Silver Dollar Road (2023) Movie Script

- (insects chirping)
- (water lapping)
I'm going home, oh, yes
I'm going home,
oh, yes
I'm going home, Lord, Lord
I'm going home
I'm going home, Lord, Lord
I'm going home
My baby sister's crying
My baby sister's
Brother, come home, Lord, Lord
Brother, come home,
brother, come home
Lord, Lord, brother, come home
I'm going home, oh, yes
I'm going home,
oh, yes
I'm going home, Lord, Lord
I'm going home, I'm going home
Lord, Lord, I'm going home
My own mother's crying,
my own mother's crying
Come on home, Lord, Lord
Come on home, come on home
Lord, Lord, come on home
I'm going home, oh, yes
I'm going home,
oh, yes
I'm going home, Lord, Lord
I'm going home.
(birds chirping)
GERTRUDE: My daddy,
the day before he died, he told me,
he said, "Gertrude,
I won't be with you all long."
He said, "And whatever you do,
don't let the white man have my land."
- (birds chirping)
- (water lapping)
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
- Happy birthday, dear Grandma
- Happy birthday, dear Gertrude
Happy birthday to you.
Grandma, I just want to say we love you.
It's been a blessing to have you here
for 95 years,
and we hope to have you many, many more.
- I got to speak for the grandkids,
for all you grandkids. - Yeah.
The only thing I can say is,
we lived the best life
- in Merrimon, all because of Grandma.
- Yes. Amen.
I can't speak enough
on how I thank my Lord and Savior
for being from Merrimon,
from the bottom, from Silver Dollar Road.
We didn't have a whole bunch of money,
but we have plenty of love.
We have plenty of family.
Look at the people that turned out.
You are our queen.
You are the mother and the father.
Mother, you have been a true example of
what a single mother can do and be
if she set that goal.
Mother, you worked so hard
in your 95 years of life,
preparing flowers and vegetables
for Fridays.
Five o'clock in the evenings,
you was in the fields.
When the alarm went off
on Saturday mornings,
you was up at 4:00 to go to
that home extensions in Morehead City.

MAMIE: When I was a little girl
and growing up here on Silver Dollar Road,
I like thinking about those days
'cause it was so innocent.
It was so magical.
- (kids laughing)
- Walk a mile in my shoes...
You just felt free.
You felt happy, and you felt love.
It was like a village, you know.
You was free to roam and play,
and you had the water.
And going to the water,
for me, was magical.
My uncles drank, and they were always...
When they got together,
they would talk about...
it was a mermaid to the water,
and, at a certain time,
you would hear the mermaid singing.
And she would come up and she would shake
her hair and go back down in the water,
and we would sit and we would listen.
And we knew Uncle Melvin lied, you know.
Ain't no mermaid out there and stuff.
But, as a little girl,
it was just so magical.
I lived in New Orleans,
and we would come down every summer.
And it was almost like two weeks
before we knew it was time
to go back to New Orleans,
the depression would sit in.
Oh, we'd cry 'cause we didn't want
that Friday to come
when Mom and Dad was coming to get us.
We didn't want to go.
It was just the nostalgia of
just having that freedom.
We walked around in our bare feet
from this aunt's house
to that aunt's house to cousins' houses.
And, "Can you take us swimming today?
'Cause Grandma said we can't go down
unless we have an adult."
We had our own beach.
My uncles would bring their boats
to the pier,
and we'd run up, help them offload shrimp
and fish and crabs.
And it was a good time...
music, dancing, barbecues,
concerts or local churches
just putting on gospel concerts
and baptisms in the water.
Being in the sun, the sand,
being stung by sting rays and running out.
(laughs): And putting sand on you,
just trying to get the stinging off.
And it was just amazing.
It was amazing.
I did go to the market with Grandma
to help out.
Grandma was very well respected.
And she had a lot of clientele
when it came down
to the produce and the seafood
that she sold.
Technically, she was probably considered
one of the richest Black women
in the community,
because their property...
was so, um, valuable.
And not valuable to us
from a monetary standpoint
but valuable to us because of the history,
you know, and the beauty of it.
(insects trilling)
(birds chirping)
We're, uh, at the cemetery next to, uh,
our family church, Reels, uh, Chapel.
This is, uh, what I refer to
as "cemetery number three."
(birds squawking)
Number one is, um...
It's about 200 yards to my left.
And, uh, that was the one that's kind of
described in old documentation
as "the first Black cemetery."
The second cemetery is
at an elevated site.
This, uh, gravestone here,
this is Elijah Reels,
the first owner of the property.
Him and Suddie Anne acquired the property
in, uh, November 1911.
He, uh, he was born in 1866,
and that was during slavery time.
A working man
("Working Man Blues" by Floyd Council
Ain't nothing but a dog
A working man
Ain't nothing but a dog
When he works hard all the week
Payday, his woman wants it all
I came home this morning
'Tween 9:30 and 10:00
When I got home this morning
Between 9:30 and 10:00
When I found that old backbiter
Well, sitting back in my den
(glass shatters)
- Babe, I feel like snapping
- (crowd clamoring)
My pistol in your face
- Hey
- (fire whooshes, glass shatters)
My pistol in your face
And some low-down undertaker
Carry you to your resting place
- The working man
- (engines rattling)
Ought to come ahead of time
Ought to come ahead of time.
KIM: Elijah Reels was
my great-great-grandfather.
He farmed the property,
had a family upon the property.
And unfortunately, in 1939,
he lost the property due to back taxes.
His son, Mitchell Reels,
then purchased the property
in 1944 at the courthouse doors
due to back taxes.
Unfortunately in 1970,
Mitchell died without a living will,
and the property then became
the heirs of Mitchell Reels.
And that's when
all our legal problems started.
Heirs' property is property that has been
left to an onslaught of family members.
So there was a document that was conveyed
that my grandmother
and her siblings did, in fact,
own the 65 acres after a court proceeding.
So it was ruled that the 65 acres
did belong to the Mitchell Reels' heirs.

MAMIE: Oh, the night that Mitchell died...
can I just call him Papa?...
it was a pretty night out.
Someone came to the house
and told my mother Papa had sent for her.
Then my mother went to his house.
He was saying he needed to go
to the hospital,
'cause he was sick,
and he was sick that he didn't know
if he would be coming back home.
And it was some things he wanted to
discuss with her and wanted her to do.
I remember my mother precisely asking him,
"Well, Papa, why would you want...
me to do these things when you have sons?"
He said, "Because I know
you will make sure they happen.
I know I can depend on you."

