As part of Grawemeyer week, the University of Louisville will host the city premiere of Blood Done Sign My Name, a film based on a novel by Grawemeyer Award winner Timothy Tyson, on Sunday April 11. The event is invitation only but there will be public screenings on Tuesday the 13th and Wednesday the 14th at the university’s Floyd Theater. Showtime is 2 P.M. both days.
This film is the true story of Reverend Vernon Tyson and his family’s struggle in Oxford, North Carolina. Tyson is a preacher who moves to the town to serve as the minister to the city’s all-white Methodist church. Even though the civil rights movement abolished segregation ten years prior, the townspeople are slow to accept the change. This autobiography tells of the alleged public beating and subsequent murder of a returning Vietnam veteran by a wealthy white family. The resulting actions are not uncommon in stories of this era.
Films about racial tension are often uncomfortable to watch, and they should be. This kind of segregation is much more recent than many of us would like to admit. The film has received mostly positive reviews and should at least be considered for a DVD rental later in the year.