A frank conversation with Kerra about how she conceived, wrote,
produced and filmed the movie The Black Madonna.
Haunted by visions of my ancestors at the bottom of the sea, I am learning to swim and dive to help black marine archeologists map sunken slave ships.
We believe our story can inspire others to learn to swim, particularly black people who have experienced generational trauma and racism in their relationship to swimming and open water.
Shot by Cassidy Friedman, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, the film creates
additional opportunities to spotlight the
incredible work of black divers and black, marine archeologists who are engaging in the sacred work of mapping the stories of sunken slave ships as a bridge between Africa and the Americas .
DATE: Friday, September 25, 2020
TIME: 6:00 - 8:00 pm
PRESENTER: Kerra Bolton
Kerra Bolton is a writer and documentary filmmaker. She specializes in personal narratives and character-driven, nonfiction storytelling to explore the urgent issues of our times.
An award-winning writer with a global reach, Kerra contributes to digital outlets such as: CNN, Sweatpants & Coffee, New Worlder, Building a New Reality, and Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel.
Kerra creates at the intersection of race, politics, and popular culture. Her article about Janelle Monáe and Beyoncé developing a new iconography for Black women was named in 2018 one of CNN’s top culture stories of the year. An article she wrote comparing Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time to a political act was translated in Spanish for CNN Español.
She chronicled the work of a clinic in one of South Africa’s seven Black homelands grappling with the HIV/AIDS crisis. Her newspaper series documenting the impact of U.S. immigration on Mexican small towns and cities won the New York Times Award for Outstanding Journalism. Kerra has also documented the efforts of a small, central Honduran town to rebuild after a hurricane devastated the area.
As a filmmaker, Kerra specializes in narrative change, which integrates documentary storytelling, community organizing, and interactive learning experiences. Detroit Rising is a five-part docuseries that chronicles Black-led efforts to repair harm, restore relationships, and build social capital throughout the city’s sectors. Return of the Black Madonna is a feature documentary that follows Kerra’s quest to learn to swim, dive, and map sunken slave ships.
Kerra’s first job in journalism was as an administrative assistant in the Photography Department of National Geographic magazine.