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Published on Dec 8, 2011
Volume 8 of South by Northwest relates the story of Robin Holmes, who came as a slave to Oregon to help his owner set up a farm. The owner, Nathaniel Ford, promised to free Holmes and his family, and eventually freed Holmes, his wife, and a newborn, but not the Holmes' other four children. In 1852, Holmes sued Ford in court to gain the freedom of his children.
The initial $248,000 contract for these films was awarded to Washington State University's KWSU-TV, to produce five docudramas based upon the stories of black Americans in the early northwest, to be aimed at middle-school students. Based upon research headed by WSU Professors Quintard Taylor and Talmadge Anderson, and produced by media expert Nate Long, five initial half-hour television programs were completed in 1976, and three more programs followed in 1981. South by Northwest was cited for "outstanding participation" by the American Revolution Bicentennial Administration, and won a Corporation for Public Broadcasting Award and a New York Film Festival Award.
In 2010, Washington State University Libraries' Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC) digitized these eight productions. The films are held in the WSU Libraries as VHS tapes; this one is call number vhs17490v8.