Valatie, New York
Body/Soul | Local culture | Soft news
18 February 2020 06:10PM
Barbara Reina

Documentary screenings continue to be scheduled around the capital region of the local documentary: BROUGHT TO LIGHT | Unearthing the History of an African-American Cemetery in Kinderhook, NY. The film has been hosted by museums, historical societies and libraries at 23 venues around New York State and Massachusetts since 2018.

Filmed in and around Kinderhook, NY, the documentary: BROUGHT TO LIGHT | Unearthing the History of an African-American Cemetery in Kinderhook, NY is now available on DVD and Blu-ray at the official documentary website:

BROUGHT TO LIGHT is a story of rediscovery, respect and change. In rural Upstate New York, the cleanup efforts by a few villagers of some stone markers in an overgrown field lead to the rediscovery of a forgotten, “slaves’ cemetery” in which hundreds of African Americans were buried during the 1800s. A portal to the past lives of Kinderhook’s lesser-known non-white population, the documentary explores Black History and the efforts of some Hudson Valley residents to restore respect to the Persons of Color Cemetery.

This one-hour documentary features the archaeological dig to place the interpretive sign, and a Ground Penetrating Radar Survey conducted at the site. Moving excerpts from the 2017 cemetery rededication ceremony and a dramatization involving oral history and the Underground Railroad are included.

BROUGHT TO LIGHT guides viewers on a journey through history as it relates to Kinderhook and the Persons of Color Cemetery. BROUGHT TO LIGHT is dedicated to those buried in the Persons of Color Cemetery and all who respect them.

Watch interviews with University at Albany Department of Africana Studies Adjunct Professor Dr. Roxanne Jones Booth, NYS Museum Bioarchaeologist Lisa Anderson, Curator of Historical Archaeology Michael Lucas, Columbia County Historical Society representatives, a TOP STORY report from Nia Hamm of NewsChannel 13, and highlights from Kinderhook Walks.

DVD EXTRAS show aerial views over Kinderhook and a photo gallery which gives a closer look at the poetic inscriptions barely legible on some of the headstones and markers at the cemetery.

BROUGHT TO LIGHT is produced and directed by Writer/Filmmaker Barbara Reina. “From the moment that I first visited the Persons of Color Cemetery, I felt that there was an untold story here. While BROUGHT TO LIGHT tells a factual story, lingering mysteries and unanswered questions about those buried in the cemetery remain,” Reina commented.

If you have a venue appropriate for a film screening, please contact:
Barbara Reina Productions, LLC

Here’s what people are saying about BROUGHT TO LIGHT:
“Last night’s screening was fascinating, filled with information about our community and the history we are just starting to explore. I was most impressed with the care and dignity taken within the film, but also with the questions that followed. I want to learn more. Thank you.”
- Local resident Mary-Eileen Cox made this comment on Facebook after attending the film screening at the Kinderhook Memorial Library.

“Excellent work on an important subject.” –Kinderhook Memorial Library Board President Gary Spielmann made this comment on a LinkedIn post about the film screening.

“I thought it was excellent, Barbara – never realized how large the slave population was right here in our own neighborhood – fascinating and certainly food for thought – it wasn’t really that long ago – something we cannot imagine tolerating today was commonplace and acceptable by ordinary people – so educational too – to learn the history of our town – and I loved the photography and aerial shots – wonderful! I hope you do more of these!”
– (Niverville, NY) Regina Rose, DVD purchaser.

The documentary film trailer was chosen as one of six across New York State to be showcased in the Archaeology Video Festival at the NY Archaeology Conference held in April 2018. Magazine articles on the Persons of Color Cemetery include the 2018 Spring Issue of New York Archives magazine and February 2019 issue of HomeStyle magazine. Both articles were written by Filmmaker Barbara Reina.

In 2017, BROUGHT TO LIGHT was accepted into the Columbia County Historical Society Research Library. In 2019, it was the first DVD to be cataloged in the new media collection of the Susan Cunningham Library at the Hamilton Hill Arts Center, the African-American Cultural Arts Center of the Capital Region. The documentary can be found in numerous libraries in the Capital Region, including the University at Albany, Columbia-Greene Community College, Ichabod Crane Central School District and Kinderhook Memorial Library.

A well-attended film screening/Q&A event was held on October 11, 2018 at the Albany Institute of History and Art (AIHA). Dates for 2018-2020 film showings at various libraries in New York State have been arranged. BROUGHT TO LIGHT has been approved for sale in museum/gift shops at AIHA, the New York State Museum and Columbia County Historical Society.

BROUGHT TO LIGHT was featured on a WOOC FM 105.3 podcast hosted by Talk Host Willie Terry in Troy, NY. https://www.mediasanctuary.org/podcasts/barbara-reina-on-brought-to-light/

The documentary is narrated by Boston-based Voice Actor, Coach and Artist Demetria Bridges. Known as, “The Voice with the Velvet Touch,” Bridges has more than a decade of professional voice-acting experience. “I was honored to be included in Barbara’s vision and a part of her process of discovering truth while building community. Narrating this documentary blessed me with the rare opportunity to lend my voice to the nameless while bringing to light the forgotten stories of my history as well,” said Bridges.

Long-time Valatie residents Amy Freinberg-Trufas and Charles Logan provided their talents as voice actors in BROUGHT TO LIGHT. Freinberg-Trufas is a trained actor, spokesperson, host and model who enjoys the process of filmmaking.

Freinberg-Trufas is featured in a dramatization recounting a piece of oral history connecting Valatie with the Underground Railroad. She commented, “I’m delighted to be involved with BROUGHT TO LIGHT by Barbara Reina. It’s an important part of our history and offers us an opportunity to examine our past and illuminate our future.”

Charles Logan is the voice of John Rogers, an Irish immigrant who set aside a quarter-acre of his own land in Kinderhook for what is now known as the Persons of Color Cemetery. “Being of Irish and African-American descent, I find this local history interesting,” Logan said.

BROUGHT TO LIGHT © Barbara Reina Productions, LLC 2017

Past Events
Kinderhook Memorial Library, February 24, 2018
Riders Mills Historical Association July 7, 2018
Albany Institute of History & Art, October 11, 2018
Troy Public Library, October 20, 2018
Cohoes Public Library, November 5, 2018
Hurley Library, November 10, 2018
North Chatham Free Library, November 11, 2018
Claverack Free Library, November 17, 2018

Newburgh Free Library, January 9, 2019
Germantown Library, January 26, 2019
Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library, February 1, 2019
East Greenbush Community Library, February 2, 2019
Brunswick Community Library, February 8, 2019
Roeliff Jansen Community Library, February 10, 2019
Albany Public Library/Pine Hills Branch, February 11, 2019
Elting Memorial Library, February 21, 2019
Kingston Library, February 23, 2019
Rensselaerville Library/Historical Society, May 5, 2019 (Conkling Hall)
Stephentown Memorial Library, June 6
Heritage Hunters of Saratoga County, NY, July 20, 2019
Stuyvesant Railroad Station Depot, July 27, 2019
Austerlitz Historical Society, October 19, 2019

Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield’s Public Library, February 15, 2020

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