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2 Charlotte Girl Scouts premiere documentary on the city's Black history for Silver Award

Charlotte's Black leaders and pioneers like Dorothy Counts-Scoggins, Harvey B. Gantt and Kass Ottley were tapped for the documentary.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — They say great things happen when brilliant minds come together. That's exactly what happened when two Charlotte girl scouts decided to embark on their Silver Award project: a documentary exploring Charlotte's Black history.

Morgan Winston and Maya McClain, girl scouts with Troop 599, came together to film, produce and direct "Telling Our Story: Charlotte's Black History" after working together on their Bronze Award project, which was a bench dedicated to Charlotte civil rights pioneer Dorothy Counts-Scoggins.

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"After we did that, we realized how little people knew about her story. So that got us wondering, 'okay, what other history is there in Charlotte that not many people know about? And what can we do to share it with the public,'" McClain told WCNC Charlotte.

Black leaders and pioneers like Counts-Scoggins, Harvey B. Gantt and Kass Ottley were tapped for the documentary, which follows multiple sectors of Charlotte's history through the Black perspective, including housing, education, culture and the Black Lives Matter movement.  

"It was really inspiring to hear their words of wisdom and also hear their stories and how they contributed to Charlotte and to our community. And they taught us a lot of life valuable life lessons," McClain said.

"Telling Our Story: Charlotte's Black History" premiered at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture in November 2022.  A second premiere of the program at Queen University's Ketner Auditorium is happening on Saturday at noon.

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Winston and McClain said filmmaking has proven to be an invaluable skill after the months of research that went into making the documentary.

"We had to find interviewees that we would want to include, reach out to them to schedule interview dates, come up with interview questions, that sort of thing," Winston explained. "And then after that, there's a whole other process with editing and just making sure everything is like aligning with our vision."

Following the documentary's run at the Harvey B. Gantt Center and Queen's University, Winston said she hopes they can get it incorporated into the curriculum at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools so that students can learn about Charlotte's Black history.

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With "Telling Our Story: Charlotte's Black History," Winston and McClain hope to inspire others, particularly Charlotte's youth to spark change in their everyday lives.

"We don't focus just on the past, we focused on people in the present in Charlotte that are making a change and, some of them are actually youth," Winston said. "We hope that inspires people, especially the youth to be the change and in the documentary, talk about all the different ways that they can be the change in their communities."

While the premiere at Queen's University is sold out, girl scouts are still able to register to attend here.

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