MELVIN: He said, "You stick
with your mother, with this land."
'Cause he knew
Mother was the strongest one.
And she did... He knew
she would do what she got to do
to hold... (stammers)
to hold on to this land.
Lord, I'm walkin' and walkin'
("Walkin' Night and Day"
by Big Boy Henry playing)
I have all the memories, all the memories.
Because it's no place on this property
that I haven't been.
I know where every inch of it is at.
Because this was my travel
when I was growing up.
- (birds chirping)
- (insects trilling)
My heart is really into this land.
Whenever I had a break
during the military,
I would always come back down here
for peace and quiet.
I can go down to the Adams Creek there
and sit there and reflect
not only my past, as growing up
down here, but, uh,
anything that I had on my mind.
You know, I-I'd look out
on the water and say,
"Hey," I'd tell myself,
"It could be worse."
KIM: From that point, Shedrick,
which is Mitchell's brother,
intervenes with a deed from New Jersey.
He comes back down, has it registered
in our court... local court...
registered deeds as a personal property
that he currently owns,
unbeknown to the family.
And shortly thereafter,
we start finding out that
there's word of the property
being sold to someone else
that the family had no knowledge of.
So during that time frame, my grandmother,
who's made
the administrator of the property,
is brought into the fold.
And she's then in charge of
getting someone to represent the family,
um, to show that this property, in fact,
is Mitchell Reels' heirs' property
and not Shedrick's property.
- (birds squawking)
- (water lapping, waves crashing)
So, the 13.25 acres was
the property that was in dispute.
That was the part of the property
that the developers wanted,
prime real estate, already developed,
waterfront property.
That was also where my uncles resided.
And that was what was needed
from the developers
because it's a beautiful
piece of property, it's prime real estate.

This is 200 years old up here.
This graveyard up here.
That's right...
I imagine this path been here
over a hundred and some years,
might be 200.
So, Elijah Reels owned another 40 acres...
owned another 40 acres
right on that going... leave the cemetery
and go back towards that valley.
That's the way they used to walk
down through here to get to here.
He used to leave that,
had a plantation back there, 40 acres.
And he would leave that and walk this path
and come out to the water right here.
This is the path.
We still own the...
You-you still own that 65 acre.
This is still the 65 acres
from the water back.
And then we got
another 45 acres behind that.
That's the one
that takes you to Dumpling Creek.
Yeah, all of this here is
the Reels' property.
Going up on this hill.
These were graves right here.
These were graves,
right here is a headstone.
Some of these graves up here,
you can't see.
Take this... take the one here.
It kind of growed in the roots.
He was born 1946.
The water right behind us
is called Dumpling creek.
That's Dumpling Creek right back there.
We're surrounded with water.
And if we'd have kept right on going
down there behind the cemetery,
we would come to
a-a running stream of water.
So we're surrounded with water.

But all of a sudden,
I can recall on, like, Sunday mornings,
prior to us getting ready for church
or whatever.
It was always a small meeting
in Grandma's house,
early in the morning,
because something was going on,
something was brewing,
which was... at that time,
they started getting notifications
that the property was an issue.
Someone was claiming ownership
to the property.
So we as children knew something was
going on, but we didn't know what it was.
But as an adult,
I slowly started to find out
that this is major, this is serious.
(critters chittering)
ANITA EARLS: Even though the family had
previously themselves gone to court
to establish that they properly
and legally owned this land,
a later proceeding, um, um,
brought by a different family member,
and then someone who bought the land
from that family member,
to-to say that they own the land, um,
had resulted in an order
that-that was not, um...
or a settlement, if you will,
um, that the family didn't agree to.
So by the time it came to me,
the family were defendants.
They were the ones being sued.
And, um, the plaintiffs,
the Adams Creek Associates company,
were claiming that the family was
trespassing on their own land.

MAMIE: Melvin had always been
like a father figure
in the family, and what he thought
and what he said meant a lot.
Melvin always had this fashion for cars,
and of course women.
He didn't care what color they was.
He loved to dress, and he fished
and he made money,
and he worked with a guy
who had a boat and he made money.

I've been fishing down there for 53 years.
I got my commercial license when I was 16,
and I've been fishing there all my life.
That's where I worked at.
All down this water.
I helped to put my-my sisters
and brothers through school,
by me working that water.
When I was 14, 15,
I was making sometimes
$1,000 a week on that water.
I couldn't go to school
like I wanted because... (stammers)
I had to make sure
that when they'd go to school,
that they would dress nice, had on
new clothes, they'd start school in it.

So that's my life.
That's what I do. I do what I do.
(birds squawking)
I'm a shrimper. I'm a fisherman.
I'm a crabber.
So it's-it's joy to me.
I'm peaceful when I'm on the water.
(seagulls chattering)
Uncle Melvin, he was that person
that always had, financially, advice.
He was the uncle
that was just charismatic.
And he was always trying to make ways
in the community
to keep us, um... keep things going.
Carolina girls
("Carolina Girls" by Chairmen of the Board
& General Johnson playing)
- Best in the world
- Carolina girls
You're so fine, girl,
you're one of a kind
Sweet Carolina girls
- Carolina girls
- Carolina girls
- Sweet Southern pearls
- Carolina girls
You're sure enough tough
Girl, I can't get enough...
Growing up in Beaufort,
we really didn't have access
to the area for swimming.
I love the way you talk...
And so my dad,
he would always take us to Merrimon.
We didn't refer to it as Merrimon then.
We referred to it as Silver Dollar.
And-and most of the people around here
went down to the Silver Dollar,
and they were a welcoming community.
And most of the time, you didn't have...
whites coming in to that community.
Uh, so that was important, um...
and so you did, uh, feel safe.
(lively chatter, laughter)
It was just the one place you could go,
and you wasn't worried about
being targeted by the law,
and you didn't have to feel like...
you were being harassed.
You could just relax.
- (insects trilling)
(critters chittering)
Uncle Licurtis is just a humble person.
So Uncle Licurtis was always a brickmason.
He worked with his hands.
He's very lovable. He likes to sing.
He likes to hum. He likes to eat.
Um, he's just that uncle
that everybody loves.
Me and Licurtis were close.
We grew up in the house together.
So we did a lot of things together,
like partying.
- (lively chatter, laughter)
- ("Daddy Cool" by Boney M. playing)
I don't know who told him he could dance.
He couldn't dance.
He just had this-this happy-go...
He was just a happy-go-lucky person.
He loved people
and he would laugh and joke,
and so he was the person that...
to really have a good time with.
She's crazy like a fool
Wild about Daddy Cool...
First time I heard about Fantasy Island,
I was like, "Where is Fantasy Island?"
(stammers) I heard it on the radio.
Later on in the announcement,
they said "down in Merrimon."
I said, "Down in Merrimon?"
They said, "To the old Silver Dollar,"
you know.
And I said,
"Oh, goodness, they talking about..."
And then that's when
I start asking around about it.
And they said, "Yeah,
they opened up a little club down there,"
that Melvin was running, you know,
and it was called...
And people were coming.
("Put Your Hands Together"
by The O'Jays playing)

Every season, it was something different.
One year, we had the Soul Train.
We had the train painted on the floor
with the tracks.
And you go down the Soul Train line.
I remember a lot of the Marines
from Cherry Point would come down here.
Oh, we had a party, buddy.
From all the way around,
all the way from Liberty City,
come down and join us.
They were Black and white.
And, you know, every weekend, we jammed.
Day to come, yeah
We got to put our forces together
Sing a song so loud, so fair...
We had a guy coming in
with the Greyhound bus, a deejay.
And he would come in every day,
that dee... that deejay...
The people followed the bus behind him
and load this beach up.
I would get different groups
to come in and play on the beach,
and we had... we just had fun.

