"Circle Unbroken: A Gullah Journey from Africa to America," the made-for-TV film about Beaufort's Gullah people that premiered last year, has been expanded and accepted for airing on PBS stations nationwide.
SCETV will air the new 55-minute version of the documentary/musical at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5.
With SCETV's backing, the National Educational Telecommunications Association based in Columbia selected the film for national distribution to PBS stations. Stations will make individual decisions on airing it. The broadcast license is good for multiple airings over the next three years, said producer Ron Small of Charleston.
The film was written and narrated by Anita Singleton-Prather of Beaufort, who performs as Aunt Pearlie Sue and The Gullah Kinfolk. She and her 20-person ensemble star in the film, shot with a cast and crew of more than 100 primarily on location in Beaufort and surrounding islands.
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Small said the film "was very Beaufort-centric but has been enlarged to feature more of South Carolina."
It now covers Charleston's history, including the massacre at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June.
Anita Singleton-Prather, who has three grandchildren in the film, said she wants it to be instructional for future generations.
Small, with his Anchor Media Group and Gullah.TV in Charleston, has worked with Singleton-Prather for almost 20 years in her efforts to preserve the culture and tell the history of the descendants of slaves who give the Lowcountry its unique flavor.
Small said the usual reaction to "Circle Unbroken" has been, "It's very eye-opening. This is the history they did not tell us."