Mark­ing race re­la­tions in the home of the Lib­er­a­tor

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - NEWS - By FER­GUS DEN­NEHY

LAST month saw Der­ry­nane House wel­come in­ter­na­tional guest Dr Wil­liam H ‘Smitty’ Smith as he pre­miered his new doc­u­men­tary, ‘An Amer­i­can Story: Race Amity and the Other Tra­di­tion’.

Dr Smith is the Found­ing Di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Cen­ter for Race Amity in Bos­ton MA; join­ing him on the day was Don Mull­nan, who is the Di­rec­tor of Hope Ini­tia­tives In­ter­na­tional.

A pow­er­ful el­e­ment of the doc­u­men­tary is its fo­cus on Fred­er­ick Dou­glass, an es­caped slave and the pow­er­ful in­flu­ence that Daniel O’Con­nell had in shap­ing his lead­er­ship of the cam­paign for Catholic eman­ci­pa­tion.

In ad­vance of the screen­ing, Dr Smith planted an At­las Cedar in the gar­dens of Der­ry­nane House, O’Con­nell’s an­ces­tral home.

This was to mark both the bi-cen­te­nary of the birth of Fred­er­ick Dou­glass and Ire­land’s sup­port for the Great Green Wall of Africa project.

The screen­ing was at­tended by rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the lo­cal com­mu­nity, Coiste Pobail, the Daniel O’Con­nell Sum­mer School com­mit­tee, Failte Ire­land, the OPW, and the Depart­ment of Cul­ture, Her­itage and the Gaeltacht.

The doc­u­men­tary was in­tro­duced by former Di­as­pora Min­is­ter Jimmy Deeni­han, who also fea­tures in the film, and was fol­lowed by an en­gag­ing ques­tion and an­swer ses­sion.

Photo by Michael Don­nelly

Chris O’Neill, Dr Wil­liam H. ‘Smitty’ Smith, Don Mull­nan, Di­rec­tor, Jimmy Deeni­han, and James O’Shea, Over­seer, OPW, Der­ry­nane House and His­toric Park at the tree plant­ing cer­e­mony re­cently.

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