Our “slow months” don’t seem to exist anymore and that’s a great problem to have!
Before I jump into a recap of the various events that have transpired over the past two months I want to first let you all know of a very exciting development. Over the past couple of years I have had a number of you ask me when we would have a curriculum
package for junior high and high school. The answer is… we do! Our new publication, “Standing for Freedom: The American Civil Rights Movement” is done and it looks incredible. It is a 30 page magazine style student edition piece that takes kids through the modern Civil Rights Movement. Naturally, it features Joan Trumpauer Mulholland’s story but has so much more. It includes rarely heard stories of ordinary people making a difference. One reviewer told me, “I like to pride myself on knowing about the Civil Rights Movement but there’s stuff in here I never knew.” The publication will also be applicable for upper-elementary when students learn about U.S. History. A teacher’s guide is being written for all three grade levels. We are even exploring a non-consumable version that teachers can use over and over again (for now the consumable version is meant for students to keep). The junior high and high school teacher’s guide will also incorporate lessons from the award-winning film, “The Uncomfortable Truth” to provide an opportunity for a more in-depth discussion about the the history leading up to the Civil Rights Movement. We’re pretty sure it will blow your mind and we’re excited to see it put into action.
Wow! I’m so glad I finally got to share that with you. Now, onto everything else we’ve been up to. In the first part of May, Loki Mulholland returned to Mississippi to shoot another documentary on the Civil Rights Movement that will be coming out in 2020.
On the 18th of May, Joan and Loki flew to Memphis, TN to join Ruby Bridges for her annual book festival with the National Civil Rights Museum. Thousands of books by Joan, Ruby and other authors were signed and given away for FREE. Needless to say, it was great to see Ruby Bridges again but even better to see the incredible reaction from kids of all ages.
June started off with a quick trip to Midwestern University and the Region 9 Conference in Wichita Falls, TX where Loki was joined by Kim Mogilevsky (the foundation’s Education Officer) where we presented to a packed room of educators. The next week Loki flew to Virginia to join his mother in the unveiling of a historical marker commemorating one of the Arlington sit-ins that Joan participated in during the
summer of 1960. Since Loki’s daughter, Dessa, came along we all went to the National Museum of African American History and Culture so she could experience it for the first time. After a docent who was giving a group a tour spotted Joan and said, “And that’s Joan Trumpauer Mulholland…” we spent the next 45 minutes taking pictures for people as word spread and the crowds kept growing. Joan’s granddaughter had never experienced this before but now she knows what her grandmother means to so many people. The next day we flew to Atlanta and drove to Jackson, MS. However, we first made a couple of stops in Montgomery and Selma. In Montgomery we visited the new lynching memorial and then to the Freedom Rider Museum. It’s normally closed on Sundays but they made an exception for Joan. On the phone they asked if it would be okay to invite some people out. On our way to Montgomery we received a phone call asking if Joan would be willing to say a few words. Little did we know that it would be a standing room only event. Next it was on to Selma, AL and dinner with fellow Civil
Rights activist, Joanne Blackmon Bland. Over the past couple of years both Joan and Joanne having been wanting to meet and we were finally able to make that happen.
The next day, in Mississippi, Joan caught up with a couple of friends while I took my daughter into the Delta
to the various sites related to Emmett Till. The next day, on June 12th, we started our morning at Tougaloo College where Joan had attended and then to the Evers Home which is now a museum. June 12, 1963 was the day Medgar Evers was assassinated in his driveway. It was an extra special experience for everyone as we
were joined by Medgar’s daughter, Reena Evers. She gave Dessa a private tour. After lunch with Jerry Mitchell, Joan’s granddaughter got to see and stand in the various places where her grandmother stood for freedom. That evening, Joan was on a panel commemorating the 55th anniversary of the life of Medgar Evers. It was a typical whirlwind tour but well worth.
Finally, we closed out the month with the completion of production and editing of our next film, “Black, White and U.S.” which will come out in early 2019. Music is now being scored, color correction applied, and the audio mixed for what will be a very fascinating documentary. “Black, White & U.S.” explores racism through the lens of transracial adoptions in Utah.