Descendant Screening and Live Debrief

We are so excited to help bring a powerful new documentary, Descendant, to your classroom in partnership with Netflix and Participant! In Descendant, award-winning filmmaker Margaret Brown returns to her hometown of Mobile, Alabama, to document the search for and historic discovery of The Clotilda, the last known slave ship to arrive in the United States, illegally carrying 110 kidnapped Africans. The international slave trade had been made illegal in the US in 1808, but human trafficker Timothy Meaher made a bet that he could get around the law with his ship. Today, the residents of Africatown, just north of Mobile, count the Clotilda survivors among their ancestors.The new documentary brings their stories to light as they grapple with a growing spotlight on their community following the discovery of the sunken Clotilda. The film shows how events that unfolded more than a century ago continue to have lasting repercussions several generations later.

Register below to receive access to information and classroom resources about the film, as well as a link to join the March 10 live debrief of issues raised in Descendant and a discussion about how to talk about race in the classroom. This event is free, open to the public, and designed to start an interactive discussion. So come with questions and comments!

While the longstanding impacts of racism permeate our society, discussions of race are largely absent from our curriculum and have become even more contentious in today’s educational environment which has left many educators searching for strategies for starting constructive and open dialogue about race in the classroom. Join us for a panel discussion where you will hear from experienced educators and students about how to talk about race in the classroom.


Guadalupe Cardona has been an Ethnic Studies and Theatre educator for 23 years. She is dedicated to developing critical curriculum and culturally relevant artivism to transform the world by fusing community cultural knowledge with a focus on autobiographical counter-narrative. She currently teaches Ethnic Studies at Roybal Learning Center in Downtown Los Angeles.

Dr. Ndindi Kitonga is an educator, long-time community organizer, and houseless rights advocate. Ndindi grew up with a family who worked as counselors and educators in Kawangware, a large slum on the outskirts of Nairobi. Ndindi is also the co-founder of Angeles Workshop School, a radical secondary school in Los Angeles with a focus on democratic learning and class consciousness. In addition to her work in K-12 education, Ndindi teaches graduate courses in Black studies, teacher education, and critical pedagogy.

Kern Michael Jackson, Ph.D., is a folklorist with an extensive academic career in ethnography, oral history, material culture and literary folkloristics. He is currently the director of the African American Studies program at the University of South Alabama. Previously, he was curator of minority history for The Museum of Mobile, AL, and the project coordinator for the City of Mobile’s Tri-centennial Celebration Video Oral History Project. He taught for two years in the District of Columbia Public School System. Dr. Jackson served as a historian on the documentary The Order of Myths, directed by Margaret Brown. He has appeared in multiple episodes of an Alabama Public Television Series, Alabama Journey Proud. In 2020, he was part of Alabama Black Belt Blues, a documentary about Alabama’s blues music tradition, centered in its fertile Black Belt region. Dr. Jackson is a graduate of the University of Virginia, with a degree in English Literature and African-American Studies. He has a master’s degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison in African-American Studies. He holds a doctorate in Folklore from Indiana University Bloomington.

Julio Gomez, Emely Hernandez, and Sebastian Herrera are student leaders of Manhattan Academy for Arts and Language equity team and are also in the AP class.