GROUP PROJECT - UPDATE
I am pleased to announce that we were recently awarded a Georgia Humanities Spring 2021 Grant. We worked with the Johns Creek Historical Society and Mercer University to apply for this grant. We will be working on 4 videos that will be shown to residents during a question and answer event in Johns Creek and then at a reception at Mercer University. The videos will be used by educators in the future throughout Georgia. The grant is titled: They Were Here: Preservation and Commemoration of the Macedonia African Methodist Church Cemetery of Johns Creek.
Four groups from the Class of 2023 will be allowed to take on one of the videos as their group project. The project will involve student-driven research and production of four documentaries that focus on different aspects of the history of the Cemetery. The first documentary will highlight the history of the Cemetery and historical context of slavery and racial segregation from the Reconstruction through the 20th century. The second documentary will highlight the legacy of the Cherokee and how the lives of local farmers of Cherokee descent were intertwined with Black residents who were buried in the cemetery. The third film will focus on April Waters, a notable resident of Johns Creek who is buried at the Cemetery. For years, scholars and residents assumed Waters was an enslaved woman who was freed upon her master’s death. However, genealogical uncovered that April Waters was a man who was not freed as per his master’s will. This documentary will highlight the implementation of historical methods that are required when examining documents for accuracy when building a historical narrative. The fourth film will focus on the living descendants of those buried in the Macedonia Cemetery. Interviews from community members will highlight the Cemetery’s founding, its neglect, the impact of Jim Crow on the African American community, and the community effort to revitalize this space as a civil rights sanctuary for the multigenerational and diverse Johns Creek residents.
We are very excited for this opportunity as we believe it will have a lasting influence on our community and beyond. If your group is interested in being considered for one of the four videos, please send an email to Mrs. Sanders explaining why your group should be chosen. One paragraph is all that is necessary. There will be other opportunities for group projects, but this is definitely one we are excited to offer to four of our groups.