ELAINE Launch Project

In 1919, black sharecroppers’ decades-long efforts to challenge debt slavery in the Arkansas Delta culminated in the nation’s deadliest racial massacre and labor battle. Out of the ashes came renewed efforts at resistance, deeply-influential music and one of the most successful socialist experiments in American history.

With contemporary parallels in Charlotte, Baltimore and Ferguson, ELAINE reveals an untold but seminal story in the continuing struggle for freedom and equality. A lyrical composition of Delta voices, archival materials, and the passionate tradition of the Blues, ELAINE is a portrait of rural struggle toward emancipation, despite brutal attempts to suppress it.