How can a community that evolved for more than 100 years only carry on in the memories of a few surviving members?
This story is personal to us because we are descendants of this place – our family has lived here since the Civil War. But it’s relevant to you too, wherever you live. There are countless Quince Orchards all across the country. Communities that no longer exist on the map, not because of economic stagnation, but because of progress.
In a conversation with our 95-year old grandmother, we were surprised to learn of a small community that we did not know existed. How can a community that evolved for more than 100 years only carry on in the memories of a few surviving members? And, we were all the more surprised because we grew up in the shadows of this historic community and on the shoulders of its inhabitants. So, we started on a journey to learn more about the historic community of Quince Orchard. We have been wowed and challenged by what we have found. As we learned more about the people who lived in this community, how they worked and interacted, the institutions they built, the future they invested in – we felt compelled to share the story.
Quince Orchard, located in northwestern Montgomery County, Maryland, developed from an inauspicious farming post to a bustling suburban center. This film explores issues of slavery, land ownership and sale, preservation, gentrification, race relationships community engagement and examines what was lost and gained along the way.
Along our journey we encounter complex, emotional issues. We don’t claim to have the right answers or even that there are right answers. When we began this project we were prepared for a historic case study. But, we have realized that the story would not be complete if our cameras only looked backward. We have started filming the community – old and young – as they wrestle with this history and their role and responsibility in its protection and preservation.
Our goal is not just to give answers but to inspire questions. Let the conversations begin!
Director and Co-Producer
Jason Green is an attorney, author, political strategist and entrepreneur dedicated to empowering individuals and communities. He served in several capacities in the first term of the Obama Administration and 2008 campaign, including Associate Counsel to the President and National Voter Registration Director, respectively. Green is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and Yale Law School and serves on a number of local advisory boards. A fifth generation descendant of Quince Orchard, Maryland, Green recognizes that he would not have been afforded the opportunities he has but for the sacrifices of those forward thinking few in Quince Orchard.
Kisha Davis, MD
Dr. Kisha Davis, family physician, is a passionate primary care provider with special interests in chronic disease management including diabetes, HIV/AIDS, as well as women’s health and geriatrics. She currently serves as medical director of Casey Health Institute, an integrative primary care center in Gatihersburg, MD. Just prior she served as a White House Fellow at the US Department of Agriculture. A Quince Orchard, MD native, Dr. Davis received her undergraduate degree from Duke University, received her M.D. from the University of Connecticut, was Chief Resident during her residency at the University of Maryland, and earned a Master’s in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University.
Imani M. Cheers
Dr. Imani Cheers is an award winning multimedia producer and Assistant Professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Before joining the faculty at GWU, Cheers was director of educational resources for PBS NewsHour. Previously, she was a producer/writer at Howard University Television and a multimedia producer at Newsweek.com. She received a BFA in Photography at Washington University in St. Louis, and attended Howard University for her Master’s degree in African Studies and Research with a concentration in Women’s Studies from Howard University and her doctorate in Mass Communications and Media Studies. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association for Media Literacy Education, DAWN (Diaspora African Women’s Network) and a 2013 New Media Fellow with the International Reporting Project.