Radio Times

The Contradictions of Fair Hope

March 12, 2013

GUESTS: S. EPATHA MERKERSON and ROCKELL METCALF

The Fair Hope Benevolent Society in rural Alabama was an organization that originally helped former slaves bury their dead, and aid the sick of transitional families in the late 19th century. It’s still an active group of elders, but the character of the annual Society Turnout of proud, male farmers, dressed in white aprons and gloves and ladies dressed all in white has turned to a so-called “Foot Wash.” This festival attracts gambling and the alleged open sale of drugs and sex, which has kept the Fair Hope members away. A documentary, The Contradictions of Fair Hope, directed by S. EPATHA MERKERSON, who played Lt. Anita Van Buren in Law and Order for over 15 years, and attorney ROCKELL METCALF, turns the camera on modern-day Hale County, Alabama, and traces the story of Metcalf’s family involvement with the Fair Hope Benevolent Society. The film looks at a possible future reconciling the younger festival attendees with the historic church-going members’ mission.

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