As the producers of the overall multi-pronged project, Fannie Lou Hamer’s America, our mission has always been to preserve the legacy of the Mississippi Delta through the lens of one its most influential citizens, civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer. As police brutality, racial discrimination and voter suppression persist as threats to the American Democratic ideal, Fannie Lou Hamer’s words are just as relevant now as they were during the 1960s.
Hamer was “sick and tired” then and people are “sick and tired” now!
Fannie Lou Hamer loved working with young people with the belief that they could change the world. And that change begins with education. Hamer believed in education and brought the first Head Start program to her native Sunflower County. Help us continue her mission of education by supporting our Sunflower County Film Academy.
As part of our Find Your Voice K-12 Educational Curriculum, this free workshop is a community-based project that will not only engage our students in reflective conversations about race and injustice in a classroom setting, but it also takes them out into the community to create their own video narratives that will preserve and document their experiences, their history, their challenges and their triumphs as they connect or relate to Fannie Lou Hamer and other local activists and artists. All the while preparing them for a career in broadcasting and Digital Arts.
Your donation can help us accomplish that! Please visit our website, www.fannielouhamersamerica.com and donate today!
The Sunflower County Film Academy is an annual summer workshop for high school students from the Mississippi Delta on filmmaking and documenting civil rights history. During the workshop, students will be taught the aesthetics of digital studies, including the use of professional-grade production equipment, primary source research and creating their own oral histories while examining civil rights history. Students will work in teams of three to plan and produce short films. They will set up, conduct, and film their own interviews, and produce and film reenactment scenes if necessary.
Sunflower County Film Academy Instructors
Founder/Instructor: Joy Davenport – A videographer and editor, Davenport has produced several feature-length films and short documentaries, including award-winning films for PBS and National Geographic. Davenport was the editor of the film, I Snuck Off The Slave Ship, which was an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019. Davenport taught Media Techniques and Single Cam Video Production at Florida State University and is the director and editor of the documentary Fannie Lou Hamer’s America.
Instructor/Filmmaker: Pablo Correa – Correa received his doctorate in Communication at Florida State University. He has a Master’s in Communication with an emphasis on digital media. He received the Bronze Award in the 2015 Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival College Documentary Category. Correa also taught Media Techniques and Single Cam Video Production at Florida State University. Correa is a videographer for the documentary Fannie Lou Hamer’s America and the project’s webmaster.
Instructor/Filmmaker: Robert “RJ” Fitzpatrick: A videographer and photographer, Fitzpatrick has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Delta State University. He specializes in photography, documentary filmmaking, feature films and video. Specializing in Digital Media Arts, Fitzpatrick is active in community efforts by fostering the knowledge of and impact of local activists such as Fannie Lou Hamer with local students. Fitzpatrick is a videographer for the documentary Fannie Lou Hamer’s America.