(birds chirping)

By the time all of this started happening,
the surrounding area around us
was changing.
And we could see things
that they were doing
with marinas, boat slips, subdivision.
So we knew this was the plan
for our community.
And we knew we had to really stand
to save our community,
because if all of this happened
in our community,
we wouldn't be able to afford
the taxes here,
because we don't have the income
that people from other states
come here with.
(engine starts)
(engine whirring)
This didn't use to be...
the water didn't use to be
all the way through here.
My mother daddy helped put
the rest of the right-of-way through here
for this water that-that comes by.
That's when...
they call them the intercoastals.
So you could drive, go to Florida,
go all the way around.
Go right on through here.
And now, they got some homes up here.
Oh, you know how long it would take us
to get to Sneads Ferry?
- NATE: About five hours, six hours?
- MELVIN: No, you will...
No, it'd take a whole day.
You could leave Merrimon...
say, 9:00 in the morning
and start from... back from Silver Dollar,
and it'd be 5:00 'fore we get
to Sneads Ferry that evening.
But you can't shrimp up there in the day.
I mean you can't shrimp at nights,
only days.
See, down east, when I was shrimping
down there last year,
- you could only shrimp at night.
- Yeah, at night.
- And all through the day it's just fish.
- Yeah.
Just fish, and you won't catch
no shrimps at day.
And then you got to work with the moon.
Yeah, you work when the moon come up.
- NATE: You start shrimping.
- MELVIN: Shrimping.
(crank squealing)
(birds chirping)
(indistinct chatter)
(music playing faintly on speakers)
We good?
Here, I'm gonna put it all
in the other tank.
- MELVIN: In the other side?
- NATE: Yeah.

That's a shrimp boat there, ain't it?
Look like it.
Like she's coming towards us.
(Melvin chuckles, mutters)

(motor rattling)

NATE: I think I'm-a let my dad drive,
or you want to drive?
- Nah, I'm-I'm-a let you do everything.
- I'm-a let him drive.
It's been a long time
since I've been down through here.
I got to let my dad drive.
I need some air.
Let-let Roderick drive.
Hey, Dad!
Hey, you want to drive for a minute?
I need a break. I'm hot.
I told him...
just explained to him, like...
- Let me get it, Melvin.
- Yeah.
No, yeah, I'd rather you take it.
- NATE: You said you were explaining what?
- MELVIN: I told you.
I was out there
putting the nets out one day,
and I had pretty near alone there
with me one night... one morning.
And this boat about this size
kept running across the bow of it.
So I went in there and put 'em
to the floor, she blew black smoke,
before she was turning, I couldn't get it.
He said, "Get out of here!"
I said, "I've been trying to run over you
for the last ten minutes.
Go back across there again,
I might run over you."
"I'll push you to the bottom."
I couldn't... I...

This case was up and down. So I-I...
And then when it would come back,
it would come back with more foolishness.
And the craziest thing was
when they came down
and put eviction notice on the houses.
On Licurtis' and Melvin's houses.
When this thing started heating up,
and we knew it was getting serious,
Melvin was getting bombarded
on a lot of jobs.
He was losing a lot of jobs.
People didn't want to buy his seafood,
and he was getting threats
if he didn't get off the property.
An attempt was made to burn
the house that he was building.
And then, uh, somebody blew up his boat.
And when the boat was blown up,
he had divers coming in
to assess the damage.
Before he really came to that conclusion,
"Hey, yeah, my boat has been blown up."
It was sort of crazy spooky for Melvin.
Melvin had done everything
the county required.
He had a surveyor to come in
and show ownership to the property.
He have his permits for his house
and place of business.
This is his permits from the state of
North Carolina, Alcohol Law Enforcement.
When Melvin had the Fantasy Island opened,
he attained his beer and beverage
control permits.
We knew we were fighting power.
We knew we were fighting money.
And we knew we weren't playing
with people who...
who was taking us lightly.
They really wanted this land.
Eli, Eli
Somebody call Eli
Eli, Eli...
My mother got worried.
You knew when she was really stressed out
because she would play
her church albums, her gospel albums.
She would cry all day.
So, you come in the house
and you're like, "What's wrong?"
You know? And she'll be like,
"Well, this land getting on my nerves.
"The sheriff has been down here today,
and he served a paper on...
I don't know what's that about." And...
So you would try to calm her down,
but this is just really bad.
I don't know how to describe it.
It's just been so hard.
Somebody call Eli...
KIM: Grandma was getting to a place
that it was starting to annoy her.
Aunt Mamie,
who has been instrumental in all of this,
Aunt Mamie was the lifeline.
So she was involved
with all the writing notes
and, you know, keeping
all the documents intact and organizing.
I mean, we wouldn't be where we are
if it wasn't for Aunt Mamie.

In my family,
we was raised to be strong women.
So I take a lot behind my mom.
But I kind of feel like
I'm not as strong as my mother
because sometimes bearing the weight
of the responsibility I have now,
it gets overwhelming.
Sometimes it makes me depressed
because sometimes I feel like I did...
I haven't had a life.
MELVIN: Now, when I went to jail,
all of this here was clean.
This was gone. I'm serious.
There wasn't no... wasn't no trees here.
See the whole path, now we going...
- KIM: You remember that, Grandma?
- GERTRUDE: Mm-hmm.
MELVIN: Okay, this is...
We getting on down to Dumpling Creek.
I see it. Oh, my goodness.
Yeah, this is Dumpling Creek right here.
So, we're on the other side of
Jonaquin's Bay?
Yeah, that-that-that's...
Mr. Fordham bought all of this.
Right here, that's David Wheatley...
place there.
- KIM: Where?
- MELVIN: That big house there.
You can't hardly see it
unless you walk on down here
to the water and peek around this corner.
Grandma, be careful.
See that pond right through there?
Way I dug right there?
We running right down the side of it,
that pond right here.
(gasps) Oh, my God.
- You dug this pond out like this?
- Yeah.
I dug this pond. Come on.
Oh, we right behind the house, huh?
Yeah, we're right behind your house.
- Come on.
- How deep is it, Uncle Melvin?
It ain't deep down on this end.
I was just getting down to it.
- Yeah.
- So, this is all rainwater?
Yeah, this here is, uh,
water coming from the ground.
Fresh water.
This was a grass field,
what, about ten acres?
Five acres?
This here was a cornfield.
Papa planted a lot of tobacco in here.
Okay, Daniel Boone, come back.
Right through there,
you walk right on to that point,
where Billy had his boat.
- KIM: Careful, Uncle Melvin.
- Huh?
Be careful.
- Grandma.
- MELVIN: Yes'm?
What do you think about all of this?
I don't think about nothing about it.
You don't think ab...
But-but all of this...
all of this is what you're fighting for.
And-and-and you talking about
you don't think nothing about it.
Y-You got to think something about it,
'cause i-it...
- I think about it all the time.
- This my heritage, Grandma.

(birds chirping)
In 2007,
I started to really take more of
an interest in what was going on.
Primarily because my uncle Melvin
told me, "I need your help.
I'm going to jail."
So he pretty much told me,
"These documents state
that we no longer own the property.
"I don't know how. I don't know why.
"Um, we can't be heard.
"But if they're saying, you know,
"we have to sign our rights away
or go to jail,
I'm going to jail."

On the morning of March 11,
when Licurtis and Melvin, um, had court,
we knew when we left home
they weren't coming back.
We knew the courts had already been
stacked against us.
We knew from beginning, it wasn't gonna be
in our favor 'cause it never was.
I got up that morning.
Mamie was taking me down there.
Seem like I was just looking around
for the last time,
it seemed like, and I grinned at it.
Me and Melvin went down there together.
It seemed like the day was going so slow.
It was foggy, like it had been raining.
In the motel where my lawyer was,
it puzzled him so bad,
and, uh, he couldn't even eat.
He was just getting ready
to eat breakfast.
And he said, "Man,
these people don't want to have no trial.
All they want to do is lock you all up."
And that's what they done.

