I remain appalled at the “content” (or rather, the lack thereof) taught in Georgia’s 8th grade classrooms about the state’s history—and especially the short shrift its deep and rich African-American history receives. Of course, the same can be said for the nation’s classrooms during Black History Month. (Why February? Comedian Chris Rock once said, “Because it’s the shortest month.”) There would be no need for such a thing as Black History Month if African Americans’ story had been told properly and effectively all along, but that didn’t—and hasn’t happened—so here we are.
Well, here’s something. When I worked on my father’s book, this story—which I’d never heard before—jumped off the page at me. I was so enthralled by it that I later wrote a screenplay based on the lives of William and Ellen Craft. It was optioned to Hollywood (and hasn’t been heard from since, alas). But it’s a great story—made even better by the fact that William Craft told it himself in Running a Thousand Miles to Freedom. You can download it as document here. (It’s in the public domain and available on other websites and in several print versions.)