The National Park Service (NPS) produced the film “Twenty & Odd” as part of its work to protect and preserve African American Heritage. The following text is from the webpage, “Twenty & Odd” | Exploring 400 years of the African American Experience.
Set against 400 years of suffering, healing, and strength, with a backdrop of our nation’s most storied lands, the innumerable contributions of African Americans to the foundation of the United States are recognized in this short film. “Twenty & Odd” serves as a visual tool to inform and highlight and to educate the nation as a whole about the trauma, resilience, and beauty of the African American experience in our country through the lens of sites stewarded by the National Park Service. This film provides an opportunity to motivate and empower people from all walks of life to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyle behaviors, cultivate personal connections with national parks, and embrace parks as welcoming sources of health and healing.
The film’s title, “Twenty & Odd,” is taken from a quote from English colonist John Rolfe describing the number of the first enslaved Africans brought to Virginia in 1619. The creative team chose this title to reclaim power of Rolfe’s phrasing that suggested that these enslaved Africans were so insignificant that they could not even bother to be properly counted.
The narrative for “Twenty & Odd” is Maya Angelou’s remarkable piece, “Still I Rise.” Through its voice and imagery, the film advances messages of African American empowerment, remembrance, education, inspiration, and engagement in iconic places stewarded by the National Park Service.
About the National Park Service: The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.