In Production

The Pilgrimage

The Pilgrimage is a documentary film about the experiences of the Hicks family as they undertake a pilgrimage to Georgetown University’s campus and to the sites of Jesuit Plantations in Southern Maryland.  Leroy Baker is a religion teacher at a majority-white Catholic boys school in Metairie, Louisiana, who has to reconcile the historical sins of the Jesuits with his own deep faith and teaching mission..  His cousin Patricia Bayonne-Johnson is a retired school teacher and genealogist living in Washington state.  Their aunt, Onita Estes-Hicks is a retired professor of African American Literature living in Harlem.  Together, Onita and Patricia discovered their family’s connection to the Jesuits of Maryland years before the Georgetown University community began to remember its past.  Onita discusses the meaning of the pilgrimage with Fr. Greg Chisholm S.J., the pastor of St. Charles Borromeo.  Together, they explore the traces and remains of the experiences of their enslaved ancestors seeking understanding, connection, and the possibility of justice.

LeRoy Baker, educator, addressing students at Good Shepherd School, a Jesuit elementary school in New Orleans, LA.

A Girl Called Maringouin

A Girl Called Maringouin is a documentary film created in partnership with Jessica Tilson.  Tilson is a public historian and genealogist in Baton Rouge, LA.  She personally cleans and maintains the graves of GU272+ ancestors at Immaculate Heart of Mary Cemetery in Maringouin, LA, memorizing names and dates of birth and death.  In an effort to explain to her young daughter Jesslyn about the impact of Slavery on their family, Jessica creates a narrative about a young girl named Maringouin and a boy named George (short for Georgetown).  Jessica’s story, “A Girl Called Maringouin,” is an extension of her historical preservation work, using storytelling to bring alive the suffering, hopes, and fates of her ancestors.  By helping Jesslyn to understand the sin of Slavery, Jessica hopes to use the power of story to combat erasure, indifference, and injustice.

Jessica Tilson, public historian, Baton Rouge, LA.