AS I REMEMBER IT: A Portrait of Dorothy West
As I Remember It was shot on Martha’s Vineyard Island between 1989 and 1990.
Francis X Coakley
Distributed by Women Make Movies –
Additional credits available upon request.
AS I REMEMBER IT: Portrait of Dorothy West Portrait of Dorothy West, is the story of an “upper crust” African American woman who became a published writer in the 1920′s.
Dorothy West was born in Boston’s South End, in 1907, to a former slave-turned-businessman, Isaac Christopher West; and Rachel West, the granddaughter of a slave owner and a slave girl. At the very young age of nineteen, Dorothy went to New York to receive a prize she shared with Zora Neale Hurston, for a short story competition sponsored by the Urban League’s Opportunity magazine. That trip opened to Dorothy the world of Harlem and the exciting movement that became the Harlem Renaissance. Dorothy West’s novel, “THE LIVING IS EASY”, published in 1948, depicts the vibrant life of middle class African Americans in the Boston of the early 1900′s.
AS I REMEBER IT explores this rich history through Dorothy West’s eyes and words. We see the Boston of “THE LIVING IS EASY”, the Vineyard of Dorothy’s numerous articles, and short stories; we relive her intimate memories of the Harlem Renaissance; travel with her to Russia; and meet some of those brilliant women who refused to be crushed under the double yoke of rampant racism and sexism. Weaving this story with extensive archival film footage, photographs, correspondence and news clips of the Harlem Renaissance, Russia and early Boston, “AS I REMEMBER IT” presents a story that is not only fresh but stimulating and enlightening.
WGBH-TV, September 1991.
First Place in the 1992 Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, Non-Fiction category; Gold Medal in the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s local programming competition; Honorable Mention in the National Black Programming Prized Pieces, and was nominated for an Emmy.