Austin Black Freedom Communities

Please take a moment to watch the concept teaser trailer above. Click "Read More" below to learn more about the project.

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Funmi Ogunro - Director/Editor

My name is Funmi Ogunro. I am a native Austinite and filmmaker, and I’m launching the production of my first feature-length documentary about Austin Black Freedom Communities. I have decided to make this film because many people are unaware of the rich history of Black people in Austin. It’s time for these stories to be told. 

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How YOU can help!

With your help, we are raising $100,000 through December 31, 2020. Your support through this campaign will fund our Interview Production Fund: to film interviews with historians, archaeologists, native Austinites, and people with direct ties to Austin Black Freedom Communities. Thank you for your giving and for spreading the word!


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Brackenridge Elementary. South Side Freedom Community - Early 1900s
[Photo from Austin History Center]


Like most people in Austin, I grew up not knowing the history of Black people in our city. Just a few years ago, I learned of over 13  Black Freedom Communities that were part of our city’s establishment after the Civil War ended in 1865. Clarksville, Wheatville, and Southside —  to name a few.  

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Elementary school in the Clarksville community - 1900s
[Photo from Austin History Center]


In Freedom Communities, emancipated African Americans built lives in rights-protected areas, often next to the plantation where they had been held. They were followed by hundreds of emancipated African Americans from elsewhere who sought work, refuge, and missing family members. Here, thriving communities were built from the ground up, including Black schools, Black churches and Black stores. 

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Robert Stanley 1863-1941 (right) - South Side community resident. Robert Stanley was a stone mason and laborer.


In the 1920s, these same people were displaced from the communities they built, because of discriminatory city mandates. Today, these same regions are some of Austin’s most prominent neighborhoods, and the legacy of Black people  has been overlooked. 


Growing up, I did not know Austin’s Black history because it has not been well documented. Through this film, I am going to change that for future generations and bring light to the resilience of Black people, their resourcefulness in creating strong communities, and their important contribution to the development of the city of Austin, Texas.


Thank you for helping see this documentary get made so the history of Austin Black Freedom Communities is recorded and shared!


Timeline


Projected completion date: Fall 2022


Pre-Production: December 2019 - October 2021

Documenting facts, stories, tracking ancestors

Finding, researching and contacting Interviewers

Pre-screening Interviewers

Archaeological Research 

Photo Research

Video Footage Research

Visiting Locations (Homes, Churches, Cemeteries)


Production: October - January 2022

Confirm location

Schedule shoots

 Film interviews with historians, archaeologists, native Austinites, and people with Austin Freedom Community roots


Post Production: February - June 2022

Assemble Rough Cut

Color grade and color correction

Develop animation

Develop motion graphics

Sound Design

Music Score

Assemble first cut 

Assemble Final Cut

Film Festival Circuit - Fall 2022 - Spring 2023


Meet the Team!
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Stephanie L. Lang- Community Curator


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Rachel E. Winston - Archivist

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Juan A. Izaguirre - Cinematographer

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Tamar Price - Producer

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Edward D. Floyd - Associate Producer

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Odera Anyasinti - Research Associate

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Cullen Cooper - Research Associate


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Hannah Roberts - Fundraising Consultant


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Akin Ogunro  - Production Tech

Community Screening & Engagement


To further engage and pre-expose potential audiences, we will have a community screening in Austin, Texas and include key personnel and partners. The community screening will allow for a greater discussion about the documentary and touch on topics relating to the history of Black people in Austin and the future of Black people in Austin. The screening will take place in 2022.


Marketing & Distribution


Once the film is complete, we will submit film to numerous national and international film festivals. After the festival run, we will move forward with securing national distribution.


Thank you for helping see this documentary get made so the history of Austin Black Freedom Communities is recorded and shared!

Thank you to our Partner - Six Square 

Thank You to our Community Partners
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Outreach Productions 
Six Square 
Austin PBS 
Huston Tillotson University 
Austin History Center Austin Public Libraries 
Austin Revitalization Authority 
Boss Babes 
Austin Justice Coalition 
Raasin in theSun 
allgo 
Big Medium 
Austin Area Urban League 
Black Film Geniuses 
 
Thank you for helping see this documentary get made so the history of Austin Black Freedom Communities is recorded and shared!

Donations

 See top
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 13 mins
  • Mary Cantrell 
    • $20 
    • 23 hrs
  • Jill L Schroeder 
    • $30 
    • 1 d
  • aralyn hughes 
    • $20 
    • 1 d
  • Emily Bankston 
    • $50 
    • 11 d
See all

Organizer

Funmi Ogunro 
Organizer
Pflugerville, TX

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