Honoring black pioneers: “His Name is Green Flake” star talks movie and monument

Good Morning Utah

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Good Morning Utah celebrated Pioneer Day Thursday with an interview about Green Flake, a black man and enslaved pioneer, who was one of the first men to enter the Salt Lake Valley.

ABC4’s Sarah Martin sat down with Yahosh Bonner who plays Green Flake in a new movie about the pioneer’s life. 

On July 24, 1847, Brigham Young and a number of pioneers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints entered the Salt Lake valley and declared: this is the place. Days before, Young sent Green Flake ahead, a man who’d earned the trust of the prophet and a reputation of faithful dedicated service. Green drove the first wagon into Emigration Canyon and when Young arrived, Green had already planted crops.

His Name is Green Flake” introduces audiences to the pioneer; it was produced by a large team of Utah creatives. Yahosh Bonner stars in the film and it was directed by his brother Mauli Junior Bonner, both members of The Bonner Family musical group. Singer Alex Boye plays a role in the movie and contributed to the soundtrack, as did the Piano Guys. Sisters Zandra Vranes and Tamu Smith of Sistas in Zion were producers on the project. 

The final two virtual watch parties for the movie are scheduled for this weekend, July 24 and 25; tickets are available online here. The movie is suitable for all audiences including children. Proceeds go towards a monument in the works to honor Green Flake and the other black pioneers who helped build the Salt Lake Valley. 

Yahosh Bonner says the team is in talks with both the This is the Place Heritage Park and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to get the monument placed and constructed and he says those talks are going very well.  

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