On Saturday, February 26th at 9:30 am at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, 117 Boone Street, Jonesborough, The Jonesborough Genealogical Society will host a special program on the Appalachian Soul Documentary for a special program on the project. This program will include filmmakers Adam Dickson, Joshua Mancuso, and Frederick Murphy. The film Appalachian Soul is expected to be completed later this year, with a special emphasis to uncover the forgotten stories of African Americans in Appalachia. More information about the film can be found at www.appsoulfilm.com/.

About the speakers:

Adam Dickson is a community advocate and servant-leader. His professional experiences include local government, community development, higher education and the nonprofit administration.

Adam currently works for the City of Johnson City, TN as Supervisor of the Langston Centre (Langston), a facility promoting multicultural awareness through community arts, education, and leadership. Langston sits on the site of the former Langston High School, Johnson City, TN’s black high school from 1893-1965. Langston seeks to accomplish three objectives. First, Langston preserves the memories of the alumni of Langston High School and celebrates Johnson City’s African-American experience. Second, Langston creates educational programs for students to learn, have fun, and develop necessary life skills.  Third, Langston serves as a “community hub” to address serious social problems and to promote community engagement.  

Adam is an Adjunct Instructor of Political Science at East TN State University.  For 16 years he has taught the course “Black American Political Thought” which examines black political ideology and the role of race in American political development. Adam currently serves on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen for the Town of Jonesborough as Vice-Mayor. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Carson-Newman University, and he received a Master of Public Administration degree from East TN State University in 2004.

Frederick Murphy is the founder of History Before Us, LLC, a project centered on capturing, preserving, and advocating for influential history. He was raised in Clarksville, Tennessee and is a graduate of Tennessee State University.

His first film, the award-winning The American South as We Know It, explores the lives of survivors of Jim Crow—the courageous individuals who didn’t make the headlines.

His second documentary, The Other Side of the Coin: Race, Generations & Reconciliation, was released on September 2, 2020. A collection of experiences and thoughts addressing the complexities of race in America, the film asks, “How do we reconcile for the sake of future generations and humanity?”

Frederick is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor who finds joy in helping people achieve and retain an optimum level of functioning by focusing on their holistic health. He has a master’s degree in Transformative Leadership and serves on the board of the James K. Polk historic site in Pineville, North Carolina, the Slave Dwelling Project in Charleston, South Carolina, and The Tennessee African American Historical Group in Clarksville, Tennessee.

Josh Mancuso is a filmmaker, actor, and entrepreneur. A transplant from L.A. to Northeast Tennessee when he was only 4 years old, Josh embodies a unique hybrid of West Coast/Appalachian personality. With TV show appearances on the Oxygen Channel and ID Network, as well as lead actor credits in multiple short films and commercials, Josh is carving his path as a go-to actor in the industry. He has multiple nominations and one win for Best Actor, and multiple film awards, including Best Comedy.

As a filmmaker Josh has written and produced several short films, comedy sketches, and social media videos. In 2018 he directed “Coming Home,” a documentary that chronicles a man’s 40-day journey to India to trace his late father’s footsteps. This journey led to a movement of compassion and social justice in the form of the Caleb Hope Foundation, a non-profit organization that cares for destitute children in the slums of India. Josh and his team were given 60 hours of footage from 15 years ago, and combined with present-day interviews, tasked with putting together a unique story in 40 minutes.

Josh graduated with a B.A. in Communications from Emory & Henry College in Southwest Virginia, and a M.A. in Leadership from Luther Rice University in metro-Atlanta. He received a 40 Under 40 Award in 2016.