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From slavery to freedom to fame—to obscurity: the long-forgotten story of emancipation, family, and fine food, through the life an incomparable Richmond chef.

Join us on Wednesday, February 28 for a special screening of a new documentary on a Richmond culinary legend: “The Hail-Storm: John Dabney in Virginia.”  A capstone to Black History Month, this event will celebrate the long tradition of African American culinary excellence and entrepreneurship in Richmond and beyond.  In addition to the film, guests will enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres inspired by Dabney, as well as a post-screening discussion.

“The Hail-Storm” is a 26-minute documentary produced by the Richmond-based directors of Field Studio, with financial support from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and WCVE/Community Idea Stations. The film features acclaimed local actors dl Hopkins (recently awarded a Theresa Pollak Prize for a career commitment to the arts) and David Toney (on faculty at the VCU Theater Department). Historical researcher Elvatrice Belsches served as one of the scholarly advisors, an interviewee and as an archival researcher for the film.

The screening will be followed by a discussion with the filmmakers, Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren; Elvatrice Belsches; and Shola Walker, the co-owner and head baker of Mahogany Sweets, a vegan and gluten-free bakery in Jackson Ward. Learn more about the film at hailstormdabney.com.

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