Never Been a Time (2016)

 

Separated by only 20 miles and 100 years, Never Been A Time seeks to uncover the common link between the 1917 East St. Louis Race Riot Pogrom, one of the worse in American history, and the 2014 racial uprisings in Ferguson, Missouri.

The documentary film, Never Been A Time, relies heavily on the assertions of Charles Lumpkins' book, American Pogrom: The East St. Louis Race Riot and Black Politics, explains the 1917 violence in East St Louis. Lumpkins emphasizes the political activity and community-building within the established black community of East St Louis combined with the voting potential of newly arrived and oncoming black migrants—threatened white powerbrokers and CEOs of industry, who promoted racial fear and the violence.

 

Film Clips

 

Don’t Agonize. ORGANIZE.

East St Louis: An American Icon

Judge Milton Wharton reflects on questions from millennials about police violence and the task before all generations.

“Don't agonize. Organize.“ is a quote from Florynce R. Kennedy, a 20th century American activist.

Dr. Charles Lumpkins sees East St Louis as a hub of 20th century greatness: a place that African Americans flocked to and the birthplace of many powerful, prominent African Americans.  

NOTHING TAKES OFF FROM NOWHERE.

HIDDEN FACT about RIOTS

Dr. Eugene Redmond is an Emeritus Professor of English at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville and was named Poet Laureate of East St. Louis (Illinois) in 1976, the year Doubleday Publishing Co. released his best-selling book, Drumvoices: The Mission of Afro-American Poetry. In Nothing Takes Off From Nowhere, Redmond recounts growing up in a prosperous and culturally dynamic East St Louis.  He has honored this legacy through his teaching, public appearances and writing.

The 1917 East St Louis Pogrom was labeled a ‘race riot.’  In this clip Alderman Terry Kennedy says, “Today, it has been portrayed that a ‘rioter’ is a young black person.”  Throughout most of the history of America a ‘riot’ and a ‘rioter’ meant something quite different. 


Spoken Word Artists Featured in Never Been a Time

Listed in order of appearance

JASON N. VASSER  
Jack-Salmon and Cat! 

GIA NELSON  
You Have the Power

DAVID A. JACKSON    
Our Testament

 

ANTIGONE CHAMBERS-REED
Untitled

CELILLIANNE GREEN
I am Perfectly Black

KATHRYN A. GORDON
I Need my White Privilege

ELYSSE PRICE
Red Streets

MALI NEWMAN
Kicking it on Canfield Drive

WAHEEED ADBUL MUHAMIN
Spilled Blood Never Dries

CINDY “JUST CINDY” Reed       
Beauty through Ashes: A Love Letter to East St. Louis


Community Members Featured

The documentary video Never Been a Time takes the one example of the 1917 East St. Louis Race Riot Pogrom to unpack hidden facts revealing the complexity of racism in all of America.  We uncover the links between the worse massacre in American history that occurred in 1917 and the growing number of recent police shootings of African Americans: from Michael Brown to Philando Castile. 

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CHARLES LUMPKINS

The documentary film Never Been a Time relies heavily on the assertions of Charles Lumpkins’ book American Pogrom: The East St. Louis Race Riot and Black Politics. Lumpkins expands on previous books written about the 1917 violence in East St Louis. In his book, Lumpkins emphasizes the political activity and community-building within the established black community of East St Louis combined with the voting potential of newly arrived and oncoming black migrants—threatened white powerbrokers and CEOs of industry, who promoted racial fear and the violence.

 
 

ANDREA BOYLES

Ms. Boyles provides historical context for policing in America. This provides an understanding of the contemporary intersection of race, class, gender, incarceration, place and policing.

ANDREA BOYLES

Ms. Boyles provides historical context for policing in America. This provides an understanding of the contemporary intersection of race, class, gender, incarceration, place and policing.

 

JOSEPH A. BROWN, SJ 

Born and raised in East St Louis Father Joseph Brown’s love of the city provides a solid foundation for compassion for the generations of residents.

JUDGE WHARTON

Judge Wharton offers a unique legal perspective because he was born & raised in East St Louis and served as an elected judge for many years there.  His measured countenance dissects all angles to the issues.

 

HARPER BARNES

Mr. Barnes has done extensive research through the eyes of a newspaper journalist. His interview with poet, scholar and long-time resident of East St Louis Eugene Redmond provides the titles of his book and for the video documentary, Never Been a Time.

  

EUGENE REDMOND

Eugene Redmond provided historical context as a life-long resident but also recited his poems dedicated to preserving the history of East St Louis and honoring the perseverance and of its people

ANDREW THEISING

EDNA PATTERSON PETTY   

REGINALD PETTY

KENNEDY BROTHERS

KENNEDY FAMILY

CHARMAINE SAVAGE

 Mayor EMEKA JACKSON-HICKS