KIM: So, the day that they were arrested
was the day
that our attorney informed us
that he would no longer be representing us
because he was advised
to get off the case,
and he did just that.
He said, um,
"The boys are going to jail today."
It was super emotional.
And it was about 15,
maybe 20 family members,
and we're all crowded in the room.
And we were trying to understand why,
why are they going to jail?
What... I mean,
what can we do to fix this?
And he was like,
"They're not gonna, um, sign
"saying they're not going back
onto the property.
The judge is pretty adamant."
You know, pretty much about
them thumbing their nose up at the court,
saying, "We're not gonna
obey your rules, your laws.
We're gonna...
we're going to go back onto the property."
And after some more conversation,
I don't recall verbatim what was said,
um, he remanded them to the jail.
And I remember Uncle Melvin...
taking his watch off
and all his jewelry off,
and he just said, he said,
"Now, Kim, remember what I told you."
And I was like...
just, you know, at that time,
I wanted to say, "Please just do
what they ask you to do."

Our attorney at the time
was threatened with sanctions.
And my memory of that court date,
of seeing him walk away
with his rolling briefcase,
walking back to his BMW,
not even looking back at my uncles
who had just been incarcerated.
He closed that chapter,
and he just left, got in his car and left.

- (camera clicks)
- (indistinct police chatter)
(camera clicks)
I never thought about signing.
Always was sitting and think about...
what it would be like to not have my land
and my house, and knowing
I had to start all over again.
And I would picture in my mind,
how could I get back so fast.
And at the end of the day,
I come up with this answer on that.
I couldn't make it back at my age.
'Cause that's mostly what...
I'm-a put it just like this.
That's mostly what Black people ever get.
A nice home, nice family, a nice car.
You're not gonna have
a whole lot of money,
'cause it don't work like that
in this county.

(water lapping)
(critters chittering)
(leaves rustling)
MAMIE: The way that this was set up
and the way it was done
make it even harder to just sign a paper
saying you will never go on the property.
Licurtis, it's like he almost saying,
you know,
"This is something I have to do."
Melvin mindset is, "That's my livelihood.
"I have no choice.
"I'm, what, in my 70s?
And where else am I going to live?"
ANITA: In some ways, almost disbelieving
that the legal system could be so unfair.
I-I think they were both disbelieving
and incredibly frustrated
but also determined
that, um, they would do whatever it takes.
And I... And that's remarkable,
because I think
some people would just ultimately
feel like, "I can't take this anymore.
Um, I'm just gonna cut my losses
and move on."
Um... So they had
an incredible amount of determination
and, um, a will to-to really honor
their ancestors.
Same old bullshit every day.
WOMAN: He going in there with
that thing they use with the ditches.
MAMIE: And I guess they do
what in the hell they want.
(speaking indistinctly)
Yeah, I got 'em. I got 'em.

(birds chirping)
Don't go down there.
Let them do what they want.
Now, somebody don't come in here soon,
I don't know.
Just-just don't bother 'em.
Don't say nothing to 'em.
What-what you going down there for?
Billy, don't go down there.
Wait, let me go with you
so I can record it.
BILLY: You-you think
you're the man's son, right?
- MAN: No.
- Yeah, okay.
- I'll find out what's going on, now.
- Doesn't matter.
Okay, you will know.
- Okay? - Hold on. I'm not
Dean's son. I'm from Atlanta.
I-I don't care where you at, man.
- That's all right, buddy.
- Okay. All right.
And you, too, big boy.
- Don't hurt your back.
- Okay, don't hurt your back.
Do y'all think y'all gonna come put
something down here and walk away with it?
I'm not gonna put nothing out here,
'cause I don't give a goddamn
what happens.
- BILLY: And I don't... I don't...
- MAMIE: Billy! Ah. Oh, no, no, Billy.
Billy, Billy, no.
- Oh, no, no. Oh, no.
- (indistinct arguing)
Oh, no. Let's go.
Let's go.
Billy, he a liar. He's a white man.
- He can't do nothing but lie.
- That's all right, that's all right.
You know white people don't do...
Good-good thing you're in here with me...
MAMIE: They've been stealing and lying.
Come, let's go!
- They don't do nothing but lie.
- (Billy speaking indistinctly)
Billy, you know in slavery time,
they've been lying all they life, that's
how they get what they get by lying.
- Let's go!
- BILLY: Well, if I took you two out...
No, no, no, no, no, no.
That don't... That's...
This is just how white people do.
Leave it alone. They've been stealing and
killing and Ku Klux Klan all they life.
Don't worry. Don't worry. Let's go, Billy.
That's why I'm recording this.
Come on, now.
(footsteps departing)
When Licurtis and Melvin was in jail,
it kind of put anger in everybody.
'Cause when you see your sheriff,
and you said,
"You ain't got to go there, you say."
Don't even make sense.
They running down here to see
if anybody down on that land.
And now all of a sudden now,
they're all showing up,
running down here every day,
watching us, see what we doing.
Then sometimes even the sheriff
will come by your house.
Now, this ain't the water.
They will ride by looking at you.
Like, you say something,
do something on your... in your yard,
I stop... "What,
you got a problem or something?"
And I'm sitting there looking.
What is wrong with these people?
Lord, I'm walkin' and walkin'
("Walkin' Night and Day"
by Big Boy Henry playing)
Walkin' this old highway
Yes, I'm walkin'
Walkin' this old highway
MAMIE: I think
the original plan for this water was,
they were going to have boat slips
they can rent to people
for their yachts or boats,
and Melvin's club, I think that was
gonna be the clubhouse for the marina.
And then I believe
where Licurtis' house sit,
there was gonna be four or five homes.
They could have put probably
right many homes
and a turning table, like a cul-de-sac.
And I believe that encroaching over,
like they are doing now,
where my mother is, back to the church,
if they can get Silver Dollar Road,
it's gonna be golf.
Who's gonna be able to afford the taxes
in... on Silver Dollar Road,
when mostly everybody in here
are senior citizens?
Or getting, um, social security.
So that's gonna force a lot of people
to sell like it's doing in Beaufort.
It's forcing a lot of
the, uh, people in Beaufort,
who wants to hold on
to their, uh, parents' home,
but they can't afford the taxes.
So, what you're supposed to do with...
I ain't gonna say Black people,
'cause people are people.
What you gonna do
with poor people, period?
What you gonna do with us?
And they're surely gonna need
somebody to clean the condos
and, uh, fix the fast food
and cut the yards.
So if you clear out Silver Dollar Road,
where are you going?
And not that we want to go anywhere,
because this is ours.
Our ancestors left this here for us.
Okay, today is July the 4th.
- (lively chatter)
- Licurtis' birthday.
Happy birthday, Licurtis.
- Happy birthday.
- (laughter)
MAMIE: Happy... Brit, you got to say,
"Happy birthday from Brit."
- Happy birthday from me.
- Happy birthday.
- MAMIE: Licurtis, all right.
- (laughter)
(lively chatter continues)
Happy birthday, bro.
Happy birthday, Unc.
Happy birthday, Uncle Li.
All right, he did it. Yeah, he did.
Hi, Uncle Melvin!
Hi, Uncle Licurtis.
Hi, Uncle Licurtis!
Hi, Melvin and Uncle Li!
- Happy birthday, Dad!
- Happy birthday, Li.
Uncle Melvin and Li.
- Y'all hang in there.
- (overlapping chatter)
We got something coming,
don't worry. Love y'all.
Love y'all.
KIM: During that time frame
of what was supposed to be 90 days,
we didn't have anybody
to even handle that.
We didn't even know
until we found another attorney,
which was in September of 2011.
And that's when he proceeded to tell us,
"This is not a simple trespassing.
"This is not gonna be easy
to get you guys out.
"And in order for me to take this case,
I'm gonna need a retainer fee of $45,000."
Two brothers remain in jail
after a judge refused to hear their case
involving land they claim is theirs.
It's a story we first told you about
last week.
NEWSMAN: The land in question is along
a coastal creek in Carteret County.
A court hearing had been set
for this afternoon in New Bern.
Brian Mims is there live
to explain what happened. Brian?
David, in essence, Judge Ben Alford says,
"There's nothing more to consider
in this case."
The family's position
through the litigation
when I represented them was that,
um, they were cheated out of the land
by several successive, um, entities,
actors, um...
some individual, one corporation...
who continued to claim
that they own the land
even though that claim flowed
from a fraudulent deed to begin with.
there are... there are so many twists
and turns to this legal process
that it's-it's... it's hard for attorneys
and courts to follow.
It's, uh, impossible for the family
to understand why any of this makes sense
and why they should lose their land.
It just kind of defies logic
that any of that constitutes justice.
(birds chirping, critters chittering)
It was just hard.
It was staying by the phone,
hoping they'd call
and having an answer for them
if they called 'cause it was,
"Did you find anybody?
Did you find an attorney?"
And all that weight on your shoulders
from somebody depending on you
to do something so important.
It was horrible... the anxiety, the stress,
the fear of disappointing them.
'Cause during that time,
my husband was just diagnosed with cancer.
And I was like... (sighs)
The fight between my uncles,
and the ripping and running
to these tr-treatment centers,
and keeping Grandma
in a good frame of mind.
She wouldn't go anywhere.
She'd just sit and listen to
those old spirituals and cry, and...
"I want my boys home,
I just want my boys home."
So, Sundays, when we would all
get together and have dinner,
we'd all get together
and just wait by the phone,
wait for them to call.
And we'd pass the phone around
and everybody had something to say.
And then the anxiety of
when it would come to my turn to talk,
it was like, "Did you find anybody?"
And I was like...
(voice breaking):
"Not yet."
(birds chirping)
Yeah, I used to take this ride,
and absolutely...
Sometimes I would literally be in tears
taking this ride.
Not knowing what their mindset was
gonna be like and in a pretty good mood.
'Cause their mood kind of
set the precedence of our visit.
So if I felt like
they were not in a good space,
it was... wasn't going to be a good visit.
I visited them at least every week.
There was a ritual to go and visit them
on Wednesdays.
(car lock beeps)
We weren't always treated so nicely.
"Your name's not on the paperwork."
If my name was on the visitors list,
they always acknowledged my maiden name,
and I would assure them,
after several visits,
I'm still that same person.
You know me, you see me.
"Your name's not on the list."
"But I was just here last week
and you let me in."
"Your name's not on the list."
You know, um... And again,
I experienced the, um...
emblems being taken off my car
and nail tacks in my tires,
and, um...
Got to the point that
when I came to Carteret County to visit,
I'd left someone in my car
the entire time.
Well, normally when we'd come,
there'd be like about 15
or 20 other people waiting to go in,
see their loved ones.
We line up, give your name,
wait to go upstairs to be... to see them.
Get in the waiting area,
and they'd release them into the pod,
and we'd just conversate
through the glass partition,
unable to physically touch.

