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FILM: Leaving Atlanta

by Winston "Stone" Ford

I only grew up an hour and a half from there, but I never really knew about the Atlanta Child Murders. From what I’m reading, it must have been a tragic time. During a three year span, from 1979-1981, almost 30 Black children and young adults were killed, and although a suspect was arrested, tried, and convicted–failed music producer Wayne Williams–he maintains his innocence and even recent DNA evidence has proven inconclusive.

Filmmakers Karon Vereen Davis and Althea Spann plan to tackle this subject in a new movie titled Leaving Atlanta, based on the book by novelist Tayari Jones. A synopsis:

Award winning novelist Tayari Jones delivers a vividly disturbing, but hopeful novel that recounts one of the darkest tragedies in American history – through the eyes of three unforgettable children. Based on the Atlanta child murders of 1979-1981, this wrenching story is told from the perspective of three Atlanta fifth-graders living in the midst of the crisis. The film is a coming of age story, wrapped around true events. At the start of a new school year in 1979, we get to know three children and their families as the entire community deals with the initial reports that there is a child murderer in Atlanta. Tasha Baxter, Rodney Green, and Octavia Harrison will discover back-to-school means facing everyday challenges in a new world of safety lessons, terrified parents, and constant fear. When classmates begin disappearing and friends become headlines Tasha, Rodney and Octavia find ways to live with the fear or escape it. This is a moving story of their struggle to grow up – and survive. It captures all the hurts and wins, the all-too-sudden changes, and the merciless outside forces that can sweep the young into adulthood, and forever shape their lives. Leaving Atlanta confronts complicated and sensitive subjects with just the right amount of sorrow and promise.

The group has already raised almost $10,000 for their project through Kickstarter, but as always, more money is not a bad thing. If you are interested in supporting this project, donate here. (via Bold As Love)


  • http://www.leavingatlantathemovie.com Tracy

    Greetings,

    We are so grateful for the love and support behind this important project. The film is an adaptation of the award-wining novel by Tayari Jones, who was a 5th-grader living in Atlanta during this terrible time.

    It is a privilege to not only bring this story to the screen, but to get people talking about this sad chapter in American history. For many, the case of Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered Children has gone unsolved for over 30 years – this is a discussion most certainly worth having.

    Stone, we thank you for mentioning us on your site and helping to spread the word; the generous and continued support of friends like you will help make this film a reality.

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