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Free outdoor screening of ‘Lillian Smith: Breaking the Silence’ on Armstrong Campus on April 1

On April 1, producer and director Hal Jacobs will present an outdoor screening of his film, “Lillian Smith: Breaking the Silence,” on Georgia Southern University’s Armstrong Campus. The screening, which will take place on the Residential Plaza, will begin at 7:30 p.m., followed by a Q&A session with Jacobs. The event is free and open to the public.

The film documents the largely forgotten story of prominent Southern writer and social activist Lillian Smith. 

“Lillian Smith was a Southern writer who was a force to be reckoned with from the 1940s through the early 1960s,” said Jacobs. “She was the first prominent Southern author to speak out against segregation.”

“Breaking the Silence” explores Smith’s novels and her active stance on racial and gender equality before and during the civil rights movement. 

“She was a trusted friend and correspondent of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who in his impassioned Letter from Birmingham Jail, included her as ‘one of a small group of those who have written about our struggle in eloquent and prophetic terms,’” said Jacobs. “In fact, in 1960, when King was pulled over in DeKalb County for an alleged traffic violation, Smith was riding in his car. King was driving her to Emory Hospital for the treatment of cancer that plagued her for over 10 years and would eventually take her life.”

Jacobs and his son Henry, a photographer and musician, directed and produced the documentary together, “in hopes that Smith’s life and words will inspire more dialogue, more fearlessness and more people breaking the silence well into the future.”

The film screening is hosted by the College of Education’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and the Campus Life Enrichment Committee. 

Masks will be required and guests will be expected to practice social distancing. Guests are encouraged to bring chairs, blankets and snacks for the movie.

For more information, about the film, visit


Posted in COE Events, COE Sponsored Events, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion