Florida State University Scholar Creates Documentary Film on Florida’s Plantations

Valerie Scoon, filmmaker in residence at Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts, is the director of a new documentary film on the history of plantations and the enslaved in northern and middle Florida. The film, – Invisible History: Middle Florida’s Hidden Roots – recently had its first showing on public television in Tallahassee.

“While this project focuses on northern Florida, it is a microcosm of the idea of how slavery shaped all of America, which makes it, we believe, a relevant documentary for national distribution,” Scoon said.

The project benefited from the expertise of faculty from FSU and Florida A&M University, as well as the support of local museums and archival resources. “The documentary represents a true coming together of community to support the telling of our shared history,” Scoon added.

“In order to truly understand the present and to plan for the future, it is important to create awareness of the damaging social, economic and political legacies that are rooted in slavery,” Scoon said. “A more complete and honest understanding of our collective painful past will allow for deeper community conversations and hopefully more equitable social and political policies.”

“We are proud of Valerie and her team for crafting this important look into North Florida’s roots in slavery, especially at a time when our industry is beginning to recognize the effects of inequity,” said Reb Braddock, dean of the College of Motion Picture Arts.

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