Moscow 57 Restaurant Honors the African American Experience by Celebrating the Documentary, "Black Russians: The Red Experience"
Morgan Freeman said, "I don't want a Black history month. Black history is American history." Moscow 57, the new Russian Central Asian restaurant at 168½ Delancey Street in Manhattan, agrees and is honoring the African-American experience in Russia and the former Soviet Union by celebrating two unique and little-known chapters of Black history in the 20th Century.
First, the restaurant will screen the trailer for "Black Russians: The Red Experience," now in production, and host an event for supporters on March 20, 2014. Also, on display through March will be photographs related to the forthcoming documentary film.
"Black Russians: The Red Experience," a film by Yelena Demikovsky, is produced by longtime Spike Lee collaborator and multiple Emmy award-winner Sam Pollard. It tells the extraordinary story of African-American intellectuals who supported the Soviet Union in the decades following the Russian Revolution. While some visited the newly-formed republic and then returned home to share their insights, including the writer W.E.B. DuBois, the poet Langston Hughes, and the singer Paul Robeson, others-artists, agricultural engineers, political activists-left segregated America behind forever, dreaming of a better, more egalitarian life for themselves and their families.
The film, from Red Palette Pictures, documents the experiences of these 20th century idealists (many of whom were actively recruited by Josef Stalin as the hoped-for first wave of a global Black revolutionary movement), and explores the lives of their children and grandchildren in the United States and Russia.
Among those in the present generation interviewed for "Black Russians: The Red Experience" are the well-known Russian television personality Yelena Khanga and her compatriot, Moscow-based actor/singer Wayland Rudd, Jr., the son of the expatriate American actor Wayland Rudd. The senior Rudd emigrated to the Soviet Union in 1932. The film also features interviews with MaryLouise Patterson, a medical doctor educated in the former U.S.S.R. and now resident in Los Angeles, and Carola Burroughs, the granddaughter of American activist and emigrée Williana Burroughs.