It was, um, heartbreaking.
It was sad to see them chained in...
in these orange jumpsuits and defeated,
def... the defeated look on their face,
and it was...
When they would talk to us,
sometimes they'd talk to us
with their heads down
and wouldn't look at us,
'cause they said
they didn't want to see us walk away.
Then it was times
when they would not want us to come
'cause it was...
They said it was the most painful thing in
the world to see us leave and couldn't go.

LICURTIS: I was scared to go to jail
'cause I'd never been.
And I kept dreaming about
how it would feel to be in there.
And when I got in there,
it was like my dream were true.
It was just like I dreamed it.
The wall green,
ain't but one way in there.
And then you got to do like they say.
Get up, lay down, eat, go to the bathroom,
back to your bunk.
It was the whole thing.
(insects trilling)
(door slams shut)
They said, "You stay in that cell
all the 24 hours."
At 23, yeah, one hour out,
you know, we'd come out to eat.
And then, you know, I would look at the TV
through the jail cell,
and that's where it went.
And I just kept praying and praying
that God just deliver me from this.
One time, I thought I was gonna go crazy.
(cell gate closes)
MELVIN: Everyday life in there to get up,
wash my face, brush my teeth
and walk for about two to three hours.
(crackling, rumbling)
And I could walk like that
until I got tired,
and then I'd lay down and go to sleep.
- (door slams shut)
- That was my daily thing.
I would buy the guys' milk
'cause I couldn't drink that water.
Most of the people in there
couldn't drink the water,
so I would give them food for milk.
I drank a lot of milk, and I survived.
(footsteps pacing)
They kind of thought that I had sugar,
and sent me to the hospital.
I stayed in there about three weeks.
They had me shackled there
like I had killed somebody, buddy.
Had me shackled to the bed.
I couldn't stand... sleep on one side
'cause of those chains around my ankle.
Come to find out, didn't have no sugar.
The doctor told me, said, uh...
"Only thing wrong with you is
you need to get out of jail."
A lot of things run through my mind.
Then knowing that Licurtis is sick,
I was kind of watching over him, you know.
It's like a... a brother love, I guess.
(gate buzzes, opens and closes)
(chains clinking)
And every now and then,
they would put me in another cell,
and Licurtis in another cell, sometime
I wouldn't see Licurtis for months.
(gate buzzes)
(crackling, rumbling)
But, boy, you got so much prejudice
in that jail.
People killing one another.
And I ain't never thought about
killing myself in there.
- (birds chirping)
So, I had a dream that,
"Now, they got to let you out."
And one of the CO's come in there
and told me, one of the jailers,
he said, "Man,
they don't know how to let you out."
I said, "All they got to do is
open the door."
You know?
And then when I got ready to go,
uh, this ain't right to me,
just something wasn't right.
I didn't deserve to see
who kept telling me,
"Why don't y'all... why don't you go on
and leave, Melvin?"
I said, "Well, I'm going,"
I said, "Well..."
I mean, picking up weight in there,
I couldn't wear none of my clothes...
one pant leg long enough
and the other one short.
But after a while, I walked on out.
NEWSMAN: Let's take a-another look
at this 3-D image here
that you can only see on ABC 11,
and it shows, uh...
(on TV): If we go to weather source one
here, it will show you,
uh, the height of these storms.
As you can see,
we zoom into that one cell.
Now north of Louisburg, there's the...
there's the back end edge
of it right there...
MAMIE: Before they went to jail, my mother
went to that home extensions market,
farmers' market, what they call it.
My mother would go,
and she don't do that no more.
And my mother had her garden,
she worked her garden.
And now she don't want to do any of that.
She thinks she has to be there
so if Melvin and Licurtis call,
she needs to be there to take their call.
(distant singing)
You know what,
we try to get her to understand,
you never know when they gonna call.
But her mentality is,
"Well, even if I don't know when,
I have to be here.
I can't leave."
(phone rings)
AUTOMATED VOICE: will be recorded
and subject to monitoring at any time.
You may begin speaking now.
MELVIN (distorted on phone):
Is the missus okay?
- Yeah.
- Okay.
Yeah, all of them are all right.
- MELVIN: Okay, so everybody's okay.
- GERTRUDE: Mm-hmm.
Mamie's going for a checkup today.
- MELVIN: Okay, she's going for a checkup.
- GERTRUDE: Mm-hmm.
(birds chirping, critters chittering)
KIM: During the time we were being
represented by one particular attorney,
after about five years,
we'd already given him about $95,000.
My uncles were still incarcerated.
There was no evidence
of them being released.
The only communication we would have
from time to time would be:
"I need $1,500 for this,"
or "I need $2,000."
"I need the family to come up
with $12,000 'cause I have to do this."
I asked the paralegal
to write me up a document
that told our story
in its complete entirety of where we were.
So when I would go out
to solicit other people to help,
it would be easy to tell the story
from his perspective,
which made sense,
without me just having to tell the story.
We had an attorney, um, she told us
we needed $5,000 for her
to-to do the consult
and, um, whatever was left
after her reading through our documents,
she would send it back or, you know,
give us the remainder monies in return
and let us know
if she could take the case.
She took the entire weekend
to look at the case files or whatever.
She sent us roughly back
a hundred and some-odd dollars
and told us, unfortunately,
she couldn't accommodate us.
But that was what we were running into.
People that already kind of
heard about our story,
and we not knowing,
just grasping for straws
'cause we want our uncles out of jail
and just trying to do whatever it took
to get somebody that was really
gonna help us cost us big-time.
People were taking advantage of us.
If you don't want
To get in trouble...
MELVIN: Ain't no justice in Beaufort,
not for no Black people.
White people, yes. Black people, no.
And now, look at it now.
You could always go in Beaufort,
Black people be walking the street
isn't happening no more.
