"No greater time than now to view, hear, read and discuss historical facts that have been absent from all accounts in U.S. and world history. As If We Were Ghosts is a movie whose time has come. Ours Studios LLC is a destination location for the film and entertainment industry."
Dr. Ann Kimbrough's career began as a financial journalist and it has organically evolved into successful ventures. She brings more than 40 years of experience in film, entertainment, large special events and business operations. As the first female dean of the Florida A&M University (FAMU) School of Journalism & Graphic Communication, Dr. Kimbrough hosted dozens of multimedia stars who mentored and recruited FAMU design, PR, and production majors. Dr. Kimbrough was a management leader in the planning and staging of the world's largest peacetime event, the Olympics (Atlanta, Ga). She engaged youth and other organizations in Olympics productions, secured millions in grants for construction training, and authored curricula for sports broadcast training and job placements for HBCU students.
Dr. Kimbrough is the author of genealogy books and is a workshop leader. She also authored biographies and is an award-winning financial journalist in major media outlets. As Chief of Staff in the DeKalb County Government, she led the successful public affairs strategies for the county’s passage of a $240 million bond referendum to improve parks, roads, and libraries. She also created local news content-driven cable channels for Fulton and DeKalb County governments. DeKalb won an Atlanta Emmy.
At first glance, one may believe that Becky Taylor is not the person she actually is. That’s because Taylor is unassuming and modest about her profession as the Sports Editor of the Tifton Gazette. Importantly, Taylor has spent more than a decade researching and publishing statistics, stories, photographs and videos about the mostly unknown Black athletes in Georgia.
In the video segment found on the asifwewereghosts.tv, you will find an engaging video segment of Taylor’s behind-the-scenes revelations about how she became interested in volunteering to serve as the historian for the Georgia Interscholastic Association (GIA), we learn where she gained her passion to uncover hidden stories about athletic feats of historical figures in Georgia sports. The stories, as she states, are of men and women who are “celebrities … (who) did so much for their hometowns.”
Becky Taylor is among the several individuals featured on the Ours Studios’ streaming site, asifwewereghosts.tv. Help support the history accounts of Black athletes and coaches once forgotten. Sign up today.
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As a young man growing up in segregated Thomaston, Georgia, Monroe Banks knew well his community’s “feeding frenzy for basketball.”
He and his friends would gather odd scraps and remnants from discarded materials to create basketball courts on cement, dirt and mud and makeshift heaters for cooler months. Their goal was to play basketball under the most adverse weather conditions.
It paid off. He earned a cherished spot on the George W. Drake High School basketball team. He was among the young men who won state basketball championships thanks to the skills they developed under coaching of the legendary Dr. Eugene P. Walker.
“I still call him Coach Walker,” said Banks, of the man who was the greatest “influencer” in his youth and adult life.
It was a harsh environment for Blacks in Thomaston, Ga, a small, rural hamlet located about an hour’s drive south of Atlanta. Banks, now retired, was born into segregation, yet the societal unfair treatment did not deter him from achieving in his academic, sports and career endeavors in metro Atlanta.
The game of life tips as instilled in him by Walker is how Banks describes success. Below are a few of the lifelong strategies, techniques and advice from Walker to Banks:
- “He taught us to be proud … to do anything you thought you couldn’t do.”
- Put your mind to anything worthwhile.
- Be in great physical shape to “run” athletic opponents “in the ground.”
- “We had fun.”
- Study your competition and design strategies to beat them.
- Don’t be a ball hog. Be a team player to win games.
- Taking a page from the 1962 Georgia Interscholastic Association high school basketball championship game, “pass the ball. The best man in the best position got the shot. We didn’t care who got the points as long as we played the game right … decent.”
It was a rainy night in south Georgia on Sept. 2, 2022 when the “As If We Were Ghosts”‘ star and championship speedster, Frank Seay, was honored by his college alma mater.
Seay, the Albany State College Rams Booster Athlete of the year in 1977, was inducted into its sports Hall of Fame in an elegant ceremony on the HBCU campus. According to the ASU Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2022, Seay was honored for the following:
- “SIAC 100 meters champion in 1976, 1977 & 1978
- 60 meters champion in the US Federation Championships in 1977
- Set SIAC records in the 100 meter and 200 meters in 1978
- Featured in the Black Collegiate Sports Magazine”
Seay, a native of Americus, GA, was also highlighted for his appearance in the 2022 documentary produced by Stonecrest, GA-based “As If We Were Ghosts” historical documentary. The documentary that debuted in June of 2022, featured Black athletes and coaches who survived the harsh segregated practices in Georgia and yet excelled in their athletic fields.
Seay made a lasting impression by his championship speed. During the recent post-show of the “As If We Were Ghosts” encore presentation, former Clark Atlanta University acclaimed athlete, coach and athletic director, Raymond “Tweet” Williams, exclaimed “I remember you,” pointing to Seay. That was quite a recollection by Williams who jokingly told Seay that he didn’t appreciate Clark’s track team being beaten by Seay during the SIAC rivalry more than 40 years ago.
Congrats, Frank Seay, for your well earned recognition.
