Lillian Smith couldn't look away from the toxic social conditions that repressed the lives and imaginations of both whites and blacks. Segregation amounted to "spiritual lynching" she said.
She used her fame in the 1940s and 1950s to write and speak about it.
Her words are still timely today.
In December 2018, we reached our crowdfunding goal for the documentary project "Lillian Smith: Breaking the Silence." And now thanks to those generous gifts we can move forward with sharing Lillian Smith's words and life journey to more people.
We believe the documentary will not only shine a spotlight on her moral courage and intelligence (and charm and wit), it will also lead to more dialogue about what people can do today in the face of the "spiritual lynching" that takes place when demagogues and others seek to deny basic human rights.
Lillian Smith's grave marker is inscribed simply from a passage in her book The Journey: "Death can kill a man; that is all it can do to him; it cannot end his life. Because of memory----"
She had faith in humanity that her words would not disappear in the ether. She was optimistic that we always learn from others' experiences and memories. And she understood that sometimes it takes a while.
Everyone who has joined us on this journey to tell her story is helping to resurrect her memory for a new generation -- and there's no telling how far her ideas or courage will travel or the powerful effects they will have.
Please follow us at the links below for updates. We'll also notify you via this portal when we wrap up post-production and get ready for the first screenings.