People there lost their house.
They ain't... they'll never live
in the town of Beaufort no more.
Let that liar alone
Well, let me tell you
what a liar will do
Ain't no sense running,
he'll catch up with you
If you don't want
To get in trouble, get in trouble...
(singing fades)
KIM: My memory of Beaufort,
when I was about ten or 11,
were pretty good memories.
It was always walking on Front Street,
watching the boats
and, um, eating ice cream,
and just nostalgic-type things.
Going to the post office
with my grandmother,
or going to the bank
and always getting candy.
It was "town" is what we always called it.
"Grandma's taking us to town."
It was beautiful.
It was a beautiful memory
until I became an adult
and realized, um,
some of the things that happened...
I experienced it
while helping out in this case...
that made me think this is not
such a pretty place anymore.
A civil rights activist is
in northeastern North Carolina,
trying to get help for a family
to get their loved ones
released from jail.
Fox Eastern Carolina News reporter
Leland Pinder has more details
and explains
what the organization has planned.
I've never seen anyone in jail so long
for trespassing.
According to court documents,
the plaintiff in this case
is Adams Creek Associates.
I tried to call them
to get their side of the story,
and this is what I found.
Welcome to Verizon Wireless.
The number you dialed has been changed,
disconnected or is no longer in service.
Barnett says he's planning a march
if the two men aren't released
by a certain date.
We're gonna do our welcome prayer.
We're gonna do a prayer
for Melvin and Licurtis,
then we're gonna pray for the inmates,
even though they may be guilty,
some may be innocent.
I've gotten seven men out of jail
that were innocent.
They're still human beings. They mess up.
- (overlapping agreements)
- WOMAN: Hallelujah.
Nelson Mandela was charged,
but he got out, right?
(overlapping agreements)
I want the Reels family in the front,
of course.
- Anybody need a sign?
- MAMIE: Where's my mom?
- Yeah. -Me, too.
- Hands up. -Hallelujah.
- Thank you. - And here's my white
brothers and sisters right here.
We're all one family.
- BARNETT: Hands up! Hands up!
- CROWD: Don't shoot! Don't shoot!
- Hands up! Hands up!
- Don't shoot! Don't shoot!
- Hands up!
- Don't shoot!
- No justice!
- No peace!
It's not as easy as it sounds.
The big guys are rare to come by,
and Gregory tells me
he knows captains who have fished
for years and still have...
- (rain falling)
(birds chirping)
MAN 1: "Hello, Daddy,
I haven't seen you in a long time,
"but I hope you know
I think about you all the time.
I really do miss you, Daddy.
I'm living in Raleigh with my girlfriend."
MAN 2:
"Dear Melvin, I miss you very much.
"I want to thank you
for everything you have done for me.
You were there for me
when no one else was."
CHILD: "Dear Melvin,
I have not seen you in a while.
"We have not seen you in a while.
We are so sorry that..."
MAN 1:
"Daddy, I think about you all the time.
"I even have dreams about you, me and
little Melvin working on the boat together
and waving at Uncle Billy
while he's going back to the dock."

(wind whistling)
WOMAN: Uh, as expected,
Hurricane Irene made landfall,
uh, early this morning
along the North Carolina coast.
(fading): I have spoken with
Governor Perdue this morning.
- Not yet.
- (laughs)
REPORTER: With less than six months
left in the White House,
President Obama arrived onstage
in Charlotte
with a woman he's pledging his vote for
in November.
I have run my last campaign.
NEWSMAN: The Clinton campaign said
it picked up the tab...
This is Licurtis from Gertrude.
This is Licurtis from Gertrude.
And Melvin...
from Gertrude.
(birds chirping)
Christmas was hard.
Every year, my mother would shop for them
like she did everybody else,
and she would put their gifts
under the tree.
So, we were holding on to...
call it false hopes.
And every year,
my mother kept
buying their Christmas gifts.
And she had a Christmas gift
when they got out for eight years.
They had eight years' worth
of Christmas gifts.
Adams Creek and their attorneys,
they had other options
under the current 2011 order.
They could have easily torn down
their property,
um, removed all of the structures,
cleaned the land off.
Come up with a bill of the cost
of that endeavor
and had a civil judgment placed
against Mr. Davis and Mr. Reels.
It didn't require their incarceration.
You know, the elephant in the room
in this case is race.
I don't argue race
if I don't have the anecdotal fact,
and I don't have the anecdotal fact,
I'm not accusing anyone of anything.
But comparatively speaking, you know,
this is... this order is an abomination.
It's as if that, you know,
you're gonna teach these guys a lesson,
and so the family can shout
from the rooftops, um, the truth.
Nobody listened to them.
So, now is the day,
and again, some were thinking
it will be tomorrow, Thursday.
So it's like they almost don't...
don't want that courtroom
packed with a lot of people.
I-I don't know.
Now, that's how you know
things ain't right.
Right. Mm-hmm.
'Cause if they were right,
they would do 'em decent and in order.
That's true.
REPORTER (over radio): The NRCS...
Natural Resources Conversation Service...
has been working on developing
a specific program
for Native American land
with limited results so far.
And the ownership structure
of land on reservations makes
program eligibility rather difficult.
On another note, new numbers are out
for this year's...
Dear God, we ask that you use the lawyer
in a way that he's never been used before.
And dear God, we ask you give us courage.
We ask us to give...
We ask you to give us strength.
In all we do, dear God,
we give you glory and praises.
- In Jesus' name we pray, amen.
- OTHERS: Amen.
The last lawyer we had was James Hairston.
And he presented the case.
He proved that Licurtis and Melvin, um...
could not pay the sanctions
that had been put upon them.
- But the court is that way.
- He proved that
keeping them in jails for eight years
wasn't something they could do.
the court sided with him,
but... that was it.
(indistinct chatter)
- They're coming out.
- Hey.
- They're coming out.
- (laughs): All right.
- Yeah, they're coming out.
- (indistinct chatter)
(indistinct chatter)

