Special to the NNPA from The Savannah Herald
“A Legacy Forgotten” is a film about the African American high school that broke through the wall of segregation to win the first integrated state basketball championship in Georgia. The name of the school is Alfred Ely Beach High School and it is a powerful part of the state of Georgia’s black history. Packed with encouragement, hope and hilarious stories, this film tells how a group of young men drew strength from the academic and athletic legacy of excellence from their school. As a result, they overcame racism, hatred and Georgia’s expectation of failure to become a beacon of hope.
Alfred Ely Beach High School was founded in 1867 as one of the first schools in Georgia created after the American Civil War for the education of freed slaves. In addition, it is only one of such schools that are still in operation today. Through many tests and trials, the school has managed to survive and produce many generations of academically and athletically astute individuals who have made great contributions to their city of origin, Savannah, the state of Georgia, the U.S., and abroad.
During this past Black History Month, a salute was given to the distinguished alumni of Alfred Ely Beach High School. Some of those alumni are: James E. Wright, World War II flight instructor for the Tuskegee Airmen; Robert S. Abbott, publisher and founder of the Chicago Defender newspaper; Regina Thomas, former Georgia state senator; Edna Jackson, current mayor of the city of Savannah, Ga.; Dr. David Hall, president of the University of the Virgin Islands; Mervin “The Magician” Jackson, American Basketball Association All-Star; and Larry “Gator” Rivers, legendary Harlem Globetrotter. These individuals and many other alumni have helped to color this wonderful fabric of history.
One of the major accomplishments that was recognized around the U.S. was when Beach’s men basketball team won the historic, first integrated state basketball championship in Georgia, in 1967. It was such a historic event that Sports Illustrated wrote an article about Beach’s championship win called “Black Supremacy.” In addition to Beach’s history of athletic prowess, Beach’s alumni exhibited a tradition of academic excellence. During many of the film’s interviews, Miller Bargeron, the film’s director and producer, stated, “Most of the alumni I interviewed made reference to the academic excellence that was instilled in them by the faculty and staff. Many of them made reference to the alumni who graduated before them and how they stood on their shoulders. They felt failure was not an option.”
This film project began in February 2012 and has become a massive undertaking due to the extensive history of Alfred Ely Beach High School. As a result, We Came To Conquer Entertainment, LLC (WCTC), the production company behind the project, has partnered with Kingdom Culture Ministries, Inc., a non-profit, Fiscal Sponsor, to advance the production of the film. Through this partnership, all funds donated to the production of the film will be tax deductible. Therefore, Miller Bargeron, Larry “Gator” Rivers, the film’s executive producer, and WCTC are soliciting donations from anyone who wants to see this great story in black history told. No contribution is too small and all donors will be listed in the film’s closing credits. Donations to the film can be made online at www.kingdomcministries.org/A-Legacy-Forgotten or mailed to Kingdom Culture Ministries Inc., P.O. Box 2156, Lilburn, GA 30048. Make all checks payable to KCM, and write A Legacy Forgotten on the memo line.
For more information on the film, go towww.facebook.com/ALegacyForgottenBlueGoldPride. To see a promotional video of the film, go to http://youtube/kcjPA8yuN9w?hd=1. You can also ask questions about the project by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.—Savannah Herald