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They Came Across the Water: Precious Black Cargo

A short film (8-1/2 minutes) commemorating the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans brought to America.

  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 35 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 15, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 35 mm
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography

Frank Harris III is a journalism professor at Southern Connecticut State University, a columnist for the Hartford Courant, and a documentary filmmaker.

As a university professor, he has taught journalism at SCSU for the past 25 years in classes covering reporting and writing, American journalism history, the First Amendment, race and the news, as well as digital journalism.

As a newspaper columnist, he has written for the Courant for nearly 15 years on a range of topics covering race, politics, and life. In addition to the Courant, his writing has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country, including the New York Times, USA Today, the New Haven Register, the City Sun, the Chicago Tribune, Essence, and Crisis Magazine.

He is also the author of the books The Craft of Quoting and co-author of The Power of Free Expression in America.

As a filmmaker, his documentary films have addressed such topics as the n-word (Journey to the Bottom of the n-Word) and the challenges of a wounded Vietnam veteran (The First Casualty of Lake County.) His current film project focuses on the upcoming 400th anniversary of the first Africans brought to America as slaves.

His work has led to appearances on radio and television, as well as a variety of speaking engagements where he has served as keynote, moderator and panelist.

Originally from Waukegan, Ill., Harris earned his graduate degree at the University of Texas and his undergraduate degree at Southern Illinois University. He lives in Hamden, Conn.

CONTACT: frankharristhree@gmail.co

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Director Statement

This film was part of my crusade to bring awareness to Americans about the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans brought to the United States.