Long Time Coming: A 1955 Baseball Story

>>From the Library of
Congress in Washington, D.C.>>Roswell Encina:
I’m Roswell Encina, the Chief Communications Officer
for the Library of Congress. And on behalf of the Librarian
on Congress, Carla Hayden, we welcome you to the
largest library in the world, the Library of Congress. Yes. [Applause] We are
very excited to have all of you here tonight on
this very special evening to celebrate this very
wonderful film Long Time Coming. So this is part of the
Library’s year-long celebration of baseball Americana. We hope that most of you
visited our wonderful exhibit on the second floor. We just opened it like a
week before the All-Star Game and we’re very proud of it. It showcases the Library’s
amazing baseball collection. Most of you probably don’t know that the Library has the
largest baseball collection in the world. So we’re very proud
to show it off. But most of all the
purpose of the exhibition is to showcase what baseball
means to all of us. I think everyone remembers
the first time they walked into a baseball stadium or the
first time they touched the bat at their local baseball park or the first time you
heard the click of the bat when you were watching the game. I think we could
all relate to that, and that’s what we’re trying to
do that baseball is a community. That baseball is a unifier and it brings all
Americans together. And we believe that this
exhibition does that, and we’re very honored that you’re all here
to see it as well. We also want to welcome
members of Congress who are here tonight,
Representative Stephanie Murphy, Representative Matt Gaetz,
Representative Dennis Ross, Representative Paul Tonko,
Representative Bill Flores, Representative Lou Carrera
and Senator Sharrod Brown. We thank you for your support,
and for any members of Congress that I missed thank you
for joining us tonight. Now, it is my honor to
welcome the Producer of the film Ted Haddock. [ Applause ]>>Ted Haddock: Thank you,
everybody, for coming out. This is really, really
special for us. Here with a lot of family. My wife Kelly, you’ve
probably seen our kids here, we have cousins,
aunts and uncles, my dad and mom, Ed and Eddie. And I am grateful to all of
you D.C. friends and colleagues and members of Congress
for showing up and showing your
enthusiasm about this story. So I’ll just make a
couple quick remarks, and then we’ll just
roll the film because it does speak
for itself. In case anyone is not quite
sure what it’s really about, the story tells the —
the film tells the story of the first racially integrated
Little League game in the south. This is in 1955,
happened in Orlando. And so when we discovered
this story about three years
ago we realized that no one had ever
really told the story in any significant way. So as we pressed into it we
realized not only is it a great story, but it is symbolic
of what’s possible. And so our Foundation
decided to go for it and to make this into a film. And so our hope is that this
film will honor the players and their families
who participate in this game and the coaches. And that it will be a lever
for positive conversation about what we can do together. So the film’s about an
hour and a half long, it’s a feature documentary. And we’ll have a Q & A
session afterwards with myself, the director, and Jon Strong
who is also here tonight and two players from the
team that you’ll see. Reverend Freddie Augustine is
here tonight and Stewart Hall. So we’re excited to have
a conversation afterwards, and we’ll hope you
stick around for that.>>Good evening, everyone,
and thank you for being here. Before we get started I’d like to acknowledge
Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy and ask her to come to the
stage to welcome you all. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Stephanie Murphy: Thank you
all so much for being here. Boy, gosh, I hope
you all enjoyed that movie as much as I did. You know, for me it reminds
me of a couple of things. The power of storytelling
is so incredible in touching peoples’
heartstrings and bringing to life conversations that
as I think one of the people in the documentary said
that we should be able to have without shame. And so it was incredible
to watch the movie. They did an incredible job. And I’m just so grateful
that you all chose to spend an evening with us. I’m looking forward
to this discussion. But I just wanted to
share a couple of things that make this particular
personal for me. You know, my son is
seven, and a couple of years ago he started t-ball. And I’ve never really
paid attention to baseball before
despite the fact that my husband owns a company that sells baseball
and softball gear. But I went to my
first t-ball game, and I saw these little kids in
uniform with helmets too big for them, uniforms slightly too
big for them, not sure which way to run when they hit the ball. But just really I think growing
into who they are and feeling so much pride and developing
that sense of teamwork and developing confidence
and a sense of self. And I thought to myself
who needs the majors, t-ball is where it’s at. And I think you see a little
bit of that here in this movie. Here are two teams in the 1950s, really young people
