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We Have Just Begun (SOLD OUT)

January 19 @ 6:00 pm 8:00 pm

Black and white film still from We Have Just Begun showing a group of people walking toward a flaming white mansion.

The Arkansas Cinema Society presents the Arkansas premiere of We Have Just Begun, a documentary following the story of the 1919 Elaine Massacre and Dispossession.

After the screening, filmmaker Michael Warren Wilson will be on hand for an audience Q+A.

About the Film

Run Time: 77 minutes

The result of over seven years of investigation into the buried history and legacy of the Elaine Massacre and Dispossession, We Have Just Begun explores the continuity of exploitation and domination in the Delta from before 1919 to the present. The film assembles striking new revelations by descendants, recordings of eyewitnesses, and original research to portray a region and people brutally stripped of resources and autonomy to this very day.

We Have Just Begun takes its name from the secret passcode used by a Black union of farmers and domestic workers organizing throughout the Arkansas Delta in 1919.

Narrated by current San Francisco Poet Laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin, and featuring Ida B. Wells’s great-granddaughter, Michelle Duster, reading from the great journalist’s pamphlet, “The Arkansas Riot,” the film immerses the viewer in a community wrestling with its own legacy. It reveals previously untold layers of the episode, including buried documents and the actual motivations for the massacre and subsequent mass dispossession.

A lyrical composition of Delta voices, archival documents, and original compositions by musician Joshua Asante, it is a portrait of rural struggle toward emancipation, despite brutal attempts to suppress it.

Event Details




Performing Arts Theater
Doors open at 5:30 p.m.