"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.

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Duration:
4 minutes, 25 seconds

Developed by a group of NPS staff and interns, this film explores the trauma, resilience, and beauty of the African American experience in our country.

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.

historic typewriter on a wooden desk

"Twenty & Odd" – A Companion

Explore the underlying concepts of the film.

two story house with porch on a grassy hill

Parks and Places in "Twenty & Odd"

Visit the parks and other places seen in the film.

Six young African American women lining the steps of the 16th Street Baptist Church

Q&A With the Creative Team

Learn about the team's experiences during the making of "Twenty & Odd" in this National Park Foundation blog.

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