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Film creates dialogue on slavery
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Miller Bargeron Jr., co-director of Stubborn as a Mule, discusses the documentary Thursday with an at-capacity crowd at the Richmond Hill Museum. (Crissie Elrick)

More than 50 people turned out Thursday evening for the showing of “Stubborn as a Mule,” the award-winning documentary on slavery and the Civil War that stirred emotion for some local residents.

The film was presented by the Richmond Hill Historical Society at its museum on Ford Avenue.

Co-director Miller Bargeron Jr. was on hand to introduce the film and entertain questions about the documentary that addresses events that took place between Sherman’s March to the Sea, President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, the end of the Civil War and the unraveling of promises ushered in during Reconstruction in the South.

“I believe this is a good documentary as far as educating people,” Bargeron told the crowd. “I like for people to understand because when you understand, it breathes cohesiveness. And at the end of the day, we’re all human.”

He explained the documentary has been seen all over the world. He has worked on the documentary for more than 10 years, he said, noting the project was older than his oldest child.

Bargeron said the film was inspired by what he and co-director Arcelious J. Daniels call the “W.W. Law encounter.” During this “encounter,” Daniels and Law had conversation about the history pertaining to the Civil War and its origination. After this conversation about what Law described as vital to African-American history, Daniels and Bargeron made it their mission to acknowledge Law’s legacy. So they created this documentary, he said.

When asked about the title of the film, Bargeron explained it is a play on words from the old saying “40 acres and a mule.”

“We decided to put a twist on it and name it ‘Stubborn as a Mule’ because that is the nature that blacks and whites have – they’ve been stubborn about dealing with the situation,” meaning slavery, Bargeron said.

Read more in the June 4 edition of the News.

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