Hiztorical Vision Productions founder and Troy University alumnus Theo Moore has created a new documentary to explore the history and future of Africatown – “Afrikan By Way of American.”
Africatown is a community in Mobile, Alabama formed by the descendants of slaves aboard America’s last slave ship, Clotilda.
Moore, who founded HVP in 2017 to educate the public on untold inspiring history of African Americans in the South, was inspired to share the story of Africatown by highlighting the people rather than the place.
“I chose a different approach by highlighting some of the community heroes that contributed to preserving the African settlement,” said Moore, who earned his bachelor’s in history in 2012 and his master’s in post-secondary education-history in 2014. “This approach was inspired by the community of Africatown, who consistently mentioned ‘it’s not about the ship, it’s about the people on the ship’.”
Instead of simply visiting places to create documentaries, Moore immerses himself in the culture by spending time with the people there. For the Africatown documentary, Moore and his crew spent three months with the community before even picking up the camera.
“We wanted to ensure that they understood that we are here for them and not just to collect a story,” Moore said. “During this project, I can honestly say that [the people of] Africatown have become extended family.”
The film, which features interviews with residents, descendants, historians and scholars and was funded by a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, debuted on Aug. 20-22, but will stream at the Southern Film Festival on Saturday, Aug. 28. A link to the streaming site can be found at hiztoricalvp.org.
Moore dedicated the film to his mother, who passed away last Christmas while the film was in production.