“Know Your Place”: A Reckoning with Central Florida’s Past

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On February 5, Heart of Florida United Way unveiled its first-ever documentary film, “Know Your Place,” in tandem with Black History Month. The premiere, held at the Orlando Science Center, brought together more than 200 attendees, underscoring the community’s commitment to confronting and understanding its history of racism, segregation, and bias. 

“Know Your Place” is more than just a film; it’s a deeply introspective journey into the not-so-distant past of Central Florida. Crafted by Macbeth Studio, the documentary shares the personal stories of individuals who have navigated the tumultuous waters of racial prejudice firsthand. Featuring a lineup of prominent community voices, including Nick Aiken, Mable Butler, Jerry Demings, Val Demings, Kat Gordon, Belvin Perry, Alzo Reddick, Tee Taylor, Geraldine Thompson, Clara Walters, and Annetta Wilson. 

The project was spearheaded by Jeff Hayward, CEO of Heart of Florida United Way, and directed by Jim Hobart of Macbeth Studio. Both have emphasized the diversity of experiences and obstacles overcome by those featured in the documentary, providing a spectrum of perspectives on racial injustice and the path to equality. 

“Know Your Place” is a testament to the enduring spirit of those who have faced racial injustice in Central Florida. It also serves as a call to action, urging viewers to remember the past and work toward a more inclusive and equitable society. 

The film and the premiere were made possible thanks to the generous support of sponsors including Florida Blue, the Central Florida Foundation, the African American Chamber of Commerce, Ernst & Young, the Orlando Magic, and the Meris Law Firm. Their commitment signifies a united front in acknowledging Central Florida’s history and lighting the way to a better future for our community. 

As “Know Your Place” makes its way into the hearts and minds of viewers through future network television showings and private business screenings, it’s clear that the journey toward understanding and justice is ongoing. The film was created to educate and inspire, serving as a reminder of the power of storytelling in our collective quest for equality and understanding. 

Learn more about how you can see the film — including by facilitating a screening — at www.KnowYourPlace.org.