unaware necessarily entirely of what is going on in the
social backdrop of what it is that is happening
in this country, but wanting to play ball. Wanting to have that
sense of accomplishment, of hearing the crack of that
bat, of winning and of teamwork. And it’s just so
incredibly inspiring. And I think the other piece
is the documentary closed on young children. And I think about the
country we’re living in, the responsibilities we all
have as engaged citizens and as elected officials,
and I think about how it’s about that generation. It’s about this upcoming
generation, a generation that is going to be
majority/minority. So these race conversations
that happened in the 1950s will
probably continue to happen in this country and maybe
just in a different context. But how do we do what they
did which is to come together and do so in a civil way? To see each other as humans
first and to understand that it takes knowing
somebody, having the interaction to be able to inform
the conversation. And that that conversation
needs to be as uplifting and as civil despite
the differences as some of the conversations that we
saw tonight in this documentary. So I’m just thrilled
to represent Orlando where this historic
event happened, and where I think we continue
to set an example of what it’s like to be a diverse
community that comes together in tough times, whether it’s in
the aftermath of a mass shooting or whether it’s the joy of a
victory on the soccer field which is happening a
little less seldomly, a little less frequently this
season but we’ll get it back. But to come together as a community having
tough conversations but loving one another first
and foremost as human beings. So very proud to
represent Orlando. Proud to be able to welcome you
all here and can’t wait to hear from our distinguished panel. Thank you so much. [ Applause ]>>Well, we are going to
continue the conversation, but I would be remiss to not
acknowledge the other members of Congress that are here today. We thank you for your presence and for your service
to our country. Thank you to your families
that joined us today. We appreciate your
support as well. We also want to acknowledge
the Edward E. Haddock, Jr., Family Foundation and Common
Pictures, [inaudible] Sports and all of the organizations
that helped to put this film together in
support of that [inaudible]. Thank you all. On stage with us we have Edward
E. Haddock II, Ted III, sorry. [ Applause ] Affectionately known as
Ted, and Ted is the producer of Common Picture this film and
founder of Common Picture Films. We have Stewart Hall from
the Orlando Jaycees –>>Stewart Hall: Kiwanis.>>Kiwanis, sorry. [ Applause ] Reverend Freddie Augustine
with the Pensacola Jaycees. [ Applause ] And Jon Strong who
directed this film. [ Applause ] So we’re going to kick
off the conversation with a question to you, Ted. You produced this film. I mean I heard — the
last I heard some sighs, what do you hope to accomplish
with Long Time Coming?>>Ted Haddock: Thanks. Well, from the beginning
we had three goals, and this is something we
discussed with Jon and his team who I do want to
acknowledge up here. We have some of the
Strong film team is here, Jon, do you know –>>Jon Strong: John King and
Tighe Arnold way up there.>>Ted Haddock: You
guys up there. I see you in the back. So quick applause for the team. [Applause] We had three goals. One was to tell a
really great story, a story that deserves
to be told. And secondly we wanted to honor
the players and their families and the coaches who
made this game possible. And if you think of the context
some of it was shown in the film but we didn’t go into a lot
of detail about the context. This was in the early days
of the Civil Rights Movement. A lot of times we look at the
Montgomery Bus Boycott as sort of a watermark, a
watershed event. So this game pre-dates sort
of the national entrance of Reverend King and Rosa Parks. This was a few months
ahead of that. This was a week or so
ahead of the Emmett Till. And so the young players and
their families and the coaches who made this game possible
really stepped out to do so in an extremely
polarized context which says a whole
lot about them. So we wanted to honor the
players and the families. And thirdly we wanted
to take an opportunity to tell a really winsome story about things going the way they
should have gone and to be able to talk about race in America in a really positive
and constructive way. So we’re already seeing
the opportunity to do that. We’re getting some good
traction with distribution, and having you all here tonight for this conversation is really
a special opportunity for us.>>Thanks, Ted. And, Jon, you directed the film. Tell us what did you
learn over the journey of making Long Time Coming.>>Jon Strong: I mean just
watching it even tonight it’s just the opportunity to look into someone’s eyes
and hear their story. And whether you agree with them or not I think it
changes your experience. You get to live through
their eyes. So I think empathy
for multiple opinions, some that I disagree with,
some that I agree with. My main goal is just
to make myself and everyone else feel it.>>I think you did
a great job at that. Would you all agree? [ Applause ] And so I have the
