FLORENCE, S.C. – The Jamestown Foundation will host a documentary screening and discussion next weekend at the Drs. Bruce & Lee Foundation Library.
“The American South as We Know It” will be shown at the library from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 17. The documentary is directed by Frederick DeShon Murphy and gives a comprehensive look into African Americans’ time in the United States.
Murphy said he traveled for more than a year throughout Southern states to interview people about their experiences during the Jim Crow era. He also spoke with historians and mental health therapists about the historical trauma and resilience of African Americans.
This will be the second time the Jamestown Foundation has hosted a screening of the documentary. It was first shown at the library in March. Terry James, director of the Jamestown Foundation, said he wants the community to see how far African Americans have come as a race of people and how far they have yet to go.
“Sometimes if you don’t have a measuring stick, you don’t know how far you’ve come,” James said. “Race relations still need to be reconciled, but we still have a long way to go.”
James said the documentary tells of the period that the people of Jamestown lived through. Jamestown was a settlement established in the Mars Bluff community of Florence County in 1870 by Ervin James, a former slave. It became a self-sufficient haven for the people who lived there.
“We decided to bring the documentary here to give a reflection of the past, so people can say, ‘Wow, I remember those times,’” James said.
Murphy is a mental health therapist, and he said once the historical traumas captured in the documentary are shown, he likes to create a dialogue with the viewers. After the documentary screenings, he conducts a presentation titled “Utilizing Film to Better Understand Historical Trauma in the African American Community.”
The screening on Aug. 17 is free and open to the public. The Drs. Bruce & Lee Foundation Library is at 509 S. Dargan St. in Florence.