(chains clinking)

(door buzzes)
- MAN: It's about time!
- (excited chatter, laughter)

- Come on, all right?
- Oh, man.
(excited chatter)
Let me look at you good.

(indistinct chatter)
Let him see his house.
Oh, your house looks good.
- MAMIE: Doesn't it?
- (muffled, indistinct chatter)
It's still standing, ain't it?
LICURTIS: Yeah, as long as it's standing,
that's all that counts.
Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
Man, how you doing, man?
Ah, okay, okay.
Oh, man.
- MAMIE: Hey, boy, here.
- Come on.
Come on, let's go.
Come on out here. Come with me.
I've been thinking about you the most.
How you doing?
- (Martin mutters)
- Yeah, let me get that.
(chatter fades)
That my tractor.
The guy that stole it wasn't doing
something, I'll tell you that.
Man, the fish house torn down.
Oh, that's a... that's a crime scene.
It-it just ain't the same down here
no more.
It ain't the same no more.
Adams Creek Associates.
Man, that won't fly.
Ain't gonna fly.
- (birds squawking)
- (insects trilling)
Well, they can't stop me
from going to this land.
I built all of this.
Come on, let's go back there.
I feel good to be home.
I feel good to be home, and...
I really feel real good to be home.
I want to thank everybody for coming.
For just stopping what you're doing
at the last minute
'cause this wasn't something
that we planned.
- WOMAN: Period.
- It was something that God had in order,
and when he said they released them boys,
we just went and did it.
- OTHERS: Amen.
- And I don't know, I just said potluck,
and the family and Facebook kicked in.
Let this be a testimony,
'cause our job ain't finished.
- (overlapping agreements)
- It ain't finished.
You know ain't nowhere in the world...
in Merrimon, we ain't got nowhere to go.
So, what I'm saying is, we are family.
I don't care what shall come,
we are family.
But I'm saying, let's continue
to get together
'cause we got to get this water back.
- OTHERS: Mm-hmm.
- We got to get Li back in his house
so him and Frenchie and them can cook
them beans with pig feets in 'em.
Yesterday, I was in Roses,
and it was a teacher,
and she knew Janine and them
- 'cause they were all some bad children.
- (laughter)
They wasn't bad when they were big.
Janine was history. Black Power.
GIRLS (singing):
Ride till I can't no more
- I got the horses in the back
- Okay
Horse tack is attached, hey
Hat is matte black, got the boots
that's black to match
Wait, stop. Stop, stop, stop, stop.
Someone make a beat.
Wait. Wh-Whoa. Yeah, 'cause
I want to freestyle real quick.
- (overlapping excited chatter)
- Make a beat, make a beat.
All right.
(rhythmic clapping)
- Okay.
- Yeah.
- This is our beach, this is our land
- Uh-huh. Right.
- Mm-hmm.
- This is our water
- Our club, everything
- Mm-hmm.
- This is our land, this is our water
- Okay.
- Oh, yeah.
- This is our club, our space, anything
- Oh. Okay.
- This is our land, this is our water
- This is our club, our space, anything
- Okay.
We got everything, we are really free
We are everything,
we can walk down the streets
- Okay.
- (grunting rhythmically)
This is mine.
Billy, Billy, can you come on this side?
Right next to, um...
- Right next to me.
- Yeah. Yeah.
- Let me see the long lens again.
- Yeah.
Actually, no, this is good.
Licurtis, come on the other side.
You want to put me beside him, huh?
Come... come in closer, bro.
(camera clicking)

(thunder rumbling)
When I look at the justice system now,
even with this case,
when we were right, we were right,
and when we were wrong, we were wrong.
And it didn't matter what,
we weren't right,
and even when we were right,
we were wrong to the court system.
And do I believe Black people are
ever gonna be treated equal?
No. No.
The justice system? No.
Do I see things changing? No.
If we haven't changed in 60-some years
we've been fighting this case,
they haven't changed
from the day Martin Luther King started,
do I see things changing?
No, I-I don't,
because people hearts are wax cold,
and it's all about money.
This is not our bread,
- but you got it from Gordon, so...
- Okay.
- This will fall all to pieces.
- Maybe not.
Where's she at?
Good morning, Gert.
- How are you doing?
- I'm doing fine. How are you doing?
How it feel to be up at 10:20
in the morning?
- It feels bad.
- (laughter)
- I don't like cooking.
- I love cooking.
I like for people to enjoy our food.
I like it.
Well, then, I'm-a hire you, then.
How about that?
But I used to like cooking.
- (laughs) I'm-a hire you, then.
- Believe me.
Uncle Li, your food is cold now.
- MAMIE: I was calling you.
- LICURTIS: For what?
To come and eat.
- I might.
- Oh, no, you're gonna eat that food.
Oh, yeah, you're gonna come eat that food
somebody set and take their time
to cook break...
That's why I don't like cooking.
KIM: Yeah, he said,
Mama said he wanted breakfast.
- Had he not said that, then...
- Giving you lip.
(Licurtis clears throat)
You do whatever she say do, don't you?
Wash your hands!
Right there.
Mamie, give up.
- Come on, Mamie.
- No.
Y'all are trying to get on my bad side.
- I'm already on your bad side.
- Um, I don't care about
getting on your bad side.
I'm still on your bad side.
Everybody's gonna get on his bad side.
He don't even know his bad side
from his good side.
Sit down on your good side.
- That's a lot of side to sit on.
- MAMIE: Mm-hmm.
(Licurtis laughs)
(birds chirping)
I try to hold-hold it down, man.
It pisses me off.
I don't come down here
because I know what I'm liable to do.
All this stuff I built out here...
blowed my boat up, cut this up.
We just moved over there.
Th-That's where you could put
the boats and stuff out.
And get it on... have a boat ramp.
Now, we got a boat ramp there.
We got a boat ramp right over there.
But now it's time
for the guys to start shrimping.
And-and make them some money.
See? This is the time of the year
that we goes to the water,
and we stay on the water
until... until it's all over.
Made good money.
Uncle Charles, so,
what we're trying to do now basically...
- Mm-hmm. Okay.
-, um, figure out what we're gonna do
with the rest of the remaining property
that's in good standing.
So we have to come up with a plan,
- implement something on, you know...
- CHARLES: Mm-hmm. I agree.
...finding someone that's able and...
available to be the new administrator
over this situation
'cause we know
Grandma's getting older, and...
My-my mother.
And Aunt Classie's unable
to do it as well.
I think it'd be fine
to have a new administration
'cause I'm getting old, forgetful.
So, that's it.
Scariest thing for me is:
What happens when that 95-year-old woman
called Gertrude Reels...
what happens to Silver Dollar Road
when she pass?
Will the next generation care enough
to save Silver Dollar Road?
They might.
- (motor rattling)
- (birds squawking)

