black in predominantly white "small-town America"? Through a series of interviews, Crossroads Stories uncovers how six Columbus, IN natives feel navigating life as Black Americans in their hometown.
Al Tucker, John Bundick, Celeste Nudi, Nia Omega, Ridge Harris, and Alfonso Wadholm each share anecdotes that are woven together to tell an overarching story. Through an emotional yet hopeful exposition, these Black community members highlight the racial disparities and routine indignities that exist in communities where being a personal of color is considered deviating from the norm. They graciously share their experiences of growing up, going to school, working, and generally living in spaces where they regularly feel like a subject to others, and how those experiences shaped their world views. A common thread is how Black parents have the added burdened of explaining and preparing their children for casual racism.
Additionally, those interviewed also offer what it's like to be Black in a small town at a time when the country's racial deficiencies have been put into sharp relief, and the frustrations of existing in a community that might be consider itself more progressive, and thus less likely to self-reflect on the racism experienced by non-white community members. The film also sits down with three community organizers who provide further insights into ongoing racial advocacy efforts, how they are affecting change, and ways in which anybody to contribute towards racial justice.
Crossroads Stories offers the opportunity to spark conversations about race in small towns, and how we can continue to make all of our communities better, safer places for everyone to live.
- Pastor Johnnie Edwards, Columbus / Bartholomew County Area Chapter of the NAACP
- Kimberly Easton, Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation
- Mikala Lomax, Showing Up for Racial Justice
FILMMAKER'S STATEMENT: "My Dad and I were discussing this, and we were both frustrated that the story we always hear is metropolitan. It's New York, it's LA. Those are the stories that are on the news. But what I really want to highlight is the Black experience. And not just the overall Black experience, but the Black experience specifically here in the Midwest, which is generally very different from the Black experience in the big city. That's the goal. And Ryan made it all come to life. I'm not a film director and can't edit and create and do what he can do."
— Alyse Tucker Bounds