Hayti: The Legacy of Black America





STATESVILLE, N.C. – Author and documentary filmmaker, Kelvin De’Marcus Allen will host a free screening and commentary on the documentary short, Hayti: The Legacy of Black America on Sunday, February 22 at 2:00 p.m. at Clark’s Chapel Baptist Church located at 806 Eufola Rd. The twenty-five minute documentary chronicles the historic African American community of Hayti, (pronounced HAY-TIE) located in Durham, N.C.

Founded by freedman following the Civil War; Hayti became a national model of a self-sustaining Black community prior to integration and urban renewal. In 1920, historian W.E.B. Dubois referred to Durham, specifically the Hayti area, as the “Negro business Mecca of the South.” What happened to Hayti and other self-sustaining Black communities is the subject of the film. Immediately following the film, Allen will deliver comments and engage in a Q&A session with the audience.

“There are numerous reasons why I believe this film is important, but perhaps the most important reason is that it provides clear illustrations of what can be achieved through collective work and responsibility, self-determination and cooperative economics,” said Kelvin Allen, president and CEO of The Beulah Project, Inc.

 “Much of the history of communities like Hayti has been lost or largely ignored, and that’s really unfortunate, because the economic lessons alone, if applied today could not only transform distressed communities, but also transform the lives of those living in those distressed communities, Allen said.

Allen’s east coast tour of the film began in North Carolina in 2010 and the film has been screened in churches and small theaters ever since. Audiences have warmly received the film as far north as Rochester, New York, and as far south as Atlanta, Georgia. The film was funded by in-kind donations and a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council.

For more information call (919) 824-9873 or e-mail: info@beulahproject.org.

About The Beulah Project

Established to honor the memory of Sadie Beulah McLean Allen (1920 - 2004), mother, missionary and charitable giver, The Beulah Project's mission is to empower people and communities through the arts, media and law. Born in Parkton, N.C. in 1920, Allen's life was a testament to perseverance and faith. Although Allen's own dreams were often put on hold or never realized, Allen's dedication to raising her family, her encouraging nature, and anonymous giving assisted countless others in pursuing and accomplishing their goals. Therefore, with that that spirit in mind, The Beulah Project is committed to creating and sustaining projects that empower people and communities as they strive to reach their highest potential. To learn more visit: www.beulahproject.org. 



About Kelvin De'Marcus Allen

Kelvin De’Marcus Allen is accomplished writer, producer and documentary filmmaker with numerous articles and essays to his credit. He has produced television specials and training videos for ABC affiliate station WTNH-TV, New Haven, Ct., the National Cancer Institute, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Allen’s career began in 1986 when he was one of only six actors chosen from a field of 500 to serve as actors and community liaisons in Los Angeles, Ca. for Kaiser Permanente and the Children’s Television Workshop, the producers of Sesame Street.


He is the author of the biopic “Looking Back to Move Forward, Reconciling the past – Liberating the future". The book is an authentic attempt to meaningfully gauge the effects of the past upon the present. In his unique exploration of selfhood, Allen risks it all as he divulges his family origins and breaks a socially-imposed silence with true stories that are oftentimes painful, heart-wrenching and haunting. Looking Back to Move Forward is a straight-from-the-belly exercise in purging.


Allen is also featured in Steve Peha and Margot Lester’s book, “Be A Writer: Your Guide to the Writing Life” the book focuses on proven tips and techniques to help young writers get started.


In 1992, Allen’s video documentary “Imagine If” won the Connecticut Higher Education Telecommunications Association’s Screening Room Award for entertainment programming. To his credit, Allen has interviewed some of the most notable names in Arts/Entertainment, including actors Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Spike Lee and Danielle Spencer-Fields, filmmaker Haile Gerima, filmmaker, director and author, Gordon Parks, gospel music great, Rev. John P. Kee, and up and coming conductor, Andre Raphel.


He is the producer and host of “Body and Soul” Peer Counseling training video, the National Cancer Institute’s national campaign designed to encourage healthier eating habits among African Americans. The interactive DVD is distributed nationally to churches and promoted on urban radio stations throughout the country. He is a writer and executive producer for the documentary film, Hayti the Heritage: The Legacy of Black America. The film focuses on the all-black community of Durham, North Carolina. Allen is also the host of “The People’s Studio” an internet-based radio program. 


Currently, Allen is the President and CEO of the Beulah Project, Inc. A not-for-profit organization whose mission is to create and sustain projects that empower people and communities as they strive to reach their highest potential. 


Allen is a graduate of North Carolina Central University in Durham, N.C.; and holds a Master of Arts degree in Leadership and Liberal Studies from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa. He is currently pursuiing a Juris Doctor degree at Charlotte School of Law in Charlotte, N.C.

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