Filmmaker Pam Uzzell visits the Library to present her documentary film, followed by a panel discussion with local residents featured in the film. Welcome to the Neighborhood explores gentrification in South Berkeley through interviews with residents.
Welcome to the Neighborhood is a 30-minute documentary that follows the story of a Berkeley family, the Howards. Mable Howard, known to most as Mama Howard, came with her husband and children to San Francisco during World War II to work in the shipyards of Hunter's Point. They soon joined the growing community of African Americans in South Berkeley. Prior to her death in 1994, Mable Howard spearheaded many significant political and community projects. Her lawsuit against BART in 1968 forced the transit agency to underground the trains that traveled through her neighborhood, preventing the division of the black and white sections of town by a set of tracks. Her daughter, Mildred Howard, an internationally renowned artist, grew up believing she could accomplish anything. Her work, which includes many public artworks in the Bay Area, reframes history to tell the stories of those who are overlooked. Today there is one thing that Mildred Howard cannot do-afford to continue living in Berkeley. When her landlord raises her rent by fifty percent, Howard comes to terms with leaving the city that has been her home for nearly seventy years.
Pam Uzzell (director/producer) is an independent documentary filmmaker based in Berkeley, California. A graduate of Brown University (B.A.) and San Francisco State (M.F.A. in Film), Uzzell has worked on over twenty feature films in postproduction. Her feature film, Unearthing the Dream (2012), won Best Documentary at the Arkansas Black Independent Film Festival as well as an Indie Award of Merit and was featured on Arkansas Educational Television Network as part of its Independent Producer Series.
This event is a part of the Tarea Hall Pittman Social Justice Series, honoring the legacy of Ms. Pittman's social justice activism that positively affected the lives of people in California. Programs bring awareness to and promote discussions about human rights, social privilege and equal opportunity.