ABOUT Making HistorY
Making History is a documentary film project that uncovers the untold stories of African American women starting from their painful beginnings in slavery. While it is challenging for historians to uncover these early stories, the voices of these women are often found in archival sources such as published and unpublished narratives, runaway advertisements, bills of sale, diaries, account books, insurance papers, probate records, court cases, and extant photographs.
The historians in this film have done the work to unearth and breathe life into these findings thereby giving us a glimpse of the love, survival, virtue, and drive for freedom embedded deep within each woman's life story.
From Ona Judge Staines, the servant of Martha Washington who escapes to her freedom, to the story of Louisa Picquet, a concubine, who found a way to raise enough money to pay for her own mother's freedom, we will introduce audiences to the many ways in which these women expressed their womanhood and personal agency given the harsh realities of their time.
We will take this historical journey with the usage of archival footage, historical photographs, primary documents, and re-enactments. All of these elements, in addition to interviews with slavery scholars, will be woven together to provide portraits of women who lived during a difficult period in American history.
Adriane Hopper Williams - Producer & Director
Adriane Hopper Williams is an Emmy award winning television producer and the co-owner of EnLight Productions, Inc. During her 20 years in the entertainment industry, she has been responsible for the production of over 400 hours of non-fiction television including award winning: talk shows, documentaries, reality and docu-series. Following graduation from UCLA in Mass Communications and from Pepperdine University with a Masters Degree in Religion and Communications, she began working on NBC’s, first ever, daily reality series, STARTING OVER, which led to her receiving two Emmy nominations and one Emmy award in 2005. She was later the Co-Executive Producer and show runner of two PBS talk-show series entitled A PLACE OF OUR OWN and LOS NINOS EN SU CASA. She produced these Peabody award-winning programs for three seasons and was nominated for a National Daytime Emmy Award in 2007 for her work on both. Most recently she earned a Gracie award for the program MARRIED TO THE ARMY: ALASKA which aired on the OWN network. In addition to NBC, PBS and OWN, she has produced programs for A&E, BET, THE DOCUMENTARY CHANNEL, DISCOVERY, LIFETIME, OXYGEN and TLC.
Her company, EnLight Productions, is currently partnering with 44 Blue Productions to develop a slate of programming with Bishop T.D. Jakes as well as other docu-series in the faith-based genre.
DAINA RAMEY BERRY - HISTORIAN & CONSULTING PRODUCER
Daina Ramey Berry is an Associate Professor of History and African and African Diaspora Studies and, the George W. Littlefield Fellow in American History at the University of Texas at Austin. She did her undergraduate and graduate work in History and African American Studies at UCLA. Berry is a specialist in the history of gender and slavery in the United States with a particular emphasis on the social and economic history of the nineteenth century. Her first book, Swing the Sickle for the Harvest is Ripe: Gender and Slavery in Antebellum Georgia (University of Illinois Press, 2007), examined labor, family, and community among the enslaved. She is the editor-in-chief of Enslaved Women in America: An Encyclopedia (ABC-Clio, 2012), which was awarded one of the 2013 Outstanding Reference Sources by the American Library Association. In 2014 she co-edited Slavery and Freedom in Savannah, which received awards from the Georgia Archives and the Association for State and Local History. Berry has appeared on several syndicated radio and television shows and is an advocate for public history. She has fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Association of University Women, the Ford Foundation, and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. She is also a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. Berry is also completing a book manuscript on enslaved prices, which explores the commodification of human property from birth to death.