Truehart Productions is a nonprofit corporation formed in 2019 for the sole purpose of producing a documentary during this critical time when so many are struggling to understand the racial disparities that exist in our country.
In the next installment to “The Price of Silence” series, we explore the African American flight to Newark,
New Jersey during the Great Migration. Not only did Black Americans hope to find better homes to raise their families in, but there was also the promise of employment opportunities in the industries that were prospering in New Jersey after the first and second world wars. Yet throughout the migration, wherever Black Southerners went, the hostility and hierarchies that fed the Southern caste system seemed to carry over into the receiving cities in the North. Newark and Trenton were no exception as they too erected barriers to black mobility that continued until the early 1960s and beyond.
Truehart Productions mission is to tell the story of New Jersey's Black Americans throughout our history, from the time they were enslaved here, followed by those who came to our state during the Great Migration from the south and leading up to the present day. By illustrating their story through a documentary film that will be aired on NJ PBS Public Television stations and then distributed to educational institutions throughout New Jersey, we hope to inspire a discussion across the state that will help humanity begin to understand the Black experience and explain why there are still vast social and economic disparities between the Black and White community.
Our primary goal is to educate the public by showing the documentary on television through our collaboration with NJ PBS and by offering screenings at schools and multiple theater locations around the state. Aside from the thousands of people we have reached when the first two episodes of the film aired on public television, over the past year we have provided screenings at the Hopewell Theater, the Acme Screening Room in Lambertville, the Performing Arts Center at Hopewell Valley Central High School, The Middle School at Scotch Plains - Fanwood Public School System and the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences. It is also being broadcast by the Temple University Television Station. Combined we have reached thousands of students, faculty and members of the general public. On April 6th we held a sold-out screening at the Garden Theater for the YWCA's 100th anniversary, and we also held a sold out screening at the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center in observance of the Juneteenth federal holiday.
We are honored to have received powerful feedback on recent screenings of our film.
Here's what Superintendents of Scotch Plains Fanwood Public School System and Hopewell Valley Regional School District said about the film:
"The documentary screening, which was reviewed by the district on March 8th, had a powerful impact on the audience, as evidenced by the subsequent panel discussion. One student was moved to ask how the documentary could be made available to all students. This highlights the need for ongoing curriculum development, and the importance of incorporating compelling materials such as this documentary into the curriculum. Every student and community member should have access to this material in order to deepen their understanding of New Jersey's history."
Joan Mast, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
"Hopewell Valley Regional School District recently had the pleasure of screening The Price of Silence for our school community. Parents and teachers shared how important the information they learned from watching the two-part film was in understanding our local history. After our event, the community expressed a strong desire to adopt The Price of Silence as part of our curriculum. As we seek to expand the scope of how we teach our collective history, we see The Price of Silence as an invaluable resource."
Rosetta D. Treece, Ed.D.
Hopewell Valley Regional School District Superintendent of Schools
It is our sincere intent to reach the following audiences with the content of this documentary:
New Jersey’s public broadcasting stations.
The general population of New Jersey and members of the community interested in helping to reduce prejudice and improve intergroup relations.
Middle school, secondary education and university decision-makers who can positively affect the integration of the documentary into the scholastic curriculum by means of classroom or assembly-style viewing.
Libraries, museums and community organizations.
The geographic areas served by this project will be the areas of New Jersey where slavery existed, from Cape May County to Bergen County.