THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WCTV) – A new documentary celebrating historic downtown Thomasville, which was once the heart of the African American community, debuted Friday night at the Ritz Amphitheater.
WCTV’s Katie Kaplan was at the premiere.
A BEAUTIFUL NIGHT and a big crowd in Thomasville where the city launches a documentary on ‘The Bottom’ where, from the early 1900s to the 1970s, the 200/300 blocks of W Jackson St, were the heart of the African American community from Thomasville. More tonight at 11 on @WCTV pic.twitter.com/Fna8waNitL
– Katie Kaplan (@KatieKaplanTV) June 12, 2021
This downtown area, known as “The Bottom,” was home to black and Jewish owned businesses and is similar in nature to the Black Wall Street neighborhood in Tulsa.
There were dozens of people scattered across the lawn during the screening. The Amphitheater is located just off Blocks 200 and 300 of West Jackson Street, which was the center of all the action from 1900 until the 1970s or so.
The documentary shows historical footage as well as memorabilia from people who remember the area.
Morris Arrington, who used to travel to the area as a child, told WCTV: “I never thought The bottom would have been resurrected. He not only teaches African Americans, but all Americans about the rich culture that was at The Bottom. “
The Bottom was home to African American doctor’s offices, entertainment venues, restaurants, barber shops, and many other businesses.
History is now prominently displayed throughout the neighborhood with sidewalk plaques in the ground along Block 300.
There are future plans for a memorial wall and storyboards at the amphitheater.
For those who missed the screening of the documentary, it can be viewed online by clicking here.
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