May 30th

“Before the Trees Was Strange” will be screened on TUESDAY, MAY 30th in the Columbia High School Auditorium from 7pm – 9:30pm. The film will be introduced by Superintendent Dr. John Ramos and will be followed by a “talk back” moderated by Budd Mishkin (NY1-TV) along with film maker Derek Burrows and historian Khalil Gibran Muhammad.
This event represents a first in this community as it will be sponsored by an exciting consortium of our SOMA school district, local non-profit (The Community Coalition on Race) and local arts institution (SOPAC). 


“Derek Burrows’ autobiographical documentary, “Before the Trees Was Strange” is both a
courageous probe of racism where it is unexpected and a sweet, affecting
homage to the filmmaker’s remarkable Bahamian family.”

Gerald Peary, film critic, The Arts Fuse

Congratulations! It’s a beautiful and important film, full of heart and soul and intelligence.

Alexandra Anthony, Filmmaker - Lost in the Bewilderness

This is a stunning piece of work.

Merilyn Simonds, Author - The Convict Lover

“The footage is powerful and the narrative is meaningful.  As an anthropologist, I would happily show this film in my courses about race and the Caribbean.”

Amelia Moore - Anthropologist, University of Rhode Island