For as long I can remember I have always had a love for history. Whether it was US history, state history, or local history, I’ve always wanted to know more. Since 2016 I’ve been on a mission to uncover lost and untold stories of local history. It started with one interview in May of 2016. An interview with Morris H. Holloway, a Pharmacist’s Mate 2nd Class, changed everything up to that point. Mr. Holloway’s story ignited a need in me to capture more account to of those who served in the armed forces. It eventually led to my first award winning film.
It made me ecstatic that Mr. Clark’s story would be seen all over the country and two foreign countries. I was on top of the world. Up to this point, I had a Nikon D3200 camera and a 3.5mm lavalier microphone. I was able to use a camera, made for taking photos, to capture an awe inspiring story that led to an award. Most media and film people will tell you, that’s not what you should be using. It was all I had. No funding, no donations, it was all volunteer work. So I kept pushing forward.
“So I kept pushing forward.”
In that push forward, I was able to secure another film festival win for another veteran film. I knew I was on to something. Fast forward two years and I’ve produced over ten documentaries, highlighting veterans. I recently updated my equipment to a 4K Digital Camcorder, new lights, new lavalier mic system, and a new approach. With this new investment I am able to produce a better film. This investment means rediscovered or untold history can be preserved for future generations.
After filming my last Veteran, retired Lt. Col. Lloyd Clark, I knew there was another story to tell. The story of Hoxie’s 1955 integration. With my new tools, that story could be retold for today’s generation. So in January I met with Hoxie The First Stand, a nonprofit, and received the support of the committee and the school board. The path to retelling this catalyst moment in civil rights history, had been opened.
As I type this now, there are three individuals who have told me their stories. Stories of perseverance, love, and forgiveness. People like Ethel Tompkins have shared the unadulterated truth behind Hoxie’s 1955 integration. I am excited to capture her story, and many like her, who are willing to share those memories. These are accounts that will give younger generations a glimpse into the past. An understanding of the progress made for them.
“We must never forget.”
Production on this film, ‘Right In The Sight Of God’, is set to be wrapped up by the end of 2019. It’s my hope that you will watch these films and it will spark and interest in you to capture the memories of an aging generation. To preserve what they’ve accomplished for our children. Their experiences and actions helped pave the way for so many of us. So we must never forget.