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The 1983 United States invasion of the small Caribbean island of Grenada won’t be forgotten if filmmaker Damani Baker has anything to do with it. Baker was nine years-old when his mother moved him and his sister to Grenada during the nation’s revolution. His film, The House on Coco Road, is the story of family, history and revolution.
In 1979 the Grenadian people carry out the first successful revolution in the English speaking Caribbean. Maurice Bishop becomes Prime Minister. The Revolution attracts workers from around the world including my mother, Fannie Haughton. In 1982 Angela Davis, her family, and my mother visit Grenada to witness this miraculous Peoples’ Revolution. In 1983 my mother is offered a position in the Ministry of Education and we leave our home in Oakland and move to Grenada. I’d never seen her happier.
Grenada was briefly our home. In 1983 the United States led a military invasion following the assassination of the young popular Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop. We hid under the bed for three days as bombs shook our new paradise, and changed its course forever.
Sixteen years later, in 1999, I returned to Grenada with my mother, and began shooting a documentary film, searching for her story, one that felt not just untold, but unfinished. My mother, and a group of tireless women, had put their lives on the line, daring to build a better type of country, a stronger more resilient home. You may not know their names, but they have changed the world.
You can learn more about the film and support it here.
Photo: Courtesy of Damani Baker