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The 2nd Annual San Antonio Black International Film Festival (SABIFF) Presents Diverse and Engaging Virtual Events

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SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS The San Antonio Black International Film Festival presents SABIFF 2020, its second annual festival beginning October 1st through the 4th on sabiff.tv, their virtual platform, built by SuperLiveStreams.com. Last year SABIFF presented a 4-day inaugural film festival to San Antonians at prime venues on the Eastside, Downtown, and on the Riverwalk’s La Villita Arneson Theater. This year, due to COVID- 19 restrictions on venues and audience limits, the film festival has elected to go virtual keeping previous venues intact online. Daily schedules and offerings which include: films in competition, screenings, panel discussions, and workshops, that range from donation to fifteen dollars. Schedules can be found at both sabiff.com and sabiff.tv websites, and will be simulcast on multiple social media outlets during the festival run.

“Presenting SABIFF online allows SABIFF the opportunity to attract and present their events to a larger audience base, and we have lots in store,” commented Ada M. Babino, the festival’s Founder and Director. SABIFF 2020’s virtual opening night gala will be co-hosted by the Carver Community Cultural Center, a performing arts jewel on San Antonio’s Eastside. SABIFF proudly commemorates the 30-year anniversary of the classic film To Sleep With Anger starring Danny Glover. Veteran Director, Charles Burnett will be presented with SABIFF’s first annual Ankh (life) Achievement Award. Following the film’s watch party, will be a TSWA reunion with cast members discussion and reflections from this 1990 movie classic. Invited renowned cast members include: Dany Glover, Sheryl Lee Ralph (Moesha and The Mighty Quinn), Mary Alice (Sparkle A Different World), Carl Lumbly (Dr. Sleep, The Chi), and Richard Brooks (Law and Order, Being Mary Jane).

SABIFF 2020 will also include 2-days of independent film showcases submitted by 35 filmmakers international in scope, that explore taboo topics such as: mental health and America’s pathology through carefully curated film blocks entitled Blacklash Blues and American Illusions. On October 2 – 3, the festival also presents topics that we need more of, in these days and times. Themes such as LOVE and SOCIAL JUSTICE are showcased through the blocks Love: Under Construction, and BlackLining (presented in partnership with SA’s Black Lives, and Allies in Community (BLAC). Festival highlights the evening of October 2nd include the screening of A Genius Leaves the Hood, a documentary on businessman/music mogul JZ sponsored by Moguldom Studios, followed by a discussion with producer Jamarlin Martin, CEO and Founder of Nubia Ventures, LLC, and Moguldom.com. Martin will also conduct a workshop aimed to empower filmmakers to take their products to the next level — GAME ON: Indie Films to e-Commerce Remix – The Digital Master P. Model. Saturday morning (10am) delves into the topic of racism with the documentary, and a panel discussion of The American LOWS (Legacy of White Supremacy). Sunday’s conclusion of SABIFF 2020 begins with a discussion with Merawi Gerima, director of Residue, now airing on Netflix. A Film Competition Awards Ceremony follows, in combination with a virtual Sunday brunch streaming live from the SAPL’s Carver Library, another partner and cultural hub on the Eastside. Physical awards will be mailed to winning filmmakers, along with an option for filmmakers to air their films on Black Reflections Roku Channel. See sabiff.com for schedules.

SABIFF partnered with a team of committed volunteers, students, and a number of local community institutions and businesses. 2020 Grant awards were received from the San Antonio Area African American Community Fund (SAAAACF), and the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Antonio’s Community Responsibility Endowment Fund (FUUC).

ABOUT SABIFF
The San Antonio Black International Film Festival (SABIFF) serves as a vehicle to support and advocate for quality Black films and filmmakers international in scope, and expose SA Audiences to diverse industry professionals, impactful events, and films created by, for and about people of African Descent throughout the Diaspora. SABIFF was founded by native indie filmmaker Ada M. Babino, and a group of community filmmakers and community movie enthusiasts who began meeting at the Carver Library in the late fall of 2018, with the purpose to create a Black independent film festival in the Alamo City. Birthed from mutual interests, the San Antonio Black International Film Festival was officially and successfully launched at the Carver Library on February 23, 2019, with the start of what will be an annual
endeavor. Fractured Atlas is the fiscal sponsor for SABIFF 2020.

