A headshot of Anthony Wilcox

Anthony Wilcox
Daniel Bell

A headshot of Myeisha Essex

Myeisha Essex
Mary Bell

A headshot of Deborah Madick

Deborah Madick
Susan Armistead

A headshot of Arista Jackson

Arista Jackson
Ann Bell

A headshot of Darla Davenport

Darla Davenport
Lucy Bell

A headshot of Don White

Don White
Robert Armistead

A headshot of Wayne Matychuk

Wayne Matychuk
Francis Scott Key

A headshot of John L. Shortt

John L. Shortt
Reuben Crandall

A headshot of John Leonard Harris, Sr.

John Leonard Harris, Sr.
Doxology Narrator

A headshot of Paul Kandarian

Paul Kandarian
John J. Dermott

A headshot of Rick Daniels

Rick Daniels
Joseph H. Bradley

A headshot of Steve Kennevan

Steve Kennevan
Richard Coxe

A headshot of Colby Coash

Colby Coash
Roger B. Taney

A headshot of Melinda Simonsen

Melinda Simonsen
Ann Key Taney

A headshot of Christian Velez

Christian Velez
Constable H. B. Robertson

A headshot of Daniel Nufer

Daniel Nufer
Constable Madison Jeffers

A headshot of Kimba Clemmons

Kimba Clemmons
Joe Thompson

A headshot of Japrice Green

Japrice Green
Worker #1

A headshot of Malik Fortner

Malik Fortner
Worker #2

A headshot of Shea Butler

Shea Butler
Worker #3

A headshot of Matthew Kischer

Matthew Kischer

A headshot of Jeff Porter

Jeff Porter
George Naylor

A headshot of Kyle Ament

Kyle Ament
Judge William Cranch

A headshot of Brenna Howell

Brenna Howell
Woman #1

A headshot of Mary Rogers

Mary Rogers
Woman #2

A headshot of Mary White

Mary White
Woman #3

A headshot of Katie Otten

Katie Otten

A headshot of Tony A. Grizzel

Tony A. Grizzel
Slave Trader #1

A headshot of Patrick Lescarbeau

Patrick Lescarbeau
White Male Nurse #2

A headshot of Jason Iannone

Jason Iannone
Slaveholder's Attorney

A headshot of Joseph Palmateer

Joseph Palmateer

A headshot of Larry Woods

Larry Woods
Richard Butt

A headshot of Randy Busch

Randy Busch
Daniel Drayton

A headshot of Jarod Cernousek

Jarod Cernousek
White Guard

No headshot.

Zahir Hill Jr.
Daniel Bell Jr.

No headshot.

Za'Maya Hill
Caroline Bell

No headshot.

Zamir Hill
George Bell

No headshot.

Zaria Hill
Catherine Bell

No headshot.

Kailyn Desir
Mary Ellen Bell

No headshot.

Arielle Desir
Eleanora Bell

A headshot of Michael Burton.

Michael Burton
Executive Producer, Supervising Producer, Post-Production Supervisor, Lead VFX Artist

Michael Burton is a digital artist, film director, and animation producer. Burton combines art, film, and animation to create historically based stories. He has produced several hybrid-animation shorts including Gold Slipper by Willa Cather (2020), Anna (2018), and Freedom Stories (2022). Burton produced and animated the feature film The Bell Affair (2022). Burton's digital artwork has been featured across the country and in solo exhibitions at the National Willa Cather Center in Red Cloud, Nebraska, the Denver Art Museum, RISD Art Museum, Joslyn Art Museum, Digital Graffiti in Alys Beach, Florida, and the Sheldon Art Museum. Burton's recent solo exhibition of digital art and NFTs titled Dance Floor of the Sky was hosted at Kiechel Fine Art and featured a multi-channel projection room with a gallery of printed digital paintings. Burton has completed animations for a PBS documentary titled On a Knife's Edge, which premiered on America ReFramed in 2017. His projects were funded by The National Endowment for the Humanities, Maryland Humanities, ITVS, NET television, The Willa Cather Foundation, and Vision Maker Media. Burton and the Animating History Team have screened their films at the New Media Film Festival (Best Animation), Atlantic Selects, Utopia, Hampton, BronzeLens, HipHop, and Virginia Film Festivals. From 2016-2019, Burton served as Director of the Cube Art Project, a biannual juried international digital art competition hosted by the City of Lincoln (Nebraska). He is currently the director of the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery and an Assistant Professor of Foundation Art and Design at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He received his M.F.A. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2007 and B.F.A. from Green Mountain College in 2000.