same question for you, Reverend Augustine
and Stewart Hall. I’ll give you quick
second to think about it. So I guess you’re going
to go first, Stewart. The question is what would
your 12 year old self say about the man that
you’ve become today?>>Damn.>>Stewart Hall: Well, I think
that he would be very proud that we made the decision,
that 12 ball players made that decision to play that game. You know, you heard John Rivers
say no one should take a boy’s dreams away. Well, if we had decided not to play he would have
done the same thing to us. But I do remember back
them there was a lot of stuff going on, and it came
down to a vote of 12 young boys to play that game or not. Hundred percent were
playing the game. And without it how would we have
ever had such a wonderful story as we’ve got in this film? Now, you all may not know this, but that film is
completely unscripted. It’s all natural. It’s pretty obvious there
was no makeup artist on any of us either. [Laughter] If I had it to do over again I’d lose some
weight, Ted, before I did it. I promise you that. But I can assure you that
it has been a joy of my life to participate in this
thing and get back and meet these wonderful
fellows from Pensacola. We have struck up a
friendship that’s now the way that it ought to
be all the time. It should have been then. Another thing I discovered
in this I happened to see on YouTube recently something, a fellow named Jesse Goldberg
made a song about the 50s, and it’s called Once
Upon a Time. And it’s all about my
time and growing up. And you might have noticed
all of us in the film, all the white guys said
what a wonderful time it was in the 50s to grow up. It was great. But in this song that he sings and all the movies you
know what I noticed? There wasn’t one Black
face in the whole thing. And I got to thinking it
was a great time to grow up but not for everybody. So additionally I’d like you to
know that this is the ninth time that I’ve seen it, it’s the
ninth time I’ve cried in it.>>Thank you, Stewart. Same question, Reverend
Augustine, what would your 12 year
old self say about the man that you’ve become today?>>Reverend Freddie Augustine: Well my 12 year old
self would say about the man I’ve
become today is partially because of what I
experienced in 1955. This is the third time
I’ve seen this movie. And it has brought
tears to my eyes, and it has made me feel
different on the inside. And I just believe,
I could be wrong, I’ve been wrong several times,
[laughter] but I do believe that the people that are
here tonight they witnessed a powerful documentary,
probably one of the most powerful
documentaries they ever witnessed before as
results of Stewart and I being 12 years old. You know, I’m so glad
that we had a chance to bond this relationship. I want to thank the
Haddock Foundation and Ted for putting this together
because he’s not the first one to try to do this, but he’s
the first one that succeeded. And I want to give
him credit for that.>>Ted Haddock: Thank you.>>Reverend Freddie
Augustine: And so as results of being a part of that team
I would really like to thanks to our coaches even though
they’re not here tonight. They are deceased. But because of the men that
we become they had a lot to do with it. But you just go back
and think about it now. They gave special time to
us that they could have gave to their families to make
us what we are today. So it’s because of those guys
and the team members along with the guys from Orlando
make me what I am today. Thank you.>>Thank you. I keep hearing a
resounding message about, Congressman Murphy
talked about it, and I’m hearing the
same thread from you all about really investing in
others’ lives and having a seat at the table and engaging others
across the aisle from you. Ted, what have you learned from this experience
in making this film?>>Ted Haddock: Well,
a lot, but I guess just to keep it brief you see this
theme in the storyline as well. But one of the early edits we
showed someone made the comment the they is overwhelming. You hear the word they a
lot, and it’s very powerful. And I think where we
end up is it’s a we. And the reality is
we need to I think — what I believe is we
need a new construct to see ourselves in the world. And there is no they
and there’s only us.>>We’re going to
open the floor. If any of you have
questions there are mics down in the audience. Please just raise your hand, and one of our staff members
will take your question.>>When the two teams
got back together when they were seniors was that at your behest
or was it their idea?>>Ted Haddock: I’ll
answer if that’s okay. So privately the film
crew had discussed, well, wouldn’t it be great if we had a
reunion so that’s on our minds. But we didn’t suggest it. We wanted to develop the
relationships naturally. And I’m so glad we
didn’t say anything, because if I remember correctly
I think it was you, Stewart, I think it was you and maybe
your teammates together said, you know, when the
Pensacola team came down here the first time in
1955 that was a hard trip. That predates interstate
highways. There was no I-4, there
was no I-95 coming down through Florida. So you had to take back
roads through little towns. And it was a much longer drive and it was a more
