This Sunday, January 25 at 10PM on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, make sure to catch "Sag Harbor," a fascinating look at the town, featuring an interview with residents B. Smith and her husband Dan Gasby. The tight knit African-American neighborhood enclave of Sag Harbor was established as a refuge from racism in the early twentieth century. But recently, real estate prices in Azurest, Ninevah Beach and Sag Harbor Hills have skyrocketed. Now younger generations, inheriting property from their parents and grandparents, face a dilemma: to sell or not to sell? "Sag Harbor" profiles a community at a crossroads, but one that truly values family and tradition.
We sat down with co-executive producer Troy Roberts to discuss "Sag Harbor."
What's your history with Sag Harbor?
My high school friend Emma Walton Hamilton and her husband Stephen Hamilton created the Bay Street Theatre with Sybil Burton in the 90s and I traveled to Sag Harbor to see them and fell in love with the small town feel, the light and, of course, the water.
What inspired you to make this show?
I was frustrated with the images I was seeing on television of African-American people. There was nothing positive or uplifting and the stereotypes of black people on TV was offensive to me. I understood there was an important story to tell about affluent, educated African-Americans living in this insular community in the Hamptons. This is an unprecedented look inside this world. Oprah and Gayle King were so enthusiastic when I pitched this idea and I am quite proud of it.
What's the most interesting thing people will learn from watching the special?
The history of Sag Harbor is very interesting. During the years of segregation. Middle class African-Americans searching for summer retreats looked to Eastville, and by the 1950s had established the almost entirely black communities of Azurest, Ninevah and Sag Harbor Hills. I know some white people who have lived in Sag Harbor for years and weren't even aware of the African-American beach communities.
What's changed the most about Sag Harbor over the years?
The demographic is slowly changing. More white people have discovered the beauty of the place and the relatively lower home prices compared to the rest of the Hamptons. Younger generations, now inheriting these homes from their parents and grandparents face a vexing dilemma: To sell or not to sell.
What's your own favorite part of Sag Harbor?
Taking a ride on friend's boats and Tutto il Giorno!
· Welcome to Sag Harbor [OWN]