Soul City & Change Comes Knocking: The Story of the North Carolina Fund

Soul City (2016) is a documentary that tells the story of a group of civil rights activists and city slickers who attempt to build a multiracial utopia in North Carolina in the 1970s. Efforts ran up against ingrained racism, public skepticism, and unwillingness on the part of the government to think outside the box to solve social problems. As this group of dreamers tries to bring together unlikely allies to support black power and economic development, they are forced to balance their soaring idealism with the hostile reality of the times.

Changes Comes Knocking: the story of the North Carolina Fund (2008), a documentary featuring Ann Atwater, chronicles the story of a ground-breaking anti-poverty movement started in the 1960s by Terry Sanford’s effort to look realistically at problems of poverty in his race-torn state. The Fund sought to align federal, state and local governments, foundations, and the state’s civic and business leaders behind nothing less than breaking ancient bonds of racism and inequity and nurturing a more progressive North Carolina. The North Carolina Fund brought to the forefront the “radical” idea of including local people in decisions about their own destinies. This led to the cultivation of local leadership, and an authentic mobilization of the poor in their own communities.