Community

Juneteenth Weekend at Soul Food Truck Fest

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Presented by the Austin Revitalization Authority, Soul Food Truck Fest (#SFTF) will season up the state’s traditional festival lineup on Saturday, June 18, 2022.

Texas Black-owned food trucks will converge on the campus of Huston-Tillotson in the heart of East Austin in a celebration of food, community, culture, and heritage.

Commemoration and Celebration
In 2021, legislation was passed to establish Juneteenth as a federal holiday in the United States. Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865: the day that Union Army Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, and told slaves of their freedom.

Although that day came more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

The festival will be a momentous occasion celebrating Black perseverance past, present, and future all on an HBCU campus: Huston-Tillotson University.

“It is not lost on me the magnitude of hosting such an incredible celebration of the Black culinary tradition on the campus of Austin’s only historically Black university, nestled in its historic Black district, the day before the newly minted federal holiday celebrating Black freedom,” said Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette, President & CEO of Huston-Tillotson University, who will serve as an official ambassador of the event, along with District 1 Council Member Natasha Harper Madison.

Madison, who grew up in East Austin and now serves the city she loves as an elected official, said, “I am truly honored to be a part of this event that ties Austin’s rich Black cultural past with its present through something we can all relate to – food. The African-American culinary experience is about spiritual sustenance as much as it is physical; for years food has played a central role in our coming together as a community, and I’m excited to share that tradition with the community as a whole during Juneteenth weekend.”

Happening at the Fest
Texas, voted a top state for Black entrepreneurs, has a plethora of delicious food truck gems that specialize in soul, Cajun, Southern comfort, BBQ, and secret seasonings from the minds of talented Black chefs. Soul Food Truck Fest will give Texans the chance to enjoy dishes they may not have known were being served up by the Central Texas soul food truck community every day.

The fest will feature:

  • Delicious dishes from 10+ Black-owned food trucks
  • Shopping from arts, crafts, sweets, and other retail vendors
  • Live DJ and musical performances
  • Kid-friendly activities
  • Games
  • And more!

“The Austin Revitalization Authority is excited to support a festival that is investing in uplifting Black businesses and supporting tourism and economic growth in East Austin. Soul Food Truck will be a wonderful way for the Texas community to celebrate Juneteenth,” stated Gregory Smith, ARA. President and CEO.

Want to sample each truck? Attendees can purchase a Judge or VIP ticket and enjoy early entry and samples to participate in the food competition to judge the trucks and name the Best at the Fest Grand Champion. Tickets for the event start at only $10 for early bird general admission.

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Blacks pay higher security deposits, more application fees

Renters of color pay security deposits more often than white renters, and the deposits they pay are typically $150 higher.
Black and Latinx renters report submitting more applications than white and Asian American and Pacific Islander renters. The typical white or Asian American and Pacific Islander renter submits two applications, while the typical Black or Latinx renter submits three.

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Renters of color pay higher security deposits, more application fees

Results from Zillow’s Consumer Housing Trends Report show renters of color typically submit more applications — and pay more in application fees — before they secure a place to live than white renters do. Renters of color also typically pay a higher security deposit when they move in.

The U.S. rental market is as competitive as it’s been in decades, with the national vacancy rate lower than at any time since 1984.ii Rent prices have skyrocketed, up a record 17% in just the past year, prompting some priced-out renters to look for a more affordable home when their lease expires. About 9 in 10 renters paid a security deposit last year, with the typical deposit coming in at $700. A higher share of renters of color paid a deposit (93%) than white renters (85%), and the median amount paid by renters of color was higher, too — $750, compared to $600.

