The United States has always been a nation of immigrants. A new film shows how in the town of Shelbyville, Tennessee, longtime African-American and White residents are challenged with how best to integrate with a growing Latino population and the more recent arrival of hundreds of Somali refugees of Muslim faith.
Welcome to Shelbyville will be shown Wednesday, May 4 at 7 p.m. in the Boyd Hall Auditorium at Plymouth State University. The free screening is followed by a discussion led by Dr. Whitney Howarth Professor of History and Dr. James Whiting Professor of Applied Linguistics.
Welcome to Shelbyville is a glimpse of America at a crossroads. In one small town in the heart of America’s Bible Belt in the South, a community grapples with rapidly changing demographics. Through the vibrant and colorful characters of Shelbyville, the film explores immigrant integration and the interplay between race, religion and identity in this dynamic dialogue. The story is an intimate portrayal of a community’s struggle to understand what it means to be American. A trailer can be found here
Hosted by Plymouth State University and New Hampshire Public Television, Welcome to Shelbyville is part of the Community Cinema series. Using materials from the PBS series “Independent Lens” as a starter, participants discuss a variety of topics such as the tension between environmentalists and those who make a living from the land, immigration and genocide. The public is invited to these screenings and encouraged to engage in the conversation following each film. For more information about the series, call 535-2525.