Family Speaks the Truth: A New Documentary about Sojourner Truth as told by her Descendants | Black Writers Week


All the leaders of the day—from President Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, William Lloyd Garrison and others—looked to Sojourner Truth for strength and inspiration. And she gave them hell when she disagreed with them! Our television series would showcase Sojourner’s amazing life story, irrepressible spirit and her individual courage.

So, by 2019, the Calliwood Productions team was in full pre-production mode. We teamed up with Women of Color Unite, a non-profit group that supports women of color who are rising stars and seasoned professionals to promote their skills to the industry, insisting on equal pay. As we all know, women of color are often overlooked and passed over in the industry. Our producers were determined to find women of color to help us shape this important TV series for our community and all races. We were deep in the interviewing stages, learning about extremely talented female writers, line producers, editors and other staff.  

At the same time, our core team was hard at work shaping our first TV season’s story arc so that Sojourner Truth‘s life would be told in an exciting way, intertwining her life with her contemporaries’ lives and the events of her era in the mid-1800s.  
 
In early March 2020, my days were jam-packed with meetings with my LA-based producers and our executive producer to move the TV idea to fruition. I will never forget the day that Covid-19 became our new reality. The team knew right then and there that things would change, and quite quickly, Hollywood shut down.  

Then I had an idea. With all my time spent with the descendants of Sojourner Truth since 2015, I came to know their rich personal histories. The oral history within the family ran deep, and there were fascinating artifacts held by the elders. Why not make the family’s stories the center of a documentary? I would still be able to spread the word about Sojourner, just in another way. 

I went to the family elders and pitched the idea. I reached out to Thomas McLiechey, Burl McLiechey, Corey McLiechey and Hardy Keith Edwards and told them my vision for the documentary. The family members would tell their stories about how they came to know Sojourner Truth and her teachings. 

You can view the original article HERE.

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