The Nine O'Clock Whistle
by Willa Cofield & Karen Riley
For years on Saturday night, white authorities in Enfield, N.C. blew a siren, warning Blacks to clear the downtown streets. This curfew was one of many demeaning practices used to keep the Black population separate and unequal. One fateful night, three days after the March on Washington, hundreds of Blacks on the streets of downtown Enfield refused to heed the blowing of the nine o’clock whistle.
The Nine O'clock Whistle tells the story of a dramatic cultural shift that rocked the segregated town of Enfield from 1963 to 1965 through the narratives of Willa Cofield, her former students, and current residents of the town. The video documents the racial indignities, segregation practices, and labor exploitation of the time.
The story offers a supreme example of how the civil rights grapevine grew from one small act of resistance in Enfield to envelope an entire region. The documentary brings hope, spirit and encouragement to those struggling to overcome entrenched, powerful, and oppressive forces.
Screentalk Umoja (Unity)
Screetalk Umoja is a free film screening and filmmaker meet and greet held the 2nd Saturday each month from May - September at Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield NJ. Films featured are produced by underrepresented filmmakers from Black, Latino, Asian,Female and LGBTQ communities. All films are curated to focus on issues and perspectives that will engage the audience, evoke thought and provocate change. Each screening is followed by an intimate fireside chat / q&a to help attendees gain further insight, inspiration and understanding of the filmmaking process.
Each session approx 2 hrs. Screening. Filmmaker Meet and Greet immediately follow screening