EXCERPTS OF SELECTED EMAILS
February 2006 – January 2007
Name: Dwight Pinson
Address:275 Chandler Ct.
City: Sugar Hill
Ms. Furman. I am a 48 years old Black Man who was educated in South Carolina. We were required to read and study the history of South Carolina. This book was written by one of your relatives, Mary C. Simms Oliphant. I believe that that book only contained 1-2 pages of African American Accomplishments and entirely ignored reconstruction. I believe that this “shortness” in the true history of South Carolinareally retarded me to an extent…. Ms. Furman….I want to thank you for the reply to your e-mail. I also think that what you are doing is great. Just imagine, descendants of slave owners and slaves are getting together to break bread and share experiences. It is refreshing to see that people can break away from what happened then and celebrate how far that we have come….I feel so much better now that I have spoken with you. I had so much built up negativity about your grandmother’s work.
Name: Elizabeth Rogo
I am a Kenyan engineer who recently migrated toTexaswhere I work in the Oil & Gas Industry. I have always had an interest in the impact of slavery inAmerica, hence I found your documentary – which I just watched this evening (Feb 8th, 2006) on PBS – very interesting. You have brought a very touching, personal and painful story to light. Through my own interactions with African Americans, I have found it rather difficult to have discussions on slavery. Sometimes I wonder if some see me as “…the ones who sold their ancestors…”even though I hail fromEast Africa! I have this desire to reach out and maybe in some way acts as a conduit to the wonderful and rich history of the African continent and its people. But alas, I always detect shame in many of my African American friends when I try and talk about their African ancestry. For many being associated withAfricaseems to be associated with backwardness – far from the truth. I hope some day to finally convince a few of them to travel with me and experience a part of their history – their African History. Thank you again for sharing your story and introducing us to the wonderful people you profiled.
Name: Andrew Shelton King
Address:4723 Stafford Circle
I loved the PBS show on your family (ies). I would be interested in learning more about your initial experiences in reaching out and beginning this crucial conversation between the descendants of both families. I descend from a family that began owning slaves in NC in the early 1800’s and owned them on a large Eastern NC site and two plantations in Alabama until the end of the war.
Name: Ron Morrison
….Our racial narrative and conversation are so often deficient that it is a joy for me to see what you are doing. It is heroic and inspiring. We would be so much better off if this sort of effort were prominently highlighted instead of what typically is….Forgive me, but I think that your attempting to take responsibility in the way that you have is in that tradition. Nurturing that tradition is critically important. We can do that by telling their story and by acknowledging them. Thank you, and thank you for this conversation.
Name: Elisa Love
…I hope the power of this film finds its place in history.
Name: Mae Hamilton Ambrose
Address:330 Harvard Ave.
What a moving program!! I was riveted to my TV last night and cried when it was over!!…. Thank you for making this film. You spoke to me!
Name: Linda Lewin
…Watching this movie, however, I learned about the earliest efforts to “study” it and how off-base the attempt that I found really was. So it’s really nice, after teaching about slavery and race for 35 years, to see people like you come along and shift gears into a brand new dimension for students to appreciate this country’s historical past…. P.S. Just to let you know that Moffitt Library [Berkeley] enthusiastically agreed to buy your film.
Name: Oliver J Dilworth
Address:1809 Calloway Drive
Congratulations on an excellent documentary. I viewed your historical program on TV on 24 Feb 2006, and I continue to be excited about the research….. I have never witnessed such a straight-forward depiction of Slavery.
Name: Francie B. Markham
Address:3819 Bloomwood Rd.
I love this documentary. …. We are using it in our Sunday school class for discussion. Thanks again for this great piece of film.
Name: John Tweedy
Beret and I watched Shared History last night on KBDI. It was truly brilliant, such a powerful and honest exploration! I loved every part of it. I felt such kinship with the filmmaking after our process with Streams of Gold.
Name: John W. Graham
Address: 3807 Round Hill Road
My roots are deep inSouth Carolina, and so I took my 81 year old mother to see Shared Heritage [sic] tonight inWinston-Salem….Your story is a very compelling one and one I loved to see on film. Thank you for this masterpiece!
Name: Brenda J. Arrowood
Address: 211 East Broad Street
It was wonderful!! I sat glued to my chair, hanging on every word of this incredible historic journey of these two families.
Name: Stephen S. Israel
I saw “Shared History” on PBS and thoroughly enjoyed the production. You handled the subject of slavery very honestly and the black families seemed to respond with interest and honesty as well. I am researching, writing and hope to produce a similar story of my Lee family (my mother’s family) from SouthsideVirginia. It is my hope that I can achieve the same honesty in my effort as slavery is so sensitive a subject and it’s hard for white folks to fully understand the complexity of such an era.
Name: Alane Roundtree
It is with great emotion that I write to you today to commend you on your inspirational and bridge building work, “Shared History.” My great hope is to someday experience a similar shared dialogue with descendants of theHammondfamily that will allow our families to come full circle and finally embrace our own “shared histories.” As you may know, this research can be a lonely venture at times, and inspirational stories, such as yours, are rare but priceless finds to researchers like myself.
Dr. Andrew J. Kunka
Assistant Professor of English
Division of Arts and Letters
We did screen “Shared History” on June 12, and the screening was a great success. In a room that holds around 50 people, we had an audience over 40. There was also great discussion afterwards, with many audience members finding connections with their own family history. In general, it was one of the most successful screenings we’ve had in the five years of the film series here inSumter.