American Experience: The Harvest | Filmmaker Talk

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THE HARVEST Filmmaker Talk streams on PBS Books Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, 8 p.m. ET 

THE HARVEST premieres Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023, 9-11 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS, and the PBS App

PBS Books hosts a program with award winning filmmakers Sam Pollard and Douglas A. Blackmon, to discuss part two of the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE “The School Integration” series, THE HARVEST: Integrating Mississippi’s Schools” on PBS. 

In September 2023, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE premieres two new documentaries by Emmy Award-winning producer, writer and journalist Cameo George, that examines the deeply mixed legacy of America’s efforts to racially integrate public schools; she is the Executive Producer for both of these films.  

THE HARVEST The film narrated by Blackmon, himself one of the Leland students, is a personal and powerful look at Leland, Mississippi’s attempts to desegregate its schools. The film follows Blackmon and his fellow classmates through their early experiences, exploring deep friendships, awkward separations, in classrooms and playgrounds, in plays and athletics, at homecoming and graduation. 50 years later, many members of that first class have returned to Leland, committed to giving back to their community. 



Sam Pollard is an accomplished feature film and television video editor, and documentary producer/director. 2022 and 2023 have been very productive years for Pollard. In December 2022 Peacock began streaming Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power, a film Pollard co-directed with Gandbhir, which tells the story of the courageous campaign of citizens and activists who faced violence and oppression in the struggle for the right to vote.  

Pollard’s two-part documentary, Bill Russell: Legend, about legendary Boston Celtic and civil rights icon premiered on Netflix on February 8.  

Max Roach: The Drum Also Waltzes, a film that Pollard co-directed with Ben Shapiro, had its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival on March 12.  

South to Black Power, inspired by New York Times columnist Charles Blow’s book, The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto, was co-directed by Pollard and Llewellyn Smith and will premiere on HBO in Fall 2023.  

Douglas A. Blackmon (Writer & Producer) is a Pulitzer-Prize winning author, journalist, and filmmaker. His bestselling first book, Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II, won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009. He was co-executive producer of the acclaimed documentary film based on Slavery by Another Name, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012 and continues to be regularly rebroadcasted. As a journalist, Blackmon has witnessed some of the most important events of our time, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, multiple presidential elections, Hurricane Katrina, post-Apartheid South Africa, and war crimes in the former Yugoslavia. He is a Gerald Loeb Award winner and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2011. A native of the Mississippi Delta, he directs the Narrating Justice Project and teaches in the Creative Media Industries Institute at Georgia State University in Atlanta. 

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