“Rents grew more last year than any year on record, forcing many renters to look for a more affordable option. About 2 in 5 renters who moved in the past year said a rent hike influenced their decision to move,” said Manny Garcia, population scientist at Zillow. “Renters typically do not have much of a financial cushion, and the cost of finding a new place to live can be an expensive burden. Regrettably, renters of color are especially likely to experience rising rents, and when they shop for a new rental, generally report higher upfront costs, restricting the mobility that is often held up as a benefit of renting.” 

A $750 security deposit represents a significant amount of a typical renter’s wealth. Zillow’s research indicates a typical renter holds $3,400 total across savings, checking, retirement and investment accounts. More than one-third (38%) of renters surveyed say they couldn’t cover an unexpected expense of $1,000.

In addition to facing higher and more frequent security deposits, renters of color report submitting more applications and paying higher fees for those applications than white renters. In 2021, 61% of all renters applied for two or more properties — an 11-point increase from 2019 and five points higher than in 2020, likely owing to the tight rental market. The typical white or Asian American and Pacific Islander renter submits two applications, while a Black or Latinx renter typically submits three. More than one-third of renters of color submit five or more applications during their home search: that’s true of 38% of Black and Latinx renters, 33% of Asian American and Pacific Islander renters, and only 21% of white renters.

With a median rental application fee of $50, the cost can add up quickly if renters need to apply for several properties. The burden is often greater for renters of color, who report paying a higher median application fee than white renters, on top of usually needing to apply to more rentals. Among renters who paid an application fee for the home they rent, the typical white renter reports paying $50, while a typical Black renter paid $65, a typical Latinx renter paid $80 and a typical Asian American and Pacific Islander renter paid $100.

The higher fees and number of applications for renters of color are likely partially attributable to their age, income and geography. The typical renter of color is two years younger than the median white renter, meaning two fewer years of potential income growth. White renters are also more likely to rent in rural markets and the Midwest, both of which are generally less expensive. Asian American and Pacific Islander and Latinx renters, in particular, are more likely to rent in the West, which includes many of the country’s most expensive and competitive rental markets.

Expanding access to credit could help improve outcomes for Black and Latinx renters. Nearly half of white renters (46%) say they were completely certain they would qualify for a rental, compared to 38% of Latinx renters and 34% of Black renters. Credit checks are part of many rental applications, and Black and Latinx adults are more prone to being credit invisible and more often live in counties with higher levels of credit insecurity.

Renters looking to reign in application fees may have options. For a flat $29 fee, renters can use Zillow’s online rental application to apply through Zillow for an unlimited number of participating properties within 30 days. The online application includes a credit report and background check, which saves landlords time while screening prospective tenants and provides them with the information needed to feel confident about each applicant. Renters can also offer additional context and explain any negative items on their rental and credit history.

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Selma, Texas #1 for African Americans

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If you live in the Bexar Metro area consider moving to Selma.

Over one in every 10 people in San Antonio is African American. However, the US Census only documents individuals who responded to the mailed survey during the pandemic. Since 2017 to 2021, over 30,000 new black people moved to San Antonio.  These numbers can be deceiving if you don’t understand the geographical overview of the city.

Selma is also the highest average individual income out of the 14 cities. At $44.704, Selma has the highest average monthly personal income at $3,884.

Selma Texas has risen from third to first place in percentage (24.7%) of blacks. Converse, Texas (22.2%) has stayed the same in ranking at number two, while Live Oak, Texas (18.6%) has jumped ahead of Lackland Air Force Base (18.5%) to grab the #3 spot. San Antonio’s percentage dropped from 9th to 10th percent for the Bexar County metro area. Across all areas of the county, there has been an overall growth of 12% in African Americans.

Bexar Metro Black Populations

Selma24.7
Converse22.2
Live Oak18.6
Lackland AFB18.5
Kirby18.0
Cibolo16.3
Schertz11.5
Universal City9.1
Windcrest9.0
San Antonio6.8
Leon Valley6.2
Timberwood Park4.2
New Braunfels1.8
Boerne1.0
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