threatening drive. And so the team said I
think it’s our turn to go out and pay our respects. So it was completely
self-generated by the players, and we helped facilitate that.>>Thank you, Ted.>>Ted Haddock: You
can do it, buddy.>>What makes you so brave? What makes you so brave?>>Wow.>>Awww.>>Reverend Freddie Augustine:
What makes us so brave?>>Yes.>>Reverend Freddie
Augustine: Well, because we completed a task. So by us going to Orlando as you heard Ted
mention a few minutes ago by 1955 there was no
interstate driving. And just the idea of pulling
into a service station at that particular
time they had five, and only one would allow us to
use their bathroom and drink from their water fountains. So that was a tremendous
task in itself. So by us persevering we made it. And I shall never forget because
we made our first major stop in Florida at A&M University. There what we had [inaudible]. And I remember that’s the
first time I ever had a thigh and a drumstick cooked together
so it let me know that I was in the right place
going the right way.>>Stewart, I want to make
sure that you take time to answer this question as well. Because your parents
and the people who were behind the
Orlando team also had things that they were risking and
putting on the line as well.>>Jon Strong: And even today.>>Correct.>>Jon Strong: Making this film. It’s awkward somewhat.>>Stewart Hall: Yeah. I’m not sure I have a
really good answer on that. You know, I was 12 years old. I hardly remember
what I did last week. [Laughter] But when I think
back while I was growing up in Orlando in 1955 you
heard how wonderful small town, more or less memories, but
it’s only been recently that I’ve learned that only
20 miles west of Orlando some of the greatest atrocities ever
had been imposed upon young Black men. And we didn’t know. I don’t know why we didn’t know. I’m not even sure
my parents knew. But a lot of terrible
things were going on. In fact, Freddie,
when you guys came down from Pensacola
you went through some of those very, very
dangerous areas.>>Reverend Freddie
Augustine: Absolutely.>>Stewart Hall: I think
the Lord had his hand on you because it was not a good time. Just never knew it. Because we were on one side
of town and everybody was on the other side of town. But when it came to that ball
game it just seemed natural to us. I’ve tried to say
were we nervous, were we anxious about anything? Were my parents concerned about
me playing against a Black team? I don’t ever remember that. It’s just somehow something
transcended that day. Something special happened. It was just very natural.>>That’s a great question. Thank you.>>How did this project
originate? I mean, Reverend, you mentioned that other people have
tried this before, but this is the one
that succeeded. So how did this come
about and go from — where did the idea come and from where did the idea
them become a reality?>>Ted Haddock: So the
foundation that I work for was interested
in learning more of the civil rights
history in Orlando. So we started a lot
of research about that over three, four years ago. And in the process of that we
discovered about this game. One of the local city
leaders mentioned it. Most people don’t
know about this game. They’re starting to learn
now through the film. But if anyone knows
about it, it’s like, oh, I think there was
some special thing. So we had to do a
lot of research. We were interested in
learning the intersection of sports and civil rights. And so like a lot of town in the south Orlando
has the same story. There was sports really that
made the first sort of nick in the wall of segregation, and later we saw
that wall come down. So, yeah, it was just deciding
it was important to learn and trying to find out
doing the research.>>What I would like to say is that I thought it was an
awesome documentary, in fact, one of the best I’ve ever seen. I can relate to the boys
playing baseball back then because I played the 12 and
under Little League baseball, the 14 and under Little
League baseball here in D.C. And I know the feeling
that they have when you just want to compete. It didn’t matter who
you competed with, you wanted to have
that experience. And like some of the players who
went on to do Vietnam and all of that stuff saying here
I did the same thing, but I can always go back
and look at this documentary and my own life, and I can
just see so much resemblance. My question to the players, I was telling the Reverend
during this social event that although I played a lot of baseball I only
recall one good game. I was a pitcher, and I
pitched very well that day, but I could never
repeat it from that day. But I do have that
day to remember. But, anyway, to the players, the white players
what did you all feel like when the Black
players came to play? I know you mentioned
that you weren’t anxious or what have you, but what
was going through your mind, what were you processing leading
up to taking the field that day?>>So I think the question
is how did you feel leading up to the game, Stewart?>>Stewart Hall: Say again?>>How did you feel
leading up to the game?>>Stewart Hall: You mean the
emotions that I went through? That’s a wonderful question. And I’ve asked the other fellows
