NHSM invites you to screen the recently released documentary, Eroding History. The film tells the story of two Black communities on Deal Island that are in danger of losing their history and culture due to rising seas, and how they are fighting to hold on to what remains. It is among the few films that center Black communities at the forefront of climate change. Black communities often reside on the lowest land because it is the only land that was available to them. On the Eastern Shore, where everything is low, the lowest spot is a dangerous place. Indeed, many Black families have watched their land, and with it their generational wealth, become worthless, rendered useless by rising water, saltwater intrusion, and marsh migration.

The film is just under 30 minutes long. Afterward, there will be a Q and A session with the filmmakers. You can see the trailer here: https://vimeo.com/789821728Five-time Pulitzer Prize finalist André Chung, an in-demand news and portrait photographer, directed Eroding History. West Baltimore filmmaker and journalist Sean Yoes co-wrote and co-produced it, and longtime Chesapeake Bay chronicler Rona Kobell produced and also co-wrote it.

Filmmaker bios:

André Chung, director of Eroding History, is an award-winning photojournalist and portrait photographer. He is the recipient of the 2021 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for Domestic Photography, and the Baltimore Sun nominated his work five times for the Pulitzer Prize. In addition, he has received the George Polk Award and the Sigma Delta Chi Award. He was twice named the Times Mirror Journalist of the Year. Based in the Baltimore/Washington area, André is known for dynamic portraits and decisive moments, with an ability to get to the heart of a story and tell it vividly. Recent clients include Apple, The Washington Post, NBC News Pictures, and The Atlantic. André was one of a select group of photojournalists chosen in 2009 and 2013 to work on The Official Inaugural Book for President Barack Obama. André’s work is housed in the permanent collections at the History Miami Museum and the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.Sean Yoes, a native of West Baltimore, has worked in television, film, and newspapers during a career in media which has spanned more than 30 years. He has been honored for his work by Baltimore City PaperBaltimore Magazine, the Baltimore Sun, the Association of Black Media Workers, the National Newspaper Publishers Association, and the Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association. He is the former Baltimore editor and columnist for the AFRO American Newspapers. Yoes is also author of Baltimore After Freddie Gray: Real Stories From One of America’s Great Imperiled Cities. He is founder of The Black River Film Project, a production company focused on instructing, inspiring, and platforming the next generation of West Baltimore storytellers. His short documentary, Disruption: Baltimore’s Highway To Nowhere, was released in 2021; an expanded 60-minute version of Disruption is currently in pre-production. Yoes co-produced and co-wrote Eroding History.

Rona Kobell is the co-founder of the Environmental Justice Journalism Initiative. She has covered the Chesapeake Bay and its people for 19 years, beginning at the Baltimore Sun, then at the Chesapeake Bay Journal, and most recently as the managing editor for Chesapeake Quarterly magazine. She is an adjunct professor at Loyola University, Towson University, and the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, where she recently earned her Master’s of the Arts in Journalism. For five years, she co-hosted and co-produced a Chesapeake Bay show on WYPR. Her writing has appeared in SlateGristThe Boston GlobeThe Washington PostNational Parks Magazine, and many other publications. Her work has won two APEX Awards for communication excellence; one MARCOM Platinum Award for research-paper writing; the Lowell Thomas Award, Bronze, for national environmental travel reporting; the Rachel Carson Award for Women Greening Journalism from the National Audubon Society; and several honors from the Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association. Baltimore Magazine named her Best Bay Watcher in 2015. She has written and produced three films, including Eroding History. Rona was named a 2023-024 SNF AGORA Fellow at Johns Hopkins University, where she will continue to work on the topics explored in Eroding History.