Awarding-winning filmmaker inspires SU students with documentaries

Keith Beauchamp
Keith Beauchamp

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Southern University closed out Black History Month with a two-day film festival. It featured a filmmaker with hopes to inspire people to seek change in the way they live.

Baton Rouge native and filmmaker Keith Beauchamp spent the last two days with students, faculty and community members doing more than just showcasing his award-winning documentaries.

"Even though we do have an African American president, a lot of us believe we live in a post-racial society. But if you do the type of work that I do, I could clearly show you that we have a long way to go," said Beauchamp.

Beauchamp's film about the life and death of Emmitt Till in the 1950s sparked the FBI to re-open the case. He hopes his most recent work, that profiles the mysterious hanging deaths of four African-American men in this last decade, may also help justice to be served.

"These are cases that have been ruled suicides by local authorities, which echo traditional lynchings because many of the family members, who had lost their loved ones in this manner, did not believe their loved ones had actually committed suicide," said Beauchamp.

Some students who attended the festival, say Beauchamp's films have opened their eyes to what's still happening in America and encouraged them to want to change things.

"Don't be so complacent with what's going on in today's society," said Student Government Association President Willie McCorkle, III. "Know that there's always room for improvement. Just because we have freedom does not mean we are free."

Beauchamp says the only way for the nation to continue to move forward is to discuss our problems and actively work on solving them.

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