New Jersey

Se Habla Aqui

Producer of the Work / Filmmaker: 

Produced by Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey and Scribe Video Center, Project Coordinator: Marangeli Mejia Rabell

Filmmaker Facilitator: 

Dave Kluft

Year released: 
1993
Length: 
13:20 minutes
Price: 

$20 for individuals / $35 for Community Institutions ie: libraries, schools, non-profits / $50 for Universities & Businesses

Buy this Video: 

To purchase a DVD please call 215 222 4201 or email inquiry@scribe.org.

Say bienvenidos to this video that lovingly details the work of Southern New Jersey's largest Hispanic human service agency. The Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey has offered a one-stop shopping buffet of holistic social services to members of the Camden, NJ-area Hispanic community since 1976. Staffed by bilingual and bi- and multicultural employees who have first-hand knowledge of the concerns of its first, second and third generation Hispanic program participants, HFCSNJ staffers and clients truthfully lay bare the needs, struggles and triumphs of its clientele.

Filmmaker's Bio: 

Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey (HFCSNJ) is a United Way agency based in Camden, New Jersey. For over 30 years, HFCSJ has worked to provide the region's Hispanic community with a broad range of culturally relevant social services and advocacy programs that promote and encourage empowerment and self-sufficiency.

Project Facilitator Dave Kluft is an independent film producer and the founder and director of the NEXTFRAME, the University Film and Video Association's touring showcase of international student film and video.

A staffer with HFCSNJ at the time she served as the video's project coordinator, today Marangeli Mejia-Rabell is the executive director of the Hunting Park Community Development Corporation in Philadelphia.

Lawnside: A Haven to Freedom

Producer of the Work / Filmmaker: 

E. Muneerah Higgs

Year released: 
1992
Length: 
20 minutes
Price: 

$20 for individuals / $35 for Community Institutions ie: libraries, schools, non-profits / $50 for Universities & Businesses

Buy this Video: 

To purchase a DVD please call 215 222 4201 or email inquiry@scribe.org.

This documentary, produced by a life-long resident of Lawnside, New Jersey, tells the story of the historically African-American town founded in the early 1800s as a well-known stop of the Underground Railroad. Using interviews with resident storytellers and footage of its prosperous, tree-lined streets, this video chronicles the history of a town framed by the memories of those who loved it. Since its completion in 1992, the video has been screened annually at the Lawnside Public School, among other places, where it is used as a teaching tool.

Filmmaker's Name: 
The Lawnside Historical Society & E.Muneerah Higgs
Filmmaker's Bio: 

The Lawnside Historical Society's mission is to preserve and protect the heritage of Lawnside, N.J., the state's only African-American incorporated municipality, by restoring the Peter Mott House for use as a museum and station along the Underground Railroad, the clandestine network to freedom for fugitives in the 19th century. The Society conducts tours of the Peter Mott House and provides speakers for groups and organizations. In December 2005, the New Jersey Council for the Humanities awarded Lawnside Historical Society a $3000 grant to create an oral history project.

In adition to her work as a videomaker, E. Muneerah Higgs is a veteran of the Lawnside Public Schools, where she works as a Social Studies teacher. She won the 2004 Mildred Barry Garvin Teacher of the Year Award, which crowned her the best history teacher on the elementary level in the state. That same year, she went to South Africa in the summer of 2004 as a Fulbright Scholar. Upon her return, she developed a curriculum for New Jersey teachers called "The Soweto Uprisings."

Press: 

May 15, 1992 - Philadelphia Inquirer, "Putting Focus on Lawnside and Role As Ex-Slave Haven", by Edward Engel

August 8, 1999 - Philadelphia Inquirer, "New Program Takes Films Out of Theaters and Into the Streets", by Daniel Rubin

Public Screenings, Broadcasts and Festivals: 

May 1992 - Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema (Philadelphia, PA)

November 1992 - Third World Newsreel exhibition series, D'Ghetto Eyes: Films and Videos by New Black /Asian/ Latina/o makers, at The Kitchen (New York, NY)

February 1993 - Camden County Cultural and Heritage Commission (Philadelphia, PA)

February 1993 - Lawnside Public School, first of ongoing annual screenings (Lawnside, NJ)

April 1993 - Lawnside Historical Society (Lawnside, NJ)

June 1993 - Rutgers University (Camden, NJ)

Best Kept Secret, The

Producer of the Work / Filmmaker: 

Directed by Muneerah Higgs and Produced with the Lawnside Historical Society

Filmmaker Facilitator: 

Julian Berrian and Donna Lee

Year released: 
2002
Length: 
23 minutes
Price: 

$20 for individuals / $35 for Community Institutions ie: libraries, schools, non-profits / $50 for Universities & Businesses

Buy this Video: 

To purchase a DVD please call 215 222 4201 or email inquiry@scribe.org.

The video takes viewers on a tour of the home of Peter Mott, once a safe haven on the Underground Railroad, for which he served as a "conductor." Mott, a free African American man, abolitionist and real estate entrepreneur, didn't have much by today's standards. But considered by 19th century mores, he was exceptional. And he risked everything to help enslaved Africans be free.

Filmmaker's Name: 
Muneerah Higgs
Filmmaker's Bio: 

The Lawnside Historical Society's mission is to preserve and protect the heritage of Lawnside, N.J., the state's only African-American incorporated municipality, by restoring the Peter Mott House for use as a museum and station along the Underground Railroad, the clandestine network to freedom for fugitives in the 19th century. The Society conducts tours of the Peter Mott House and provides speakers for groups and organizations. In December 2005, the New Jersey Council for the Humanities awarded Lawnside Historical Society a $3000 grant to create an oral history project.

In addition to her work as a videomaker, Muneerah Higgs is a veteran of the Lawnside Public Schools, where she works as a Social Studies teacher. She won the 2004 Mildred Barry Garvin Teacher of the Year Award, which crowned her the best history teacher on the elementary level in the state. That same year, she went to South Africa in the summer of 2004 as a Fulbright Scholar. Upon her return, she developed a curriculum for New Jersey teachers called "The Soweto Uprisings."

Public Screenings, Broadcasts and Festivals: 

December 11, 2002 - Part of Community Visions premiere at the Prince Music Theater (Philadelphia, PA)
July 29, 2003 &
August 2, 2003 - Broadcast on WYBE-TV's Philadelphia Stories, Season 3 (Philadelphia, PA)
2004 - Lawnside Scholarship Club Luncheon (Lawnside, NJ)
February 2004 - Lawnside Public School (Lawnside, NJ)
2004-2005 - Peter Mott House (regular screenings throughout the year)
January 15-April 25, 2005 - A 20-minute version of The Best Kept Secret was shown twice daily at the Atwater Kent Museum as part of its "Small Towns, Black Lives" exhibit (Philadelphia, PA)
March & April 2005 - Kent Atwater Museum (regular screenings)

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