Columbia’s Historic Black Business District Featured in New Documentary Film “Did You Know? Columbia’s Black Wall Street” to premiere in Columbia June 19

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(Columbia, SC) – The City of Columbia’s Office of Business Opportunities (OBO) is proud to announce the highly anticipated release of “Did You Know? Columbia’s Black Wall Street,” a powerful documentary that chronicles the rich history of a Historic Black Business District in Columbia, SC.

Amidst a city renowned for its vibrant culture and thriving business community, Columbia recognized an opportunity to celebrate and elevate the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of Columbia, particularly during the challenges posed by the pandemic.

“This project marks a significant moment for Columbia. The documentary not only captures the rich history and profound legacy of Columbia’s Historic Black Business District but also celebrates the resilience, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit that define our community,” said Mayor Daniel Rickenmann. “It is a testament to the strength and determination of those who paved the way, and I encourage everyone to join us in commemorating this vital part of our city’s heritage.”

In 2021, 7Sunday’s Deon Generette approached OBO with an ambitious idea – to create a film documenting the Historic Black Business District, often referred to as “Columbia’s Black Wall Street.” Mr. Generette, a native of Johnsonville, SC, is a University of South Carolina Bachelor of Theatre graduate, Iraqi War Veteran, and visionary in the art and entertainment space in Columbia, SC.

The documentary is narrated by Dr. Bobby Donaldson who leads the University of South Carolina’s Center of Civil Rights History and Research in Columbia, SC.  Dr. Donaldson lends a powerful and authoritative voice to the project. The film also features the late Elise Martin, who was 108 years old at the time of filming. Despite her passing before the film’s premiere, Elise Martin’s legacy, along with other black businesses thriving between the 1920s and 1930s, such as Leevy’s Funeral Home, Dr. Cooper Sr. Noble, DSS, Palmetto Seafood, DESA Inc, and others, are honored in this documentary.

The film’s premiere will take place at the 2024 Juneteenth Entrepreneur, Film, & TV Extravaganza. The Extravaganza will kick off with an Entrepreneurial Summit with celebrity guests on Tuesday, June 18th, at 10:00 A.M. at 1208 Washington Place in downtown Columbia.  The second day of the extravaganza will start with a special children’s matinee premiere of the SCETV Emmy-nominated “The Cool and The Strong” series, which features Coach Dawn Staley and Coach Shane Beamer, at the Historic Nickelodeon Theatre beginning at 12:00 P.M.  Later in the day, enjoy an Oscar Themed Premiere of the documentary at the Nickelodeon Theatre beginning at 5pm. The premiere will be followed by the Extravaganza celebration with catering from Jeffrey Lampkin’s Country Boy and Kitchen, Grammy nominated R&B artist Kenny Lattimore, Grammy Winning Artist Susan Carol, and nationally known 7Sunday Live Band at the Columbia Museum of Art! 

We invite everyone to be a part of these events to continue the story and witness this compelling story of resilience, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit that continues to shape our city.

The MinorityEye is a news and information aggregator that curates the voices, thoughts and perspectives of minority writers, bloggers, authors, reporters, columnists, pundits, consultants and thought leaders as well as those who write about minorities and issues that impact people and communities of color.

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