Despite lack of electrical energy, Ferrell Phelps provides energy of his own for Freedmans Project
By H.G. Welch
Last night Houston's own Ferrell Phelps launched his documentary “The Freedmans Town Project” chronicling the struggles Houston's blacks have had maintaining Freedmans Town, their first neighborhood after the Civil War. It was a black tie effect filled with local celebrities, numerous philanthropists and civil leaders, including Mayor Turner himself. Models stood in the wings dressed as residents of Freedman's Town throughout the years. While the event was hampered due to a power outage caused by inclement weather, Phelps did not let it damper the spirit of the audience.
Speeches were given by a number of people involved in the project, as well as Mayor Turner and TSU debate coach Doctor Thomas Freeman. An introductory of the documentary was show, but due to the power issues clips from the documentary were unfortunately unavailable. Mayor Turner in his speech promised Phelps the full support of Houston's artistic grants and thanked him for his persistence in the project. Doctor Freeman spoke of what still needs to be done in the black community and that Lincoln's words in the Gettysburg Address still need to be achieved.
Phelps took the podium in a tearful and emotional charged address to the audience. He went into detail about the extreme difficulty he experienced trying to get financial assistance to create his documentary. He was taken aback by the sheer turnout of the event, the room was packed with supporters. The fact the audience stayed almost in its entirety to listen to him speak despite the crowded condition and lack of air conditioning showed their support to his cause.
Phelps said in an interview this is just the beginning for his documentary, he intends to send it on a tour to museums around the nation to showcase the struggle of Houston's freedmen. Mayor Turner said that the project would be showcased in the city's cultural events during the Superbowl festivities. Ferrell Phelps' long time dream has become his reality, now that he has created his vision, all that remains is how far he can take it.
Ferrel Phelps and His Struggle to Save Freedman's Town
The Lost Roads of Freedman's Town
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