about the film
some stories just have to be told.
"Blacks in Appalachia are a neglected minority within a neglected minority." -Dr. William Turner
How did this idea originate?
On August 6, 2019, Josh Mancuso and Ketch Secor met for a cup of coffee in Nashville, Tennessee. One thing that emerged from that meeting was the idea for this film, based on the realization that the story of black Appalachians has largely been overlooked and untold. Soon thereafter, the idea was shared with Adam Dickson and those involved at The Langston Centre in Johnson City, Tennessee, as well as some in the African-American communities of Southwest Virginia. One year later we received a $10,000 grant from the 400 Years of African-American History Commission, and our journey had officially begun. Now, in 2021, as we are closer to the pandemic being in our rearview mirror, we are picking up the camera and making a movie.
What can viewers expect from the story?
Our film will take us to 5 states where we will capture the stories of those who have been forgotten and marginalized, as well as those who have achieved great success despite being a minority in one of the most unique places in America. This journey may just uncover that Appalachia is not as "white" as outsiders might think. Rather, viewers will learn that this region is full of diverse voices contributing to the culture of Appalachia through music, politics, education, athletics, leadership, economic development, history, business, culinary arts, and plain ol' blue-collar grit. You'll see it all: the good, the bad, and the ugly. As our story unfolds from the 19th century till today, you'll laugh, cry, and applaud these torchbearers who defied the odds and continued to march.
When will the film be finished?
We expect to complete the film in the Summer of 2021.
What is the intended use/distribution of the film?
Like all filmmakers, we want our work to be seen by as many people as possible. First, because it's a vitally important story for our country to know. Second, because we're artists and we believe in what we create. We'd love to see the film in theaters, and on Netflix or other streaming service. At minimum, we are confident in its placement on Amazon Prime. We will allocate effort and resources to making that happen. Additionally, we'd like the film to be made available to school systems, universities, public libraries, museums, and other organizations that can leverage it for educational purposes. Upon the film's completion, our first objective will be screening our movie at major film festivals, as well as public/private screenings in various communities.
How can people help?
Our crowdfunding campaign will launch soon, and contributing to that is the biggest help you can provide. Please make sure you subscribe to our email list to be notified when that launches. For some other ways to help,