Obed Lamy - Once Forgotten: A Short Historical Documentary

The David and Barbara Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History hosted a screening of the documentary film Once Forgotten by Obed Lamy on Thursday, February 3, 2022. Sarah K. Moore facilitated a discussion afterwards with Lamy and panelists, Margaret Holcomb, RoAnne Elliott, Dr. Valandra, Niketa S. Reed, and Colleen Thurston.

Once Forgotten tells the story of three enslaved men who were lynched in the summer of 1856: Aaron and Randall – by a lynch mob, and Anthony – by the State of Arkansas. The three men had been accused of killing James Boone, a white enslaver.

Just one side of the story has been told by the white family over successive generations. An oral account of the events preserved in the Black community helps bring out the truth and honor the men's memories. The documentary seeks to bring to light this new version of the story while exploring the legacy of racial violence in America.

Holcomb is a local historian and niece of James Boone, and Elliott is program Director of the Washington County Community Remembrance Project. Valandra, associate professor of the School of Social Work and African & African-American Studies, and Reed, assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Strategic Media, served as executive producers of Once Forgotten. Thurston, former assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Strategic Media, and Moore, video producer at the Pryor Center, served as co-producers.

Lamy was born and raised in Petit-Goâve, Haiti. He holds a B.A. in Business Administration and studied Social Communications at the Université d'Etat d'Haïti. Lamy is a recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship, which enabled him to complete a Master's degree in Journalism at the University of Arkansas.

During his five-year career as a reporter, he has covered presidential elections, natural disasters, and civil unrest for national and international media outlets such as La Presse.ca and Radio-Canada Information in Canada, and Voice of America in the U.S.

Lamy's first documentary, A Promising Voice, explores a Black student's journey navigating a predominantly white college campus. The documentary received the Audience Award at Arkansas Cinema Society: Filmland 2020 and Best Student Film at Made in Arkansas Film Festival. Lamy won the Best Emerging Filmmaker award at the 2021 Fayetteville Film Festival for Once Forgotten.

Lamy is also the co-founder of Enfo Sitwayen, a multimedia platform focusing on media literacy and civic education. He currently resides in Fayetteville.

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