on the team how did you feel, and none of us have been
able to come up with anything that says we were nervous
or anxious about the game. For some reason we just felt it
was the next ball game to play. All the things that were going
on were above us, coaches, the mayor and the city council
and Little League headquarters. We were just a bunch of 12
year old boys that wanted to play a ball game, and
that’s all I remember about it. We played the game
and we won that game, focused on the next
one and we lost it. The umpire made a bad call or we
would have been in Williamsport.>>How telling is that, though, just one ordinary decision can
make an impact on our society. So thank you, Stewart.>>Stewart Hall: You know, I would like to make just
a side comment if I might. If you notice this film
ends on a really happy note. But it doesn’t give
you an answer. What I have learned from it is that it has given the
opportunity for people to sit down and have a discussion. I’ve shown it twice to a
group of friends of mine, and I’ve been overwhelmed
at their reaction to it. They want to talk. They want to talk
about the issue. I’ve seen their hands trembling as the tears poured
out of their eyes. Probably thinking
about their young life and maybe they mistreated
someone. We got a chance to heal it. But it’s like Gary Sheffield
said it’s a little drop in the bucket at a time. And I kind of feel like that’s
been our drop in the bucket.>>Thank you, Stewart.>>What made you want
to play baseball?>>The question is what made
you want to play baseball?>>Stewart Hall: She
must be talking to you.>>Reverend Freddie
Augustine: Well, during the time we
were playing baseball that was the only thing we had
to do that was constructive. Baseball was constructive. And I want to tell you it
kept me out of trouble. It kept me out of trouble,
and it made me who I am today. Good question.>>Thank you.>>I’d like to first say that
was a awesome documentary, and I really, really enjoyed it. So my first question would
be for each of you gentlemen. When you talked about the number
of people that came to the game, do you think they were
there for encouragement, or do you think they were
there sort of for intimidation? And then for the other team
did you bring reinforcements when you came from Pensacola. And then my last question
is how can I see it again because I think my husband
would really enjoy it.>>Reverend Freddie
Augustine: No, we didn’t bring any
reinforcement. We just came to play baseball. That’s what we were
looking forward to. We never thought
outside the box, per se, that something would happen. There’s always a chance
for something to happen. Even when we leave here
tonight it’s possible that something could happen. But we came expecting good
things to happen, and that was to get a chance to
play the game. Because our leaders that put
this together had already taken care of all the logistics. So all we had to do was
follow their instructions. And we know that
everything worked okay.>>Stewart Hall: You know, I think there’s a chance a
thousand people might have intimidated us. We never had a crowd
of that size where they were stacked three
and four deep along each fence and a lot of noise
and activity going on. Normally there’s 50
people at a ball game. So I think it might have
affected us more than your team.>>Jon Strong: I have to
imagine people maybe wanted to see something happen if something bad
was going to happen. So that’s my thought.>>Hi, how are you guys doing? I just wanted to say
thank you so very much for actually bringing this
documentary for our eyes and our ears and our hearts. And I just wanted to
ask the young gentleman, white gentleman, the
player, you made a statement about Black Lives Matter. I just want to know
do you get it?>>Stewart Hall: I really
appreciate that question. I’m going to use a
term that’s used here in Washington quite often. There’s some things I said I’d like to walk back
a little bit on it. [ Applause ] Let me tell you I think I can
explain it to you this way. I’m all about unity. I’m all about finding a
way for us to do this. And I feel like every time we
develop another organization it becomes divisive. And I see that in a lot
of different kind of ways. And I don’t know what it is. I felt like for a
long time the best way that we could do it is there’s
an organization already built and it’s called the church. I kind of think that’s
one of our great hopes, and when we teach
splintering out and it draws us further
apart that’s just my view. And that’s why I
said what I did. I want something that says we
all matter, all lives matter, and let’s work towards
that kind of unit.>>Thank you, Stewart. I do want to walk
back for a second because the question was posed,
and I’d like to hear the answer and for everyone to hear. How can people see this film,
what’s next for the film? I know that question
was posed, and so I want to talk a little bit more about what’s next
for Long Time Coming.>>Ted Haddock: Sure. Just real quick we have a
website longtimecoming.film. We’re also on social media. So the best way to
find out where to see the film is
on our website. And so we have a
list of screenings that are scheduled now
