“Mary Frances Early: The Quiet Trailblazer”
This documentary film, narrated by esteemed journalist Monica Pearson, chronicles Mary Frances Early’s integral role in the campaign for racial equality that helped open the door of educational opportunity for generations of African Americans at the University of Georgia (UGA).
The film traces Early’s involvement as a central figure in the desegregation of the University of Georgia and her triumph as the first African American graduate. Utilizing an array of archival materials, collections of personal papers, news coverage, along with personal interviews, the documentary also covers Early’s formative years and illuminates her superior academic and professional achievements.
Honored repeatedly for her achievements and service, in 2013 UGA President Michael Adams conferred upon her an honorary doctor of laws. In 2018, UGA President Jere Morehead bestowed the President’s Medal to Early.
Some of the interviewees and individuals appearing in the film telling Early’s story include Congressman John Lewis, Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, Lonnie King, Dr. Juanita Johnson-Bailey, and Michael Thurmond. The documentary includes footage from interviews with Early and rare archival footage from her personal papers.