This is an excerpt from a 81-minute feature documentary. "A Highway Runs Through It..." documents the historic black community of Darby Township, Delaware County, PA. African Americans have lived in this once rural, suburban area outside of Philadelphia since the late 1700s. Some of the current residents can trace their lineage in the community since long before the Civil War. Their history is one of community building and displacement, cultural traditions and battles to maintain property and community landmarks. This film tells the story of the community's early settlement at "Horntown"; post-Civil War prosperity; and growth during the Great Migration of the 1920s. With land development efforts after World War II, the displacement and political marginalization of the black community, complete with ever deeper entrenched segregation, has been consistent. Re-zoning has turned residential neighborhoods into industrial backyards; churches and schools have been dismantled; a school board that educated the black community for decades dissolved; and a historic black burial ground lies under the concrete school yard in the now white neighborhood where the new school was built. Many battles have been fought and many concessions made. Yet, Darby Township still lives. The film uses oral history interviews, historic newspapers research, vintage photography and a compelling narrative to tell the story of this tiny suburban town with an all black cast. Learn more at valerieharrisprojects.com.

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