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Jamestown Foundation to host documentary screening on American South

March 7, 2019

FLORENCE, S.C. – Frederick DeShon Murphy will present his documentary “The American South as We Know It” to the Florence community this weekend.

A screening of the documentary and discussion will be held at the Doctors Bruce & Lee Foundation Library from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. The Jamestown Foundation is hosting the event.

Murphy, the director of the documentary, said he traveled for more than a year throughout Southern states to interview individuals about their experiences during the Jim Crow era. He said he also spoke with historians and mental health therapists to cover the historical trauma as well as the resilience of African-Americans.

The documentary is a comprehensive look into the time that African-Americans have been in the country: the good, bad and ugly.

“So the reason why I wanted to do that was the bring awareness to historical trauma as well as show what life was like for our quote-on-quote ordinary everyday individuals that you may see at the grocery store, at your church or just anywhere … small-business owner,” Murphy said. “Everyone has a story and it’s not necessarily the story of Martin Luther King or Rosa Parks, the people that are held to a higher standard than everyone else.”

After seeing the different historical traumas captured in the documentary, Murphy, a mental health therapist, said he wants to create a dialogue with the viewers.

“So that’s why I have the presentation that I do after the documentary titled “Utilizing Film to Better Understand Historical Trauma in the African American Community,” Murphy said. “Cause after you see all the different atrocities that have been said, you don’t want people to just go home.”

Terry James, Jamestown Foundation director, said the documentary is based on the life of people in areas like Florence. He said he thinks having a screening of “The American South as We Know It” in Florence would be beneficial in educating people on that time period.

Saturday’s screening is free and open to the public.