Ahh....Moments: UCF Students Preserve Valuable History In Film
BY VALADA FLEWELLYN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Author, Dr. Ruth D. Edwards surrounded by UCF Documentary Film Class(LEFT) Author Richard Huntly surrounded by UCF Documentary Class(RIGHT)
ORLANDO - Once again Professor Anthony Major, Toya Flewellyn of EYESEEIMAGES, and I joined forces to teach a documentary film class, as a part of the University of Central Florida’s Africana Studies Program. This year a class of ten UCF students from various disciplines, were able to explore and document African American history.
The students visited the Hannibal Square Heritage Center in Winter Park and learned about how gentrification destroyed a Black neighborhood. They were amazed that so many social injustices like gentrification, The Dozier School murders and the Ocoee Massacre happened here in Florida. The students interviewed activists who were influential in social justice and performed an experiment questioning people on campus about the Ocoee Massacre. They asked, “Have you heard about the 1920 Ocoee Massacre?”, and they found that very few people knew about it. The students concluded that many of the atrocities that happened to African Americans have been hidden. At the end of the class, the students realized that they, like the activists they interviewed, are participating in making the hidden truths known.
Throughout the six week course, the students interviewed Dr. Ruth D. Edwards, author of “Becoming A Black Woman: A Theory of Internalized Collective Consciousness” and Richard Huntly, co-author of “Dark Days of Horror at Dozier: Rapes, Murders, Beatings and Slavery". Civil Rights Attorneys Jerry and Brooke Girley, (father and daughter), UCF Professor Emeritus and founder of the Equal Justice Institute (EJI) of Central Florida’s Ocoee Massacre Project, Dr. Kristin Congdon. Other EJI members interviewed were; Charley Miller, former president of the League of Women Voters of Orange County, Francina Boykin, member of Democracy Forum, Fairolyn Livingston, Chief Historian of the Hannibal Square Heritage Center, and Dr. Harry Coverston, former Public Defender, Episcopal Priest, and Valencia State College Ethics Instructor.
This class was a wonderful way to mark our ten year anniversary working together. I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to Toya Flewellyn and Professor Anthony Major for what has been an awesome ten years. Special thanks to the Girley Law Firm and EYESEEIMAGES for providing internships for several students.