Khayrallah Center for Lebanese Diaspora Studies News Calendar
Romey Lynchings Documentary Film Screening Premiere (SOLD OUT)
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This event is SOLD OUT.
“We wanted to tell a more complete story of immigration, one that recalls not only the hard work and successes of early Arab Americans, but also their struggles,” says Akram Khater, director of the center and Khayrallah Distinguished Professor of Lebanese Studies at NC State. “The Romeys encountered a rising tide of racism, anti-immigrant rhetoric and violence. Their tragic experience eerily echoes the realities of today’s America, where anxiety and fear of the darker ‘other’ is being replayed all these years later. We hope this documentary will engage and encourage a conversation about the current politics and policies of immigration in America.”
On May 17, 1929, Romey was shot multiple times and left to die along a stretch of road heading south out of Lake City to Fort White. He was the fourth victim of racial terror that year in Florida, and one of 10 people who were lynched by white mobs across the U.S. in 1929 alone.
Just hours before Romey’s death, his wife was fatally shot by Lake City police in their store. Their murders were the most gruesome and violent attacks on Arab immigrants in the U.S., but were not isolated incidents. Their killing was a part, and the culmination, of a widespread pattern of racially-motivated hostility, vitriol and physical abuse directed at early Arab immigrants who came to America to work and build a life between the 1880s and the 1930s.
In addition to the documentary, the Khayrallah Center has created a website for exploring the Romey lynchings. Users can watch a trailer for the documentary, read a full-length narrative, search through historical documents and explore how events unfolded on an interactive map.
A Q&A session will follow the premiere screening of this compelling 30-minute documentary, with Akram Khater, professor of history and director of the Khayrallah Center, and Susanna Lee, associate professor of history.
Free and open to the public. Parking is available in NC State’s Coliseum Deck (201 Jeter Drive), and is free after 5:00 p.m.
Those who wish to attend the event must RSVP by January 30, 2020.