Sunday, November 8, 2015

Girlfriend's Google Doodle Compels Filmmaker to Complete Civil Rights Era Documentary

Earlier this year, Boston artist Ekua Holmes created the Google Doodle displayed on January 19th across the U.S. for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Like Ava Duvernay's recent film, the illustration was anchored to the famous march across Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma.

As it so happens, Holmes' boyfriend Clemon King had at that time been working for many years on his own Civil Rights era project, the feature documentary Passage at St. Augustine. The movie documents some less well-remembered protests against segregation that took place in Florida in the spring of 1964.

King was sitting on a 2002 cut of the film that he was not happy with. When Holmes won the MLK Google Doodle contest, it sparked him to finally complete the project. Per an item by The Somerville Journal editor Dan Atkinson:

Ekua said ‘I have six weeks to get this done, you’ve had 13 years – get it done!’” King recalled. Within six weeks, King completed the film.
Besides the upcoming Boston screening, the documentary is slated to be the centerpiece of Brandeis’ MLK Day programming and other universities, as well as PBS, have expressed interest, King said.

The Boston screening takes place this Tuesday, November 10th, at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, launching the latest season of the institution's Adderly Lecture series.

Following the screening, WGHB journalist Callie Crossley will moderal a panel discussion featuring King together with Ted Mascott, a former WGBH reporter jailed in St. Augustine, local resident Mimi Jones, Rabbi Israel “Si” Dresner, one of 16 rabbis also arrested in the St. Augustine movement, and Brock Satter, an organizer with Boston's Mass Action Against Police Brutality.

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