Sam Pollard Is Directing a Film on the Life of the First African American Mayor of Atlanta - Maynard Holbrook Jackson, Jr.

April 20th 2017
Maynard H. Jackson Maynard H. Jackson Sam Pollard (long-time Spike Lee editor, as well as director and producer in his own right) is taking on the life of another public figure in a new documentary. "Maynard," the much-anticipated documentary film, which is being made about the life and times of former Atlanta Mayor Maynard H. Jackson, is heading into post-production, we learned today. The documentary about the person and legacy of Maynard Holbrook Jackson Jr. will tell the story of the man, the politician, and the game changer; and will strive to answer the question: “How did Maynard do it?” Mayor Jackson was known as a charismatic and compassionate leader who served a record three terms as Atlanta’s mayor. Among his many successes, he earned his place in Atlanta history books for building the world's busiest airport and for leading the affirmative action charge across these United States. The objective is to tell the Maynard story that details his life and to motivate other young politicians that one honest and dedicated individual can make a difference. Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin; Jackson’s widow, Valerie Jackson; Jackson’s children; Douglas A. Blackmon, former AJC reporter and Pulitzer Prize- winning author of “Slavery by Another Name”, his first law partner, Andrew Patterson; his former CAO at Atlanta City Hall, George Berry; and many other individuals who played major roles in the life of this giant of a man have been in front of the camera. The mayor’s aunt, June Dobbs Butts (the only living daughter of Jackson’s grandfather, John Wesley Dobbs, who was often referred to as the mayor of Sweet Auburn Avenue), provided an applauded interview to round out the history on the Dobbs family. Other special interviews are in the works which include President William Clinton, former Atlanta Mayor Sam Massell, and Dr. Michael Lomax, president of the United Negro College Fund, who once served as a speech writer for the mayor during his first term in office, as well as the Commissioner of Parks & Recreation for the city. "Maynard" will present an intimate view of Jackson from those who knew him best. The film will include video archival footage and photographs, and rare interviews with family and co-workers who helped sustain the Maynard movement during his administration at Atlanta City Hall. Former Mayor Shirley Franklin with Producer and Director Sam Pollard Former Mayor Shirley Franklin with Producer and Director Sam Pollard “My father fought the good fight for equal opportunity and economic equality especially for African Americans. He believed the way to accomplish that was through the power of educational achievement, the vote, and economic strength – the book, the ballot, and the buck, as he put it,” said Brooke Jackson Edmond, daughter of Mayor Jackson, in a previous statment. “All Atlantans have benefited from his work as have countless others far beyond Atlanta. There is a thriving African-American business class largely because of Maynard Jackson.” A recently added plus to the "Maynard" production team was award-winning director of photography Henry Adebonojo, who was also part of the production team for the now Oscar-nominated Raoul Peck documentary “I Am Not Your Negro." Post production on the Auburn Avenue Films, Inc. project is scheduled for the months of February and March; and then on to the plans of getting the film ready for submission for 2018 Sundance Film Festival consideration.
by James Hall on April 20th 2017

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