Thomasville students learn about black history through award-winning documentary

Thomasville students learn about black history through award-winning documentary

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - Students watched a film Friday showing how African Americans survived Jim Crow laws.

The award-winning documentary was played at Jack Hadley Black History Museum in Thomasville.

One student said the documentary was impactful and emotional.

The director and producer, Frederick Murphy, said that hearing people’s experiences was a freeing experience for him.

Frederick Murphy, director and producer of “The American South As We Know It”
Frederick Murphy, director and producer of “The American South As We Know It” (Source: WALB)

With a background in counseling, Murphy used his skills to help bring out the voice of many untold stories.

“It’s a collection of the good, bad and the ugly if you will. A collection of humanity and what individuals had to experience during such a turbulent time in this country," said Murphy.

The American South As We Know It” has won many awards.

It’s been viewed at many film festivals inside and outside of the country.

“Provide a platform for individuals whose voices may have been marginalized and provide an opportunity for individuals in various different communities by the masses to get a better understanding and a comprehensive view of what history is,” explained Murphy.

Murphy said he thinks his film resonated well with the students.

“How they suffered so many different tragedies on the bridge and how it affected everyone’s mental state,” said Fredrick Diggs, a sophomore at Thomas County Central High School.

Fredrick Diggs, a sophomore at Thomas County Central High School
Fredrick Diggs, a sophomore at Thomas County Central High School (Source: WALB)

Diggs said he almost cried while watching. He said he’s more aware now of his roots and what his family had to endure many years ago.

“I’m more proud to be African American now watching the documentary because like, I get to express my culture and I saw more of how it is to be an African American and the hard times and troubles that we have been through,” said Diggs.

Murphy said the hardest part about making the film was putting himself in the shoes of those who lived through Jim Crow.

Though it was draining and difficult, Murphy said it was rewarding.

“To have the opportunity to provide the avenue for them to be able to express how these different injustices and this sense of resilience throughout these injustices has made them feel was very rewarding," explained Murphy.

Shining a light on our country’s past as we push forward to a brighter future.

“I feel like we’re all out on this earth to do something good for each other for the sake of humanity. This is my way to influence change,” said Murphy.

Murphy plans to release another documentary in May called “The Other Side of the Coin, Race, Generations and Reconciliation.”

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