Frederick Taylor is an amazing person and an extremely thought-provoking filmmaker. His vision, direction, and passion is evident in everything that he does and his work is not only a reflection of our history but also a very poignant look at our modern day times.
His current film, Counter Histories: Rock Hill is a selection for the 2016 First Glance Film Festival (Check them out here!) and a reflection of American history that has so much value and importance in today’s world that it is shocking how little has really changed.
Yes, I understand there have been major movements and quite a bit of civil rights achievements since the 60’s but if you turn on the news or surf to any social media site today, you will see a flood of people commenting on the lack of real equality in the United States. Race, gender, and body type bullying, have set us as a country, and as a species, so much so that we are still fighting the battles that were started so very long ago.
Counter Histories: Rock Hill is about the men who stood up for their rights by sitting down at the counter of the Rock Hill, SC Five and Dime. They asked for a cup of coffee and were instead met with violence, police brutality and unjust imprisonment. A small town miles from Charlotte, NC, Rock Hill became a landmark of the Civil Rights Movement, one that too few remember today. Students of Friendship College took on the weight of discrimination under the banner of non-violence and ‘Jail No Bail.’ The tactic spread across the South, inspiring protesters to no longer fund their own oppression through bonds and fines. The courage of these men ignited a passion and furor that rose into the famed Freedom Rides.
It brings to light all of the issues that everyone is still fighting for: equal treatment. It doesn’t matter if you are Black, White, Asian, Latino, Native American, Man or Woman. What matters is that we treat each other the same and realize that the only barriers to equality is the lack of focus in the fight. Too many groups who stand up for equality are excluding others or keeping their voices away from the over all message.
You can’t preach equality while being guilty of discrimination. Organizations designed by and for women as an exclusive club moot the point of the entire argument. Groups that celebrate #BlackLivesMatter and publicly shame anyone who counters with #AllLivesMatter are fighting themselves and are stopping the change they want to be. Equality means equal. It doesn’t mean elevating one group of people above another. It means bringing all groups to a similar place in our society and establishing that the things that make us different isn’t our race, or religion, or gender, but the thoughts that we have and the ideas that we want to bring to the world.
Frederick Taylor is an incredibly inspiring and amazing person. He comes from a long line of fighters, thinkers, influences, and educators and has decided to dedicate his life to telling stories that get other people thinking about their own lives and what matters to them.
Check out his work below and absolutely follow him. His work will change your life if you let it.