“It stands for freedom and that’s the message I want people to understand. It’s a celebration of freedom,” said Twin Cities filmmaker Lee Jordan.
His cinematic mission has been to bring forth insightful, thought-provoking and truthful information about Black history. Jordan wants to shine a light on the monumental African Americans who helped create the fabric of American history. “By finding your own thread in the American tapestry and following and seeing where it leads you … that helps you be able to tell your story,” said Jordan.
It’s essential to bring forth credible information when it comes to creating films and documentaries about history. “One of the things I’ve learned in my 60 years of living is that I’m connected to a legacy that is amazing … the understanding of that gets me up and motivated on what I need to do. And that the stories are told correctly, to include all parties,” said the University of Minnesota alum.
Jordan has made multiple films, including the documentary We Turned the Page, about a grandfather passing on his love of the public library to his grandchildren. Jordan, who started out as a casting agent, runs his own casting agency, Jordan Extras Casting.
His most recent ambition is to make a documentary about the original Africans to arrive in Virginia in 1619, and the day African American slaves were made free, July 19, 1865, known as Juneteenth.
Jordan began getting involved in a history project with the Virginia-based non-profit Project 1619. After hearing about their efforts he was immediately intrigued and motivated to start a historical project.
“I felt that the documentary needed to be made. We’re talking history and in history, it is what it is,” said Jordan. “If you don’t see the ugliness then you won’t see the beauty.”
Jordan said he’s going to write and direct and will build a film crew in Virginia. It will be titled 1619, and detail the first day Africans touched colonial American soil, Aug. 25, 1619.
“The premiere of the film will be part of Juneteenth celebrations in 2020. With that in mind, I hope to have a national premiere that will show the film throughout the United States,” said Jordan of his plans for the documentary.
Jordan is raising money for the project through a cell phone recycling fundraiser. Those interested can donate their phone by getting a shipping label from the website www.jordansphones.com.
Jordan is also looking for volunteers. Those interested can contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ashley Lauren is a contributing writer at the MN Spokesman-Recorder.