The film TWO ROADS DIVERGED, produced by ACE pictures and Susan Wittenberg, reimagines Mick Moloney and Lenwood Sloan’s groundbreaking stage show, which explores how, despite the troubled backdrop of racism and discrimination, Irish people in the United States and African Americans were able to find common ground and a shared humanity through music, song, dance, and humor.
Legendary folklorist and banjo rambler Mick Moloney and ‘catalytic agent’ and performer Leni Sloan are master storytellers with a rare ability to take you somewhere unexpected, shake up what you thought you knew or made you comfortable, and land you back down seeing things differently.
Mick and Leni look at the relationship between these two groups whose shared commonalities, cultural and economic, developed a complex bond beginning with their arrival in America as enslaved people from Africa and indentured servants from Ireland, to the impact on the world of popular entertainment. Challenging historical preconceptions, they discuss the complexity of issues ranging from Blackface minstrelsy, the Emancipation Proclamation, to Black urban vernacular and the influence of early Dutch colonists on language. Mick and Leni add to a history that few know about or fully understand. This film builds on their past shows and always connects to the present with content and performances ranging from rising stars Jerron Paxton and Nora Brown to the Malian Griot Cheick Hamala Diabate.