through the end of the year. We have more to announce soon that we can’t mention
publically yet. So that’s sort of sparse. We’re hoping to have more soon. But I guess the short
answer is we’re working with a distributor right
now to come up with a plan. So you’ll be hearing
more about it. You can follow us on
social media, online. Likely we’ll have a deal
with an online distributor, maybe Netflix or something
like that early 2019. Between now and then we’re going to have a limited theatrical
release in select cities. So do check our website, also
social media, and you can find out when it will be
available in your area.>>Thank you. I see an urgent hand
in the back. Yes, sir?>>Sidney Miller: Hello. Okay, first of all my
name is Sidney Miller. I’m from Pensacola. I left Pensacola in 1949
when I finished high school. Went to FAMU. And in 1955 I went into
the Army as an officer. Pensacola was a place that
I realized as a young man that if I were going
to be anything I had to get the hell out of there. I called my mother to tell
her that I was not going to spend the rest of
my life in the Army because I didn’t want anybody to
tell me what to wear everyday. And she was very upset. But she told me, she says,
oh, don’t worry about that. You can come back home, I’ll
get you a job teaching school. And you can stay at home. You don’t have to cook, you
don’t have to do anything, but you have a place
to stay and everything. I said, no, I’m not
going to do that, mother. She said, well, what
are you going to do? I said I don’t know but
it ain’t going to be that. Well, I have spent
my last 60 years in the entertainment business. I have a magazine called Black
Radio Exclusive that has all of the Black radio stations
in America reporting. And we became the Black
billboard letting everybody know what was happening from
the Black side of music. And I’m directing this question
to Ted because I want him to do for the music industry
what he did for baseball. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Thank you.>>Thank you, Mr. Miller.>>Hello, everyone. So my question is directed
to the brother who was on the stage who was a player.>>Reverend Augustine.>>Thank you. Reverend Augustine, I want
to thank you for being here and for what you’ve
done as a youngin’. I can appreciate that I
don’t understand what you’ve been through. I’m not sure if it was
[inaudible] but one of your colleagues on the
film mentioned growing up you were forced by Jim Crow
to not use the same restrooms, the same water fountains,
you couldn’t enter through the front door. And especially being
here in D.C. all that you’ve seen over this time. The question to you is what
was it like and has it been like growing up under Jim Crow
and such severe segregation and racism to now where
we’ve had a Black President and so much. And what kind of words of
encouragement can you give to us young folks as we see D.C.
backsliding quite horrifically in this country almost
getting closer and closer to the time that you came from. Thank you.>>Reverend Freddie Augustine:
That’s an awesome question. Well, first of all I
need to start by saying if you don’t become a part of the sovereign process
then you become a part of the problem. And for everybody that’s
here tonight I don’t have to label them one, two, three, four and say these are
the issues that we need to face pertaining
to Black people. Because literally we’re the
last hired and the first fired. So I want what every
white person wants. In fact, I want you to make
the list and I want to sign it because I know it’s all good. But we have to educate
our people. We have to educate our
people and let them know that racism is a
learned behavior. You don’t come — you aren’t
born with racism, just taught. And so when we go out into
society and we have a chance to mingle with people, then we
know we like the same things. You like a BMW? I like a BMW, too. [Laughter] You like a big house. I like one, too. So don’t try to keep me
from obtaining that because of the pigmentation of my skin. If I educate myself then I’m
able to qualify regardless of what has been said. I see it every day. People wonder how you do this? Well, the reason why
I’m able to do this is because I’ve educated myself. And that’s what we have
to do is become educated. And so when we become educated
then they might not accept us but we can get in the door. But without education you won’t
be able to get in the door. So you’ve got to fight for it. In fact, that’s why I value
my education so much now. I went to a predominant
Black school, high school, elementary school, and
we had good teachers then that loved us. There was no such
thing as time out. We didn’t play that. You learned, you learned
because they wanted you to learn because they knew exactly what
we were facing before we ever faced it. And so that’s why we
worked so hard teaching us. So that’s what we have to
get back to, being educated to be able to learn
how to discern between what is right
and what is wrong. That’s our only key.>>Thank you.>>Good answer.>>I see another
hand in the back. Go ahead, sir.>>Shawn Trapp: Hello, my name
is Shawn Trapp [phonetic]. I’m also a graduate of
Florida A&M University. My question is directed
to Ted and Jon. What difficulties did
