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UK History Professor’s Documentary ‘Black Indians: An American Story’ to Be Broadcast on WLEX-TV

By Ralph Derickson

Photo of Dan Smith, UK history professor
Dan Smith, UK history professor

The documentary film explores a forgotten part of America’s past – the cultural and racial fusion of Native and African Americans, Smith said. The documentary shows how persons with this blended ancestry deal with self-identification, their multiplicity of heritage, and how others respond to their complicated and often hidden history.

 

Jan. 22, 2003 (Lexington, Ky.) -- A documentary film written by University of Kentucky history professor Dan Smith titled “Black Indians: An American Story” will be broadcast on WLEX-TV (Channel 18) at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25.

The documentary is narrated by actor James Earl Jones, who is part Cherokee Indian, and includes an interview with UK Dean of Students Victor Hazard, who is part Narraganset Indian. The music in the film is performed by the Neville Brothers, who are of Choctaw ancestry.

The documentary film explores a forgotten part of America’s past – the cultural and racial fusion of Native and African Americans, Smith said. The documentary shows how persons with this blended ancestry deal with self-identification, their multiplicity of heritage, and how others respond to their complicated and often hidden history.

Produced by Rich-Heape Films Inc., “Black Indians” has won many awards on the film festival circuit including taking gold at last year’s Houston Worldfest, a “Nanny” (Native American Emmy), and was named best documentary at the first Split Screen Festival held in Lexington last year.

Smith, a UK history professor for 23 years, has written several other dramatic and documentary films. Among them is “February One,” about the Feb. 1, 1960, Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-in in Greensboro, N.C., that helped launch the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Smith sold his dramatic script about the event to Showtime Networks. He just completed a one-hour documentary about the same subject that will have its theatrical premiere on Feb. 1 in Greensboro, N.C.


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