Premiere of documentary about Civil Rights Movement in Shreveport draws large crowd

Premiere of documentary about Civil Rights Movement in Shreveport draws large crowd
People getting tickets for Beyond Galilee (Source: Eric Pointer/ KSLA News 12)
People getting tickets for Beyond Galilee (Source: Eric Pointer/ KSLA News 12)

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The premiere of a documentary about a piece of Shreveport's history drew a large crowd Thursday evening.

"Beyond Galilee" was shown on the silver screen fresh off the heels of a star-studded red carpet event downtown.

The film initially was released a few years ago. Its creators chose to premiere a cut with new footage Thursday.

In 1958, civil rights leader the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was invited to speak at Shreveport's Galilee Baptist Church.

Ahead of the Curve Production's "Beyond Galilee" uses the testimony of those involved in the Civil Rights Movement to explore what happened in the city in the years immediately following King's speech.

The film was directed by co-producer T.D. Antoine and written by co-producer Joey Kent.

After the special screening, which drew a sold-out crowd to Robinson Film Center, there was a panel discussion about the Civil Rights Movement in Shreveport.

The North Louisiana Civil Rights Coalition's aim is to figure out a way to capture civil rights history and share that with the public.

It has used "Beyond Galilee" as a tool in that effort.

"I mean, I'm a product the education system here. I've been to some of the best schools here," the coalition's Niketa Williams said.

"And I did not learn anything about some of these events that I think are pretty pivotal for the transition to Shreveport to what it is today."

The documentary does a good job of teaching about those events and what was going on then Williams said.

The coalition had several local viewings of the earlier version of the film and plans to have more with the revised film.

Williams thinks that it's important for people to understand their history and that this movie is helpful in teaching that.

"Unfortunately, a lot of young people don't know their history here related to the Civil Rights Movement. And, as a result, they aren't really that engaged," she said.

"So, as a part of both this film and the overall goal of the coalition, we hope to inspire younger generations to start asking those questions."

The coalition is working on efforts to get "Beyond Galilee" shown in schools in the fall.

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