Lillian Smith Documentary


Lillian Smith was one of the first white southern authors to speak out publicly against the evils of segregation.

She was shamed, ridiculed and silenced for her beliefs.

But she inspired others to fight for the dream of living in a just society.

Her voice is just as important today as it was throughout the 1930s-1950s.


This documentary will explore her courageous legacy and the life journey that led to her awakening.

Just as important, we'll address the explosive problems our society is facing today--issues that Lillian Smith confronted head-on from the 1930s until her death in 1966.

By the time she published a bestselling novel in 1944, her moral compass was finely tuned to the changes needed in the southern U.S., and she spent the next two decades confronting the ugly institution of segregation, saying that it harmed whites as much as blacks. Today her creative spirit lives on at the Lillian E. Smith Center, Piedmont College.




To complete this project in a timely manner (fall 2018), we'll need help to cover expenses with production, travel, editing, licensing rights to archival footage and music, post-production, and those hundreds of other details that need to be attended to (like fundraising!).

We feel that we have a big story to tell, one with universal appeal, and now we just need the means to do it justice.

If you can help with a donation, we would like to recognize your contribution in the film's credits.

If you would like more involvement in the project (funding and direct interaction in the creation process) at the producer level, please contact us for more information.

Fortunately, we have received seed funding from the Lillian E. Smith Center of Piedmont College and Georgia Humanities to launch this project.

In October 2017, the Southern Documentary Fund (SDF), a nonprofit arts organization and leading advocate for powerful southern storytelling, added the project to its roster of films that "aim to bring injustice to light, and to reveal truths, large and small, about the world around us."

A donation made on the SDF webpage is tax deductible.

Other donations can be made via PayPal or Venmo or by checks to the filmmakers (please contact us for mailing info).

E-mail Filmmakers: Hal Jacobs | Henry Jacobs



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New Georgia Encyclopedia Article

Oxford American article about Lillian Smith by Diane Roberts (2016)