Format: Documentary Film

What: Historical film research and created by students entitled Remembering Willie Earle

Course(s): HIS454: Filming Southern History (Spring 2018) 

Who: Faculty, John Wertheimer 

Description: This documentary film discusses South Carolina’s last recorded lynching: that of Willie Earle, in Greenville County, in 1947.  The film grew out of HIS 454, Filming Southern History, a course that teaches students how to use the medium of documentary film to tell historical stories.  The students in that course collaboratively research an episode in the history of the U.S. South and also collaboratively produce a documentary film about it.  By the end of the spring semester, 2018, the twelve students in HIS 454 had produced a first cut of the film that would become “Remembering Willie Earle.” That summer, three of the seminar’s students—Frank Carroll, Cassie Harding, and Stevie Jefferis—continued working on the documentary, under the guidance of filmmaker Thomas Espenschied.  Their revised version of the film tells the story of the Willie Earle lynching through the eyes of eighty-nine-year-old Acquillious Jackson, Earle’s childhood friend. 

Link to example: Not able to share film currently

Side Headshot of AQ Jackson with trees clip from film
Acquillious “AQ” Jackson, the featured participant in the film