Full-length feature film to focus on life & legacy of Ida B. Wells

Black History

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Local 24 News Reporter Rebecca Butcher had the chance to sit down with Daphene McFerren to discuss an upcoming, full-length feature surrounding the life and accomplishments of Ida B. Wells.

Wells was an African-American investigative journalist in the 1800s who reported on lynchings in Memphis. She was an early leader in what became known as the American Civil Rights Movement.

McFerren serves as the Executive Director at the Hooks Institute at the University of Memphis. She also is a co-producer of the film. The feature has been in the making for over five years.

“A dream”, McFerren comments. “It’s been an incredible journey and a great learning experience to bring Ida B. Wells to life.”

She told us that the most difficult part of bringing this project to life is telling the story through video, from a time when there were no cameras or voice recordings. McFerren says they are using biographies and Ida’s personal diary, letters, etc.

She tells us that actors and actresses working on the documentary are preparing by reading literature and stories composed by reporters from that time.

This film is set to be completed in August 2020.

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