Filmmaker Fredrick Murphy to keynote MLK program

Published 1:24 pm Thursday, January 16, 2020

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The Thermal Belt Friendship Council is pleased to present its annual program in celebration and commemoration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The program will be held Saturday, January 25 at 5:00 pm at the Tryon Fine Arts Center. It is made possible by a generous Kirby Civic Events Grant from the Polk County Community Foundation. The program and reception following are free and open to the public. 

The Keynote address will be provided by Fredrick D. Murphy, filmmaker and Licensed Professional Counselor from Charlotte.

Mr. Murphy is the founder of the organization History Before Us. His first full length documentary film, The American South as We Know It was presented at the 2019 Tryon International Film Festival. This film explores the lives and experiences of African-Americans during the Jim Crow era, depicting a time when racial tension was at its peak. The educators, historians and brave “everyday” people featured in this documentary express their vested interest in creating a comprehensive narrative of what life was like for African-Americans in the south.

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Mr. Murphy developed a passion for exploring and preserving history beginning with his own family origins in Clarksville, TN. His training as a mental health therapist led to his interest in exploring historical trauma and its impact across the African-American community.

For this program, Mr. Murphy will present excerpts from this film and engage with the audience in a lively discussion inspired by the film’s contents. Part of this discussion will include using the information presented to move forward in the process of reconciliation and healing.

Dr. Joseph Fox, past president of the Friendship Council, has brought together dedicated singers from our community to form a Unity Choir which will provide musical selections. A scholarship will be awarded to a deserving graduating senior. The Friendship council is grateful for the support of the Polk County Community Foundation and the inspiration provided by the Tryon International Film Festival.


Donna Tatnall