So now that I have expanded the Forgotten Pieces of Georgia project to include mini-documentary films as well as still photos, I have been asked by the Sparta Ishmaelite, which is the local newspaper in Sparta, Ga, to do some original content for their paper in the hopes of fostering a sense of community again in their small city. Over the last few decades, in addition to losing the Sparta Furniture Factory, there has been a LOT of increased tensions between the citizens and the local government. I have not gotten the entire “skinny” on the issues, but I believe from doing some research, that some of the issues also stem to the arrival of a very popular Civil Rights leader who moved to Sparta in the past and helped local African American citizens obtain positions in the local government and then there were some ensuing scandals pertaining to this Civil Rights leader.
I am not writing this to create any additional hostility between Blacks and Whites in Sparta, I am only writing about what I have learned during my research. I am also hoping to meet with the Editor of the Sparta Ishmaelite to get more information as well as more of an idea on what content the paper would like me to shoot to run in the paper as a way of bringing more harmony to the city. I know that the Editor mentioned shooting some of the remaining Antebellum homes and I am also planning of they are willing to help conduct some interviews with local citizens. I did on Monday get a comment on my new Youtube Channel from Robert Currey, which is the man along with his wife to start Elm Street Farm, a 10 acre urban farm within the Sparta city limits. Mr Currey also is a partner in the new Sparta Imperial Mushroom Company which is now located in the old Sparta Furniture Factory building. Mr Currey’s exact words in his comment on my Sparta Video were “Well yes….Sparta is suffering but it is not all bad news. Some good stuff going on but when you look for tragedy here you surely will find it!” I replied back and let him know that I am not trying to only find tragedy in Sparta as I want to cover the good as well, especially the wonderful work he and his wife have been doing in the city.
My goal with this project is to raise awareness to the plight of small business in the State of Georgia, but I will also be reporting on the good as well, like I did in last week’s post with the fact that the old Cotton Gin in Walton County is now been bought and turned into an automobile repair shop. I am also hoping that at some point that Robert and Suzanne Currey will agree to be interviewed about not only Sparta, but also the Antebellum home that they bought back in 2002 and have been remodeling it. So please stay tuned to both my website and blog here and the Forgotten Pieces of Georgia Youtube Channel.