you have producing or creating or making the film?>>Ted Haddock: I’m
sorry, raise your hand. What was the – ->>Jon Strong: What difficulties
did we have making the film. I’ll start. It’s a lot of people
on both teams. And to show all of
their experiences, when you interview anyone a lot of it is boring I
mean honestly, right? And so to choose
the right pieces that show honestly
who these people are. I had no desire —
I liked every one of these guys that
we interviewed. And I didn’t have a
desire to hurt them. I also had a desire to show
the truth somewhat objectively, somewhat subjectively. So I think it was very hard
to, ooh, I mean every one of these guys we interviewed
two hours, two long hours. And to cut that down into
an hour and a half piece of all these people
into something that I think is moving
was very freaking hard. And it took a long time. I was very tired and burned out. Past that I mean it was
just finding the story. Because we have all these
people what is the story? We have all these
interviews, cool, nice old men and their histories,
what’s the story? So it just took us a long
time to really find that. And the first time we
showed the film it was a bad film objectively. And the next two or three
times it was a bad film. And now I think it’s
a good film. So, man, it was so painful. But I would say that most of the hardship did not
come from the interviews. It was making something
hopefully beautiful out of some raw product. So that’s my answer.>>Ted Haddock: I’ll just
give a quick addition. I think everything he
says is absolutely true. There were a lot of challenges,
but it was one of those things where it was just meant to be. I know that sounds
sort of phony. But the challenges that
I was most concerned about took care of themselves. First of all we had to
find all the players. Who were they? They weren’t all
mentioned in the articles. So we had to find one, and
that was kind of hard to do. And then we’ve got
to find another one. And then we had to gain
the trust of these men that we never met before. And it was about
something a long time ago. It was about something
kind of controversial. Are they going to
be willing to talk? Are they going to be honest? And then it was we’d like to
have some recognizable names. Wouldn’t it be awesome
to have Hank Aaron, but who gets to Hank Aaron? He’s got a pretty
strong gatekeeper. But all these things. Just one thing led to another. So there was just a provision
beyond our own efforts that opened the doors for us, and we’re really,
really grateful.>>Jon Strong: And those
kids really did just walk up at the very end.>>Ted Haddock: They did.>>Jon Strong: We
were just filming and I mean that’s an ending. That’s the film’s ending, and it was just sort
of provided for us. So as hard as it was it was
also, yeah, a lot of provision.>>Reverend Freddie
Augustine: Let me add to that. The reason why we were able to
answer these questions is really because of Jon Strong. I mean he got right on me. I mean he just pounded you and
pounded you and pounded you and cut one and cut
two and cut three. That’s the reason
why we were able to answer the questions
like we did. But I told one of my players,
my teammates in the movie, I said [inaudible], I said if they had done this 30 years
ago we wouldn’t have had the experience to answer the
questions the way we did. But because we had grown
up and been in society, and that’s what you do, you
gain knowledge from your world. That’s what philosophers say, we
gain knowledge from our world. Every day we wake up we
ought to learn something new. If we don’t it’s been a bad day. And so Jon really drilled us. And I thank Jon for doing that.>>Jon Strong: You’re welcome.>>I saw a hand. I think we have time
for one last question. Yes?>>For the players on the
Pensacola team how many of them stayed in Pensacola
and how many of them left and did they come back?>>Reverend Freddie Augustine: As of now we only have
three players that are alive in Pensacola, but one chose
not to participate in it. He was the guy that stood and
talked about getting the hit. When we started filming
we had a guy by the name of Cleveland Dailey. He died in 2017. So right now there’s only
five of us still living, but only three living
in Pensacola but only two took part
in the documentary.>>Thank you for that question. So as we get ready to close I
want to ask each of you to think through this question. I’ve gotten to spend
time with all of you. And this is a beautiful
work of art on the stage. Each of us has a
different perspective, come from somewhere different,
come from different times. And I want you to
offer some wisdom as to what you hope people
leave this audience with and do. They’ve seen this film,
what is your hope? And that’s for each of you to
answer from your perspective, from your angle, from Florida,
from Orlando, from Pensacola. Jon as a millennial what
is your take and view that you’d like to leave?>>Jon Strong: I’ll start, sure. You know, I love Jesus, but
I’ve never quite liked Christian Conservatives, Fundamentalist
Christians. So I was always kind
of against Republicans. And because of that because I
thought they were judgmental and would shame people for doing
stuff that they didn’t like, for dancing or having
