Oct. 4, 2023


Leha Byrd

ECSU Communications and Marketing  

Email or 252.335.8745

A film screening followed by a panel discussion about the documentary “Silver Dollar Road” is scheduled for 6 p.m., Oct. 5 at the Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) Mickey L. Burnim Fine Arts Center. The screening is part of an Amazon MGM Studios “This Is Our Land” social impact initiative, designed to educate and inspire action to protect Black landowners, according to an Amazon press release.   

The documentary, based on the 2019 ProPublica article, highlights the ways the legal system is exploited to limit land ownership in the Black community, which further contributes to the racial wealth gap. The documentary follows the story of the Reels family, as told by the matriarch Mamie Reels Ellison and her niece, Kim Renee Duhon, as they defend their rights and fight to protect their ancestors’ land, according to an Amazon press release.

The campaign features a nationwide tour, which engages Black history museums, libraries, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). ECSU is among several HBCUs serving as tour stops, including Southern University and A&M College and North Carolina Central University (NCCU). The inclusion of ECSU is particularly significant, given its proximity to Beaufort, N.C., where the featured family’s land is located.

The event panelists are ECSU Assistant Professor and Coordinator of History Latif Tarik, Ph.D., ECSU NAACP President and Computer and Electrical Engineering Major Cameron Sheard, ECSU History Major Inayiah Britt and Chief Editor for the ECSU student newspaper, The Compass, and English Major Kristen Bannerman, who will serve as the moderator.

"Silver Dollar Road" debuts in select theaters Oct. 13 and begins streaming globally on Prime Video Oct. 20. More information about the documentary and the Reels family can be found here. The event is free, but an RSVP is required.


Elizabeth City State University provides students with a high-quality, affordable education as one of North Carolina’s leading four-year public institutions that is part of the University of North Carolina System. ECSU develops leaders who are courageous, resilient, and empowered through excellent student-centered, experiential learning. We offer baccalaureate, professional, and master’s degrees across a wide variety of interests. Excellence is the standard at Elizabeth City State University – success is our legacy. Come to Discover. Leave to Conquer. Visit