Well, Nate, I always wanted to see,
and now I see, huh?
I always wanted to come out here
and ride the water and see.
Aw, man. This is awesome.
So, on the water,
it sort of looks backwards.
I'm Nate.
Mamie's my grandma.
Melvin's my uncle. Licurtis is my uncle.
Have two kids, and I'm
a commercial fisherman for a living.
Typical day, I mean, might catch
a few hundred pounds on average.
Some days you don't catch anything.
Some days you can catch
thousands of pounds in minutes.
Every day is different.
With what we catch, nine out of ten,
if you catch a good bit,
you carry it to the fish house.
The fish house sets their price
to what they can make money,
and then the fishermen get whatever
the fish house is gonna give them.
Last year, they were trying to close
all the inside waters in North Carolina,
where the little boats like me
can go work.
Now they're trying to make it to where
only three miles and off you can shrimp,
but the bigger boats, they can go out
in the ocean and stay for weeks.
Unlike us, we don't hold as much fuel.
We don't hold as much ice.
We can't hold as much groceries.
And then there's gonna be guys
with boats like mine,
my size, that go out there and get killed.
I mean, the ocean is no joke
compared to in here.
It's not... nowhere near as much
rough seas, the weather's different.
And at the worst, you're
a quarter mile away from the shoreline.
You're not three miles off shore
fighting sharks,
eating your nets up and everything.
It's a huge difference
working inside and outside.
So, is this the way
you came shrimping this morning?
I drove from here to out there
and come back.
And did a basket?
- Yeah.
- That's good.
NATE: I think I'm gonna try
to start another business
outside of commercial fishing
just so, if all else fails,
I got a way to feed my family.

We'll stay out here...
We've been in this water all our life.
That's why we know it.
I got nephews out there
right now shrimping.
But they got no way to get to the water.
They took the-the best spot
that we had to fish,
that-that... that we would have to work on
where we had our boat
with the deepest water,
they took that away.
(waves crashing)
Wow, this is awesome.
And my grandma, she's a fighter.
She tries to bring everybody
back together.
It don't always work, but she never fails.
She's gonna try.
To a sense, I do accept
taking responsibility of that land,
'cause that's
where I want to raise my kids at.
That's where I want to be at.
So when it comes time, I feel
I'll probably be one of the only ones
that puts up a fight,
and I'm not gonna be able to do it alone.
If they win the land back,
I see it going great.
'Cause Uncle Melvin is
already talking about
his plans of building a fish house,
making sure we got fuel, ice,
all the things that he had before,
he said he wants to do it again.
I see everybody in the family
coming back to commercial fishing again
so we never have to go to fish houses
and get cheated.
I feel like it would be a lot better
(birds squawking)
Oh, Lord
Show me
The way
Oh, Lord
Show me
- Show me the way
- The way
- Said I'm down, down here, Lord
- Down here, Lord
- And I need your power
- Father Lord, I need your power
- Show, show me
- Show me
Show me the way
Lord, I'm your child
- Yes, I am
- (lively chatter)
Your child
I haven't been good all my days
- Lord
- But, Lord
- I'm your child
- I'm still your child
- Father, I'm down here
- Down here
In this mean world
- And, Lord, Lord, I need your power
- And I need your power
- Show, show me
- Show me
- Show me the way
- The way
While the Lord is running warm
in your veins
Look up toward heaven way and say
Father Lord, I need your power
- Father, show me
- Show me
- Show me the way
- The way
Lord, show
- Show me
- Father, show me
The way.
I just want to thank everybody
for coming today.
As you all know, I wanted to get...
or we all wanted to get together
for Memorial Day,
just to have a celebration to say...
to celebrate family,
you know, also celebrate our vets
and our graduates.
- (shushes)
- You know, we-we...
we didn't have it real,
real hard growing up.
We had it a little easy, but still
we thank God where we come from.
My-my grandfather had pigs and hogs,
tobacco, watermelon.
He had some of it all, but...
And we didn't have to
really want for nothing,
'cause Aunt Gray had
a garden bigger than this playground.
And we'd go to steal, steal cucumber
and tomato when she'd go to work.
- (laughter)
- And she would put flour on them
and tell us they were poisoned
so we got scared and wouldn't eat them,
but we caught on to her and said,
"Wait a second,
that ain't no poison, that's flour.
That's okay."
We washed it off and eat.
She said, "I'm-a fix y'all...
seen 'em every day, y'all steal 'em."
("Bikers' Shuffle" by Big Mucci playing
over speakers)
(lively chatter, laughter)
Now kick with it, kick with it
Pop it in, now kick with it
Step to your right, now slide with it.
- ("Wobble" by V.I.C. plays over speakers)
- (lively chatter, laughter)
'Ey, big girl, make 'em back it up
Make 'em back it up
'Ey, big girl, make 'em back it up
Make 'em back it up
'Ey, big girl, make 'em back it up
Make 'em...
(lively chatter, laughter)
(upbeat song playing over speakers)
(chatter and laughter continue)
Get your booty on the dance floor,
get your booty on the dance floor...
("Family Reunion" by The O'Jays playing
over speakers)
Now let's take a look at the family
In the family,
the father is like the head...
- (music fades)
- (grunts softly)

Mm, mm, mm.
LICURTIS: They took the best years
of my life, didn't they?
I went in at 52.
Come out at 61, 62.
Aw, man.
When I come home,
I went and sat on the front porch.
I said, "Lord, just give me the strength
not to hate and just go on with my life."
And I sat there and I cried about it,
and I cry about it now.
Kind of made me sick, you know,
to try to put people through sh...
stuff like this here,
and... (sighs)
and I hadn't done nothing.
And like I tell you, man...
When you sit down and-and...
and talk about this story here,
it makes me cry, you know that?
(breathes deeply)
That's why I stay in my room.
And sometimes I find myself crying
and don't even...
And I know why, you know what I'm saying?
But, you know... (exhales sharply)
All I know... (sniffles)
it wasn't right.
("Wounded Heart" by Ondara playing)
What are you doing?
Can't you see that
you're breaking me down?
Can't you see that my spirit
Is running on empty now?
What are you rolling?
Can't you see that
you're stealing my time?
Can't you see that my spirit
Is running on empty now?
Will it heal my wounded heart?
Will it heal me before I fall apart?
Will it heal my wounded heart?
Will it heal me before I fall apart?
At the break of the morning
When the trumpets come calling out
Will you be sorry
Or will you marry yourself
to your crime?
At the edge of the story
At the edge of my racing mind
Will I embrace glory
Or will I carry my head
near the ground?
Will it heal my wounded heart?
Will it heal me before I fall apart?
Will it heal my wounded heart?
Will it heal me before I fall apart?

Will it heal my wounded heart?
Will it heal me before I fall apart?
Will it heal my wounded heart?
Will it heal me before I fall apart?
Fall apart
Will it heal me before I fall apart?
- Fall apart.
- (song ends)

(music ends)