Meet David Wilson. David Wilson is a 28-year-old African-American man from Newark, New Jersey. He grew up in a tough, urban neighborhood, but managed to navigate his way out of poverty and into the world of news production in New York City. Now, meet David Wilson: David Wilson is a 62-year-old white man from rural North Carolina. He grew up in Caswell County, where his ancestors once farmed tobacco. He now operates a small chain of BBQ restaurants in nearby Reidsville, where he lives with his wife and son.
Although they have never met, the two men share more than just a name — one David’s ancestors were once enslaved by the other’s forebears in the antebellum South. In “Meeting David Wilson,” the two men come face-to-face to confront their storied past. The 90-minute documentary records the unusual “family reunion” as the New Jersey Wilson family travels back to the North Carolina plantations to meet the white Wilsons; meeting on the very same plantation where lives were sacrificed and where racial equality was once unthinkable.
Will their worlds collide? How will they deal with the gravity of their family’s histories and issues like reparations? Scenes of North Carolina and New Jersey — with past and present-day realities of black Americans — pepper the film and raise questions about how the black community has fared since its migration to the north. “Meeting David Wilson” provides compelling perspective on the legacy of slavery in America by chronicling the personal stories of these two men and their momentous encounter.
“What you have in the two of us is the story of two races and two generations honestly talking about the dark cloud of slavery and its continuing impact on our families and our lives even today,’ said director David Wilson. “We intend to ignite a candid and unprecedented conversation about race.”
Meeting David Wilson airs on MSNBC April 11th.