Exiles in the Promised Land

This short video montage is based on footage and photos from my recent trip to Beirut, Lebanon. I was privileged to spend time with the people of Shatila, the Palestinian refugee camp in West Beirut. The trip ended with a talk that I gave entitled “Exiles in the Promised Land: New Orleans, Baghdad and the Quest for Home.” I am attempting to link the struggles of folks in New Orleans folks to those in the Middle East. My thesis is that one of the greatest sins of hegemony is the denial of home. Through the lens of the African American political and existential struggle in the midst of the American empire, I am trying to discern the similar crisis made manifest in the war on the people of Iraq and the Palestinian quest for home.

“Exiles in the Promised Land” has been selected for the Amnesty International Human Rights Arts Festival. Be sure to read Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou’s recent essay about post-Katrina New Orleans, “The Last Nail.”

Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou is the Senior Minister of Lemuel Haynes Congregational Church (UCC) in South Jamaica Queens, New York. He is third generation ordained Elder in the Church of God in Christ. Rev. Sekou holds fellowships with the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, The Fellowship of Reconciliation, and the Institute for Policy Studies. His forthcoming book is Gods, Gays, and Guns: Religion and the Future of Democracy.