A documentary on an icon of the struggle for civil rights during the 1950s recently aired on North Carolina Public TV network as part of Black History Month and featured JCOM professor Tom Terry as on-screen expert. The film has also been shown on the Los Angeles KCET PBS station, among others. Morgan Freeman narrated the documentary, entitled “The Editor and The Dragon: Horace Carter fights the Klan.”
A link to the nearly hour-long film is featured on PBS Black Culture Connection.
Dr. Terry was a consultant for the documentary that focused on the subject of his thesis and dissertation, Horace Carter, editor of the Tabor City Tribune in southeastern North Carolina. The project spanned three years and multiple filmed interview sessions. Dr. Terry’s research and expertise on Carter and the early Civil Rights era in North Carolina provided a foundation for the film.
Mr. Carter won the Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service in 1953 for his coverage opposing the Ku Klux Klan and at 32 was the youngest person to that point to win a Pulitzer. His unwavering opposition to Jim Crow segregation in the South and his determination to thwart the Klan’s resurgence in Horry County, SC and Columbus County, NC led to the first FBI investigation and infiltration of the KKK post-World War II. Over 100 Klansmen were eventually convicted.
The documentary was made in conjunction with the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Memory Lane Productions. Directors and producers for the project were Martin Clark and Dr. Walter Campbell.
Dr. Terry has appeared as part of a six-member panel on a multiple-part, nationally syndicated North Carolina Public TV series, “In the Midst of a Movement,” discussing behind-
the-scenes civil rights experiences in the South unreported by major media and the role of southern community journalists during Jim Crow.