sex or kissing, whatever. And I didn’t like that. And then now I see the
people that I more resonated with doing kind of the
same thing, shaming people for not doing what they
feel is right morally. For cutting them
off relationally because you believe
something different than I do and I don’t want
to be complicit. So for me I don’t like that. I don’t think that a
change comes through shame. And I think we’re just
repeating the same mistakes of just cutting people off
through shame and morality and hoping that by cutting
them off it will change them, it doesn’t. So I would hope that everyone
here would deal with people that they don’t like,
be uncomfortable in that and freaking try and
see them as a human even if you disagree with them. Like they’re still a human. Even if they have
just some awful views like it’s not complicit
to talk to people. It is loving and it
can change people.>>Reverend Freddie
Augustine: What I hope tonight after you all watch this movie that you would have
a change of heart. I remember when Ted
came to Pensacola around August 12th I believe
somewhere around that. And we was having
dinner that night sitting out on the back of
the restaurant. And he said to me,
he said, Reverend, he says I just don’t
know whether God wants me to produce this documentary
or not. And I said to Ted, it is
good, God approves of it. So I hope tonight that
as you all leave here that you will come
a committee of one. I mean you’ve got to do it
in your own little corner. See, we can’t turn the
whole world around, but we can turn our
own corner around. And if we turn our own corner around then people
will see our light. And then they’ll walk up to you and ask you what
happened to you? You say, well, I watched a
Long Time Coming last night. [Laughter] And I saw
some 12 year old children that were involved in something that they said it wouldn’t be
done or it couldn’t be done or it wasn’t going to be done. And they got together
among themselves and changed the whole world. Let me say I think Ted
has done a good job. This documentary will be going to quite a few states
in the United States. They’ll all get a chance to
see it, and they’ll be just like Stewart, they’ll cry
every time they see it.>>Stewart Hall: You
know, one of the things that I would mention to you as a
result of that ball game I know that it made a small step
in the City of Orlando. Bob Carr was the
following Mayor I believe. And I recall probably
when I was 13, maybe 14, a group of Black citizens
marched on city hall, and they wanted to just
merely establish their rights. Mayor Carr looked over what
they had listed out there, and he said, you know, I
think you all are right. And I always felt like that
little ball game paved the way for Mayor Carr to say the
signs are coming down. Signs are coming down. You eat at whatever
counter you want to. You ride anywhere on the
bus that you want to. And that was a major
breakthrough for our city. Now as far as I know we’ve
never had any major strife. There have been differences. But I’ve been proud that
Orlando agreed way back that they were going
to address those. For me what I would ask
of you, you’ve seen it, you know what the film’s about,
you need to tell somebody. I’ve had the opportunity
to carry that little flower around even with
the Uber driver. We were going to the airport. And like I said she said why are
you going to Washington, D.C.? I said I’m so glad you asked. Let me share this with you. So God’s given me a lot of
opportunity to share the story. It’s one little drop in
the bucket at a time. I think we ask you to do
the same thing for us. Thank you.>>Ted Haddock: I probably
should have talked first because that was all better
than anything I have to say. Yeah, I think it’s
the little things, it’s the little decision. I think in the moment there
wasn’t anything monumental about this game. It was another decision. We look back and we
see its importance. We look back and we see the
context, and you heard it from a lot of the players, well,
that’s just the way it was. And we can all identify
things in our lives, well, that’s just the way it is. And what can I do about it? But there’s those
same things today. And I like to fast forward
and think, well, in 50 years, 100 years looking back in
2018 what would people say? Well, that’s just
the way it was. But change happens, and it comes through small decisions
of respecting people. We ourselves change. We find ways to cross the
aisle to work together when we’re humble, when we
listen, when we’re honest. And so I know I’m probably
preaching to the choir because you’re here because
you believe those things. So I hope that we walk out
of here and find little ways, not ways that’s going
to make a headline, but ways to respect the other and to find ways
to work together.>>Well, thank you, gentlemen. And, again, thank you
all for being here. You all have made a difference
just by being present. Thank you to my husband and my
family that have come as well. I would be remiss if I didn’t
thank you all for being here. Please have a good evening. [ Applause ]>>This has been a presentation
of the Library of Congress. Visit us at loc.gov.

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