This screening is cosponsored by the
Dallas Peace & Justice Center
A Man Named Pearl tells the inspiring story of self-taught topiary artist Pearl Fryar. It offers a message that speaks to respect for both self and others, and shows what one person can achieve when he allows himself to share the full expression of his humanity. —Anonymous
From the filmmakers:
A MAN NAMED PEARL tells the inspiring story of self-taught topiary artist Pearl Fryar, whose unlikely journey to national prominence began with a bigoted remark. In 1976, Pearl took a job in a can factory in Bishopville, South Carolina. New to this rural southern town, he and his wife Metra looked at a house for sale in an all-white neighborhood. The Fryars’ real estate agent was notified by neighbors in the prospective neighborhood that a black family was not welcome. A homeowner voiced the collective concern: “Black people don’t keep up their yards.”
Pearl was stung by the racial stereotype. But rather than become angry and embittered, it motivated him to prove that misguided man wrong. Pearl bought a house in a “black” neighborhood and began fashioning a garden that would attract positive attention. His goal was modest, but clear: to become the first African-American to win Bishopville’s “Yard of the Month” award.
Realizing he would have to do something spectacular to impress the Bishopville garden club, Pearl began cutting every bush and tree in his yard into unusual, abstract shapes. He didn’t know it then, but he was creating a magical wonderland that would, in time, not only garner local recognition, but also draw thousands of visitors from across the United States and around the world. ...
But the impact that Pearl and his art have had on his community is not just economic. He’s also had a profound spiritual influence. As Pearl’s minister, Rev. Jerome McCray, says of the garden: “It’s the one place in all of South Carolina that people can go, both black and white, and feel love.”
You can view the trailer here:
The best way to make a difference in the world is to first learn how others have done so. Is there a film you'd love to see to inspire you? Perhaps you have that one movie that just recharges you before a social justice battle. If so, please share with us and we'll see about putting it on our list of films to show at the UUCOC First Tuesday Social Justice Film Festival.
Every month, at 7:00pm on the first Tuesday, The Unitarian Universalist Church of Oak Cliff screens a film focusing on an important social justice issue. We promise you'll come away inspired and ready to hit the road in your own quest for a better world.
Please share this with a friend, colleague, group, or class so they can put in a request, then come view stories of how the common folk can find ways to steer the political and social narrative in the right direction.