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Film crew to showcase African American struggles in Grand Rapids in latest documentary

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Posted at 9:19 PM, Jan 29, 2022

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Black History Month is days away. A local group of artists is showcasing some important history in a new Grand Rapids documentary.

Grand Stand Pictures is featuring stories of the struggles for equality in West Michigan.

There's a welcoming and comforting feeling stepping inside the Wealthy Theater Annex building.

It serves as the base of operations for Rodney Brown and his film crew.

“They're going to showcase the African American history in Grand Rapids based off Todd Robinson's book A City Within a City: The Black Freedom Struggle in Grand Rapids,” Brown told FOX 17.

"He wanted to see how the Northern cities responded and reacted to the migration of Blacks as they were leaving the South,” Brown said.

The book focuses on the issues of equality, school integration and racial geography.

Brown can hardly control his excitement for this project and telling these stories.

"I am telling you, Matt, I'm trying to lift up this idea that there's not enough time. It's really not. That's the thing. Vic thinks a little different and Jaz thinks a little different about it. But I think for all of us collectively that's the biggest challenge,” Brown said.

It's a challenge Brown is looking to overcome. During Black History Month, they plan to showcase stories in their space and on social media each and every day.

"We know that we are not going to get everything in that 90 minutes. So, we also know why this is important. We are going to create short docs, and mini-documentaries as well,” Brown said.

Brown and his crew already have some filming done and several more months to go. He says they plan to have it ready for the fall film festivals.

READ MORE: New documentary aims to show the civil rights struggle in Grand Rapids

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