Ozarks Public Television (OPT)’s newest locally-produced history documentary, “Generations: African American Experiences in Springfield and the Ozarks” will premiere at 8 p.m. June 15.
This feature-length presentation delves into the pivotal role African Americans have played in the development and growth of the area since it was first settled in the early 1800s. It explores the unique experiences, challenges, tragedies and successes of Black Americans in Springfield and the Ozarks who have shaped our collective history and continue to inspire us today.
“‘Generations’ offers an introspective look at an aspect of the history of Springfield and the surrounding areas that is often underrepresented, but which has had immense effects on the development of our society and culture,” said Dax Bedell, assistant manager of production for OPT.
“While doing research for this film, I was overwhelmed by the stories of resilience and determination that allowed Black Americans in the Ozarks to rise above injustice and prejudice, and to succeed despite continuing challenges and setbacks.
“It is important to reflect on our collective history in an honest way, and to understand the motivations of those who came before us to avoid repeating past mistakes. I hope that ‘Generations’ can shed light on some of these stories and help all of us become more understanding and empathetic members of our community.”
Rachel Knight, OPT’s general manager, agrees.
“The program explores the many ways Black Americans have shaped the fabric of the region, influencing all aspects of life in the Ozarks, despite the historic and ongoing inequities that threaten to undermine those contributions. OPT is proud to give voice to these stories, especially ones like this that haven’t been told nearly enough.”
The documentary premieres on OPT’s main channel on at 8 p.m. June 15 and re-airs at 5:30 p.m. June 18. It will be available to stream online on June 19.