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“Uprooted” Documentary Wins Regional Emmy

The National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced that “Uprooted,” a documentary short by ProPublica and the Virginia Center for Investigative Reporting at WHRO, won a regional Emmy in the diversity/equity/inclusion-long-form content category.

In the film, Newport News residents James and Barbara Johnson tell the story of their beloved neighborhood, which was displaced by the creation and expansion of what is now Christopher Newport University. Weaving the Johnsons’ story in with the wider history of Newport News and other universities, the film examines the legacy of racism and Black land loss that still reverberates today. James Johnson’s archive of photographs, newspaper clippings and documents animates the past. It is a reminder of the community he sees in his mind’s eye when he walks down Shoe Lane, the street where he was born and still lives as one of just five Black families who remain in the neighborhood.

The film is directed by Brandi Kellam, who grew up near Newport News and has spent more than two years investigating this story. She reported the story with Louis Hansen of the Virginia Center for Investigative Reporting at WHRO. It is produced by ProPublica’s Lisa Riordan Seville, with cinematography, editing and post-production by VCIJ’s Christopher Tyree and graphics by ProPublica’s Mauricio Rodríguez Pons.

See a list of Capital Emmy Awards Nominees and Emmy Recipients.

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