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Filmmaker Gary Jenkins and Historian Dr. Jimmy Johnson

  • Broadcast in Education
The Gist of Freedom

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Filmmaker Gary Jenkins and Historian Dr. James Johnson will discuss Jenkins' film “Negroes for Hire” which explores the history of slavery in Missouri. It takes its name from an advertisement in the Liberty Tribune where Clay County slave masters
let it be known that they had slaves who could be hired by others. The film is based on WPA oral histories compiled between 1936 and 1938 and Jenkins’
own extensive research. A local teacher, Jimmy Johnson, tells the story of his great-grandfather’s experience as a Platte County slave who escaped to Quindaro. He later became a soldier in the First Kansas Colored Regiment and a landholder after the Civil War. Jenkins will talk about his experience as a documentary film maker from his early work to show his mother’s life to his present work on the Lane Trail, the story of the Underground Railroad along the Western Frontier. Jenkins is a former Kansas City, Missouri police officer who went to law school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and now practices law in the area of Estate Planning. His first commercial documentary film was the story of the founding of the Kansas City Free
Health Clinic.

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