New documentary highlights Fluvanna’s African-American history

Picture from "Resilience, Recovery, and Rebirth: Sustaining Hope in Trying Times."
Picture from "Resilience, Recovery, and Rebirth: Sustaining Hope in Trying Times."(Horace Scruggs, Fluvanna Film Documentary)
Updated: Feb. 27, 2021 at 6:06 PM EST
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FLUVANNA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - A Fluvanna musician has been using his time during the pandemic creating a new documentary about the county’s African-American history.

Horace Scruggs and his performance group, Odyssey of the Soul, teamed up with the Fluvanna Arts Council and Fluvanna NAACP to create Resilience, Recovery and Rebirth: Sustaining Hope in Trying Times.

Scruggs said the documentary was born out of the pandemic, when Odyssey of the Soul was no longer able to perform what they called “lecturing and learning” concerts.

“Usually you hear good music and then you get a little lecture on history, African American culture. So what was going through my mind was trying to take that in-person event and turn it into something that people can watch,” Scruggs explained.

The documentary includes musical performances, as well as interviews from community members and historians, reflecting on the county’s past and present.

“We’re talking about African American issues, historical issues, nation-wide and then we’re kind of bringing that down to Fluvanna County’s response to those issues, including slavery, reconstruction, Jim Crow era, school segregation and even to some of the issues that are happening today,” Scruggs said.

Much of the documentary reflects on the history of Pleasant Grove, a former plantation site, now turned into a county park. It also honors the lives of enslaved laborers who built sanctuaries in the area for worship.

Scruggs says, he hopes the documentary brings Fluvanna’s rich historical identity to light and makes an impact on the county’s community, telling a story that many may not be aware of.

“Generally we’d look at Richmond or Charlottesville kind of as our identity here in Fluvanna County, where I think coming away from it, we’ll get an idea on how impactful history is on Fluvanna County, how deep that history is and how it’s connected to Richmond and Charlottesville, but it does have a history of its own,” Scruggs said.

The documentary will be live-streamed on Facebook at 7PM tonight.

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