Go to asfifwewereghosts.tv and learn more about Frank Seay and other “ghosts” as they recall their best days as athletes admist racial hatred aimed at their athleticism. Also, subscribe to Ours Studios streaming service and support the storytelling of historical Black athletes. “As If We Were Ghosts” is also streaming on Amazon Prime and in the U.K. on Pzaz, where it has remained in the top 1-3 most viewed video.
“Having grown up in Perry, GA, I have always been fascinated with the stories of real, everyday people and their achievements.”
Deitrah Taylor brings a strong interest in historical stories about “everyday” people. The Perry, Ga.-native nurtured her curiosity as an avid listener to her maternal grandparents who lived a few miles away in Hinesville. They shared with her stories about Ft. Stewart U.S. Army Base moving into Hinesville and WWII experiences. They worked in blue collar jobs on the base and experienced life as civilians in a military town.
The stories are endless from there. Taylor holds an MA in History with a specialization in Public History from Georgia College. She has conducted oral histories for a Houston County project and gathered a plethora of research for the “As If We Were Ghosts project.”
To reach her and find out more about her love of history, www.joyefultimetraveler.com
“It is important for us to tell our stories,” says Ross. “We must give reverence to those forgotten stories. By curating those experiences, there is a revelation that equals a connection and ultimately provides healing.”
Monty Ross joined Ours Studios LLC as its first Filmmaker-in-Residence in March 2022. With more than 40 years of experience, Ross also co-founded Forty Acres and A Mule Filmworks with college classmate Spike Lee where they produced several films, including Malcolm X, Jungle Fever, She’s Gotta Have It, and School Daze.
Ann Wead Kimbrough, Ours Studios COO is also a classmate of Ross. Both are natives of Omaha, Neb. When Kimbrough shared the “As If We Were Ghosts” story with Ross, they both knew it was ideal for Ross to produce. As Ross says, it is a story that resonated with him because he knew there were similar stories about Black high school athletes across the country.
The first of five planned productions, “As If We Were Ghosts”, highlights the harsh treatment of Black high school athletes during segregation and their unwavering spirit to overcome challenges.
Ross joined the Ours Team in celebrating its debut on June 13th on Georgia Public Broadcasting.
“Working at Ours Studios and on this project has provided me with great information and a lot of good mentoring.” Dennis Gould, editor, As If We Were Ghosts
On June 13, 2022, Dennis Jerome Gould’s first major documentary, debuted on the nation’s third largest public television network, Atlanta-based Georgia Public Television. Gould, 24, completed key post-production assignments within the Ours Studios LLC’s Filmmaker-in-Residence program, led by acclaimed filmmaker Monty Ross.
Gould, a filmmaker specializing in editing and virtual productions, was one of three editors mentored and supervised by Ross to complete the historic documentary, As If We Were Ghosts. It premiered to more than 3 million GPB households through the state on Monday, June 13 and will be shown in its encore on June 19 (Juneteenth), 2022.
“This is amazing,” said Gould of his whirlwind experience with Ours Studios and graduation requirements. “I am geared up to produce great content with specialized techniques in the vast film industry.”
Gould, 24, graduated from Clayton State University in the Atlanta metro area, with a bachelor’s degree on May 7, 2022.
“He learned well from his professors and by his own initiative as a film student,” said acclaimed independent filmmaker, Monty Ross. “He grasped the academics of filmmaking and he knows how to transfer all of its complexities into practical terms. The young man has skills,” Ross added.
Gould has served as a VFX supervisor for an Indie project-in-development a futuristic world of crystalized super powers. He also was an actor and VFX supervisor for a sketch comedy video series slated for streaming channels. Gould has also produced training videos on YouTube, served as a videographer for a “Rickey Smiley and Friends Live Comedy Show in 2021,” and was a visual director for amateur sports and music videos.
Gould has a twin sister, Morgan; younger sister, Lauren; and a sibling, Matthew, who passed away in 2021 from T Cell Lukemia. His parents are Dionne and Dennis of Henry County, Ga.
"These black athletes' accomplishments will finally be recognized and given their proper place in history thanks to this production."
Atlanta business mogul Ron Bivins is the brainchild behind the upcoming Georgia Public Broadcasting production, As If We Were Ghosts, which airs on all GPB's Georgia stations on June 13 and June 19 (Juneteenth). It airs at 9 p.m. Monday, June 13 and 5 p.m., Sunday, June 19, 2022.
In 2005, Bivins saw several interviews GPB conducted with Georgia black high school athletes, now ages 60s to 90s, who were “ghosted” by the white societyin Georgia.
After several discussions with former Atlanta Hawks player Herb White, then a communications executive with GPB, and other GPB executives, Bivins gained the rights to all of the footage. He began his pursuit of giving life to the upcoming production, As If We WereGhosts, which highlights the harsh treatmentof Black high school-athletes durin segregation and their unwavering spirit to overcome challenges.
Bivins, a graduate of A.S. Staley High School, Americus, Ga., played quarterback on the football team, basketball and baseball. He never got to enjoy his trophies and honors since his all-Black highschool was mysteriousky burned just prior tofull integration.