The 2016 documentary Little Sallie Walker takes its title from classic follow-the-leader game and tells the story of four black women who find pleasure, refuge, and power in childhood play. Unfolding in Alabama, New York, California, and Washington State, the film shows surviving life in America as black girls involved imagining and creating worlds of make believe through a range of play like patty cake, dress up, double dutch, tag, doll-making, hopscotch and hide-and-go-seek. In the the film, the central and supporting characters also highlight how play reignites memories and struggles with racial oppression, gender inequalities, sexual assault, and poverty. Little Sallie Walker is a story of reclamation as these black women recover magical rituals of play in a hostile society.
Interdisciplinary scholar, educator, and artist Marta Effinger-Crichlow is the author of Staging Migrations toward an American West: From Ida B. Wells to Rhodessa Jones (University Press of Colorado, 2014). A 2017 IFP JustFilms Fellow at the Made in NY Media Center, Effinger-Crichlow is also a Women Make Movies Production Assistance Program recipient, and a 2019 New York State Council on the Arts grant recipient for Little Sallie Walker. She received her MA for Yale University and her PhD from Northwestern University. Effinger-Crichlow is Chair and Associate Professor in African American Studies at New York City College of Technology-CUNY.
Presented as a part of Gallatin’s Black History Month programming.
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