Moonrise Over New Jessop grew out of Minnicks’ own concerns with the limited way that Black people and ideas about Black social progress have been historically portrayed.
“Regardless of whether the segregation was de jure or de facto, from north to south and east to west, more than 1200 Black communities were founded between the late 18th and early 20th centuries. These were places where folks wished to maintain separation; where they believed that their main impediments to social advancement were the persistent diversion of tax money from the community, voter disenfranchisement, and both state-sanctioned, and extrajudicial, anti-Black violence,” she explains. “People in these communities founded them to provide safe spaces for us to live and work and love, not to abandon what had been built from the ground up by our foremothers and fathers, and that had existed for generations. Folks wanted to remain where they could ‘see it and be it,’ where their neighbors were professionals, their teachers, all Black, and where they were represented everywhere they looked.”