Jestine’s – Charleston, SC!

In August of 2016, A Backpack Journalist’  first Filmmaking Camp was offered “FREE” to Charleston area students in partnership with The Gaillard Center Education.  We have maintained on YOUTUBE the collection of films highlighting the projects completed that week!

One of the projects was to gather and tell the story of Jestine’s, a local restaurant.  During the 5 days, with a professional filmmaker with each group of youth, a script was developed for production.

Research was key.  Interviewing important.  Making sure we got the facts correct which included the inspiration behind the name Jestine’s. We knew the food was great as the lines were always long.

The technical elements from collecting the audio to the actual filming and editing.   Considering this short film was one of our first for our young people – the “backpack journalists”  to work on, we are so proud of this short film!  Embedded here is the link to view all of the documentaries that were completed during the week.

Jestines is found at 26:18 – 33:51

Why now do we again share this.  Recently our local newspaper, THE POST AND COURIER, published an article titled:  Reckoning with the legacy of Jestine’s Kitchen, and the black cook storyline at its center. We will not include the writer, you can go search for it if you wish.

Our opinion is that the writer failed to do proper research, and her storyline missed the entire inspiration

2016 Film Making Camp at The Gaillard Education

for the naming of this restaurant.   So many of us have traveled the world, and have found restaurants in cities  such as Boston, New York, Dallas to name a few and  outside of the south, who were created from family cookbooks with namesakes of people who made a difference in many lives, and including immigrants who came to America!

This storyline by this writer – was indeed a “crooked spin” trying to tag race in the process.

Dana, the owner of Jestine’s,  on film with our youth reporter/storyteller, shared she wanted Jestine to be remembered forever for all the goodness that she had brought in her life, as well as in her Mother’s life.  Yes, her cooking was incredible, but it was her loving and consistent care of their family.

So why now would this article appear in THE POST AND COURIER?  The reporter was the food editor?

For certain, we now have a print article to share with our future students.  We can blow it up and make it a poster.  We can analyze it to showcase opinion versus fact.  We can find the missing research. NO, we will not buy the newspaper or make copies illegally.

And, we will not mention the reporters name.  Not important, but what is to show future students what NOT to do in a story about a beloved black cook who made a significant difference in so many lives and the honor that her family and the owner wished for by naming a restaurant after her.

Be sure and take a quick look at our Jestine’s story.  Again, this was 4 years ago and our first filmmaking camp here in Charleston, but the story is there.

Linda Dennis