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What Happened at Benham West is a documentary film that examines the history of Benham West, an African American neighborhood in Elkhart, Indiana. Benham West was forcibly segregated in the 1920s yet became a thriving community for Black families and businesses over the following decades. The community was cleared in the 1970s in the name of urban renewal—yet very little was rebuilt or renewed. What Happened at Benham West tells the neighborhood’s story through the voices of 17 African American elders who lived it.
The documentary will be launched at the Crystal Ballroom at the Lerner in Ellkhart. A reception will precede the film screening.
Note: Due to overwhelming interest, the event has reached capacity, and registration is now closed. However, additional launch events for the documentary and book will take place in Elkhart, Goshen and South Bend, Indiana, in 2023. These events will also be free and open to the public. Please complete this form if you would like to receive announcements about these events.
This program received support from an Indiana Humanities Action Grant.