Documentary highlighting Thomasville’s historical downtown area debuts
THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WCTV) - A new documentary celebrating Thomasville’s historical area downtown that once was 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 turnout in Thomasville where the city is debuting a documentary on ‘The Bottom’ where from early 1900s-1970s, the 200/300 blocks of W Jackson St, were the heart of Thomasville's African American community. More tonight at 11 on @WCTV pic.twitter.com/Fna8waNitL— Katie Kaplan (@KatieKaplanTV) June 12, 2021
That downtown area, known as “The Bottom,” housed black and Jewish-owned businesses and is similar in nature to Tulsa’s Black Wall Street area.
There were dozens of people spread out on the lawn at the showing. The amphitheater is located just off of the 200 and 300 block of West Jackson Street, which was the hub of all the action from 1900 until about the 1970s.
The documentary shows historical images alongside recollections from people who remember the area.
Morris Arrington, who used to go to the area as a kid, told WCTV that, “I would have never thought that The bottom would have been resurrected. It’s teaching not only African Americans, but all Americans of the rich culture that was at The Bottom.”
The Bottom was home to African American doctors’ offices, entertainment venues, eateries, barbershops and many other businesses.
The history is now highlighted throughout the district with sidewalk plaques in the ground along the 300 block.
There are future plans for a commemorative wall and storyboards at the amphitheater.
For anyone that missed the documentary showing, it can be viewed online by clicking here.
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