Black to Our Roots Film

Living in a housing project in Atlanta, Georgia, 17-year-old Sylvia Dorsey is frustrated   by the violence and drug abuse surrounding her. Determined to transcend the cycle of poverty, Sylvia embarks upon a soul-searching mission to heal her broken commu¬nity and restore a sense of pride.

Black To Our Roots is the inspirational story of the journey that Sylvia takes from Atlanta, Georgia to Ghana,West Africa to explore her cultural heritage and escape the hopelessness of her neighborhood. During her travels, Sylvia is con¬fronted with several challenges that test her patience and change her life forever: she must adapt to living conditions that America has ill prepared her for, learn to appreci¬ate things she took for granted, and address the misconceptions that exist about both Africans and African Americans. Sylvia must also confront a very painful chapter in human history when she visits the Slave Dungeons and grapples with the divisions that confront Africans throughout the Diaspora. In this process, Sylvia faces her fears and emerges as a confident, outspoken, and articulate young woman ready to claim her destiny. However, when she returns to the US, will she be ready to adjust to her old world as a new woman? This film is a testament to the power of self-love.

Black To Our Roots has screened in several major international film festivals and been well received by packed audiences from New York to LA to the Virgin Islands to Ghana. The film has also won several awards including:

Best DocumentaryAmerican Black Film Festival Best Documentary – San Diego Black Film Festival
Best Documentary – Spaghetti Junction Urban Film Festival Audience Choice– International Black Docufest

Running Time: 52:10

Director: Ras Tre Subira

Produced by: Black Mission Media


About the Filmmaker

A native of Chicago, IL, Ras Tre Subira’s journey into documentary filmmaking began in high school when he turned his basement into a darkroom and began producing black and white photographs of his neighborhood. When he later sparked a spiritual awakening in him that eventually led him to Africa. An important theme in Ras Tre’s films is the exploration of identity issues within African Diasporan communities with a strong emphasis on the culture and the arts. Much of his work is inspired by his experiences living in Ethiopia and throughout East Africa. As a producer of community-based participative video programs, he utilized media production as a means of empowering indigenous communities to preserve their knowledge. Currently, Ras Tre facilitates a video-based community outreach program for youth in Baltimore and in Ghana.
In 2006 Ras Tre founded Black Mission Media, which seeks to use media production as a tool of development in underserved communities. Black Mission Media’s latest project, The Griot’s Eye program, will connect youth in the US and Africa through compelling short videos programs culminating in an travel exchange.



“carries you on a journey that all Diasporan Africans need to take”Runoko Rashidi Internationally renowned scholar and lecturer, author of African Presence in Early Asia

“a powerful documentary showing many unsung pockets of excellence” –The late Dr. Asa Hilliard III World renowned Pan-Africanist educator, historian, and psychologist

“represents innovative filmmaking at its best”Dr. Molefi Asante Father of Afrocentricity, founding editor of the Journal of Black Studies

A logical sequel to the cinema classic Sankofa”Mwalimu Baruti Sociologist, professor, author and founder of Akoben Institute

“caused me to want to research deeper than what the history books tell us”Markia Zernell, High school student

“the first film I seen in a while that didn’t focus on sex, drugs and other negative stuff about people of African descent”Kyia Davis, High school student

“explores the physical, emotional, and psychological distances involved when explor¬ing cultural and personal identity”Baltimore City Paper