A headshot of Kwakiutl L. Dreher.

Kwakiutl L. Dreher
Executive Producer, Director, Writer

Kwakiutl L. Dreher is a screenwriter, actor, director, playwright, and author. A native of South Carolina, she writes about African American literature, film, visual, and popular culture. She is the author of Dancing on the White Page: Black Women Entertainers Writing Autobiography (SUNY Press) and numerous articles and essays. Dreher wrote and acted in Anna (2018). She has also played Mamie Till in Anne & Emmett, Mrs. Harriet Gottlieb in Dead Man's Cellphone, and Louise in the film The Eyes of Isabelle. Her one-woman show, In A Smoke-Filled Room, Color Matters, was a playlab selection at the Great Plains Theater Festival in 2013 after its theatrical debut at The Haymarket Theater in Lincoln, Nebraska. A storyteller at heart, she has written and recorded stories for public radio. Dreher is currently at work on a murder mystery set in her hometown, Columbia, South Carolina. She is an Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Nebraska.

A headshot of William G. Thomas III.

William G. Thomas III
Executive Producer, Director, Writer

William G. Thomas III is an award-winning historian, author, and film producer. A native of Alexandria, Virginia, he writes about American history, law, slavery, and the Civil War. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Lincoln Prize Finalist. His recent book, A Question of Freedom: The Families Who Challenged Slavery from the Nation's Founding to the Civil War (Yale University Press, 2020), won the 2021 Mark Lynton Prize. A digital media historian, Thomas was co-editor of the acclaimed digital project, The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War. He has published essays in the American Historical Review, Civil War History, Southern Spaces, Lapham's Quarterly, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. Thomas has written and produced documentary films since 1999. He co-wrote with George H. Gilliam "The Ground Beneath Our Feet: Virginia's History Since the Civil War," a series of four documentary films that aired from 1999-2004 on PBS stations in Virginia (WCVE). The hour-long episode "Massive Resistance" in 2000 was an Emmy nominated film for the Washington, D.C., chapter of the National Television National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He co-produced Rising Up: a documentary on the Civil Rights era (2008) with Bill Reifenberger for WCVE Richmond, an hour-long documentary about the Civil Rights Movement in Virginia. Rising Up aired in February 2008 on WCVE and over 20 stations through the National Education Television PBS affiliates.

  • Kaci Nash       Story, Historical Research, Website Development
  • Elijah Watson       Line Producer
  • Ben Hartzell       Director of Photography
  • Heather Striebel       Lead Costume Designer
  • Audrey Foster, Anna Kuhlman       Costume Design
  • Jordan Scribner       Animation Head
  • Sirrena Infiniti Holmes       3D Modeler
  • Warren Bable       Assistant Editor
  • Mackenzie Grell       Production Coordinator
  • Maya Peirce       Script Supervisor
  • Jesenia Jackson and Joseph Neidorf       Film Score
  • Ed Baptist       Cornell University
  • Mary Beth Corrigan       Georgetown University
  • Aaron Johnson       University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Jessica Marie Johnson       Johns Hopkins University
  • Ari Kelman       University of California Davis
  • Tamika Nunley       Oberlin College
  • Marcus Rediker       University of Pittsburgh
  • Adam Rothman       Georgetown University
  • Kidada E. Williams       Wayne State University
  • Film production by Western Meadowlark LLC
  • Background production funded by the Maryland Humanities Council
  • Major support by the National Endowment for the Humanities