CCDP to discuss racial inequality, breast-feeding at film screening Friday

Carter County Drug Prevention Director Jilian Reece said the organization was one of the few in the country film Director Elizabeth Bayne selected to screen the documentary. Only a select few organizations received this chance.

“This is exciting for us,” Reece said.

The documentary, she said, is a way to take a closer look at racial inequality in East Tennessee through the lenses of specific topics.

“This gives an opportunity to see racial injustices in communities,” Reece said.

The documentary, Chocolate Milk, talks about the stigmas surrounding breast-feeding in American culture, particularly the stronger reactions towards the act among African-American women.

Reece said screening the documentary is a way to truly examine the stigmas surrounding the topic, as well as discussing some of the racial implications of the practice within certain racial groups.

For many slaves back then, for example, African-American women often breast-fed the children of white slave owners.

“We want to work through things that have been passed down generation to generation,” she said.

For those concerned about the potentially graphic subject matter, Reece said this is not a concern, as the movie is family-friendly. In fact, CCDP is hosting a screening event for the whole community to take part in, along with refreshments.

“We felt like doing this is an opportunity for families to hang out,” Reece said. “It is a family-friendly movie.”

The documentary follows three women, Tami, Racha and Lydia, through their journeys through breast-feeding and teaching others about breast-feeding, as they deal with the misinformation they received about the practice growing up and the stigmas and discrimination they received over the course of their lives as a result.

Reece said the screening is a kind of “pre-game” for a Maternal Health Forum CCDP plans to host in late August.

“We want to empower and educate the providers in our community,” she said. “This will allows us to start talking about it.”

The screening will take place at 7 p.m. at the Douglas Community Park on Friday, August 2. Those looking for more information about the movie or the screening can contact Reece at 423-342-8008.

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