Project Announcement from Allison Hedge Coke

Friends, colleagues, supporters, heroes of mine,

Please come see my film/media/literature/music project: Red Dust.

I am documenting my father’s firsthand oral history of the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression and his leaving for WWII service. At 91, he actually worked during the era specific, as a migrant worked and day laborer in cotton fields at a penny a pound. This is not secondhand investigation or theory, this is the oral history and narrative of the day. He is a vital source, who has never enjoyed attention, or cameras, and is tremendous on film.

Additionally, he was so moved by the climate change, by the dust bowl that preceded it (rarely spoken of) and by his parents’ resiliency and ability to change, grown and shift (born in 1878 and 1882), and by his own remarkable journey, he spent his career following WWII as an environmental protection scientist creating a pathway for sustainability and preservation that was rarely achieved in the Native community in his era. He is a national bronze medalist in the sciences and his work is still cited at the UN, though he retired thirty years ago at the normal age of retirement.

He was raised with traditional knowledge, his mother was, literally, a healer and midwife, and he incorporated it throughout his career. He is a terrific storyteller and thinker and has much to offer to the discussion of resiliency and as a chronicler of the times Native experience has sadly been nearly omitted from though the best Lange portraits were of Cherokee migrant (cotton & pea) workers. Voiceless, they are our vision of that day. 

As my parents, and theirs, have always been the crux of my work dedicated to labor, to the environment, to preservation and protection of sites and tradition, to those held in institutions, to those suffering deprivation, to my active engagement in the world, and as my father taught us to withstand full-blown schizophrenia my mother suffered throughout our childhood, he is, for me, and many others, a real guidepost of insight into the philosophy of resilience, of change, of reason and his words and presence are worthy of preservation not only for the project but for all future audience ahead.

I have a dream team of all Native/Native descent film crew: Royce Sharp (Osage), Tvli Jacob (Creek), Shane Brown (Cherokee) and have a terrific editor as well, Vinnie Hogan (who helped with the pitch reel you can watch on the site).

Please investigate the project website, please speak to others who  care about oral history/literature from a timelimited viable source becoming film and books by a Southern woman writer. This is significant work for me and I need you in the project. I welcome you to join us in this historic movement and in the production of what is sure to be a great documentary.

Please watch this reel for more information:

Sgido, hawa, I thank you!

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke

Questions? Call 323-857-5857, Erin

Or email Allison