Film poster for "Invented Before You Were Born" with illustration of people standing in front of white house.
Film poster for "Invented Before You Were Born" with illustration of people standing in front of white house.
We Can't Hide From History


Regular price $129.00


OFFICIAL SELECTION - Santa Monica International Film Festival 2023 | ORSON WELLES AWARD WINNER - Tiburon International Film Festival 2022

Race, Truth & Reconciliation • Black History • Slavery • Emancipation • Genealogy • Freedom • Roots • Abolition • Freedmen • Black Farming • American History • American South • Kentucky History • Privilege

Date of Completion: 2022 | Run Time: 89 minutes​​ | Language: English | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript & Teaching Guide | Director: Jonathan Knight | Producers: Jonathan Knight & Le Datta Denise Grimes, PhD. | Writers: Le Datta Denise Grimes, PhD. & Carla Roda | Editor: Carla Roda | Executive Producers: Rachel Knight & Fanshen Cox

In INVENTED BEFORE YOU WERE BORN, white siblings Jonathan and Rachel Knight discover they are descendants of Kentucky slave holder Richard Bibb. Confronting this family history leads to meeting black descendants of the people enslaved by their ancestor. Joined by African American journalist and historian Le Datta Grimes, they set off on a journey to share the stories of descendants and cousins linked by enslavement and the inheritance of Bibb’s resources. Their efforts culminate in a powerful family reunion in Kentucky at the site that represents both bondage and freedom.

Educational Media Reviews Online | Reviewed by Mary Kamela, Student Support and Engagement Librarian, University at Buffalo
"Invented Before You Were Born is an excellent documentary that [...] addresses issues of white saviorism and white supremacy, including debates on the appropriateness of turning a plantation house into a museum."

Video Librarian | J. Zimmerman
"Anyone interested in the operation of slave plantations before the Civil War, the emancipation of enslaved African Americans, or the politics in the years leading up to the Secession of the Confederate States appreciate this highly educational documentary. Recommended."

Marin Independent Journal | Colleen Bidwill, Assistant Lifestyles Editor

Welles Award WinnerTiburon International Film Festival 2022
Official Selection | Santa Monica Film Festival 2022
Virtual People's Choice Award ; Best Feature Documentary | Denton Black Film Festival 2023
Award of Special Merit ; Special Mention | Impact Docs Awards 2023
Official Selection | Roxbury International Film Festival

Clemson Area African American Museum - Screening for Kwanzaa Celebration 2022 ; Screening for Black History Month 2023
Elgin Special Events Cultural Arts - Screening for MLK Jr. Day Celebration 2023

Jonathan Knight is a filmmaker and Visual Effects supervisor. With 20 years experience in Visual Effects. Invented Before You Were Born is Jonathan’s first project as a director. Growing up in Cambridge, MA, he now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jonathan is an active member of SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) in Marin County. He is also an active supporter of the SEEK Museum in Russellville, KY. He is not a professional historian, but became interested in his own family history and connection to slavery in response to the white supremacist uprisings in 2017. Through engaging with this history and the people who are its legacy, Jonathan has found connection, purpose, and new family.