Roxane Coche’s Collaborative Documentary Premieres in Memphis on MLK Day
Roxane Coche, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications (UFCJC) Telecommunication assistant professor, was one of three faculty advisors for the one-hour documentary, “Once More at the River: From MLK to BLM,” which premiered in Memphis, Tennessee, on Jan. 21.
Coche, in collaboration with University of Memphis faculty members Aram Goudsouzian and Joe Hayden, guided the documentary production executed by undergraduate students participating in a two-course sequence in History and Journalism during the 2017-18 academic year at Memphis. The documentary features oral history interviews of more than 20 Memphis-based activists and officials reflecting on the past 50 years in the city. They discuss the impact of both activism and the city’s history on the lives of African Americans from the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter. Interviewees explain how Memphis compares to the rest of the U.S. and what to look forward to in the future of the nation.
According to Coche, the documentary “frames the events of 1968 (the sanitation strike that brought King to Memphis and his subsequent assassination) within a larger context of Memphis history and the struggle for civil rights, generally through the voices of Memphians themselves.”
The title of the documentary is a nod to its 1993 Memphis documentary predecessor, “At the River I Stand.” This film traced the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s work in Memphis to the human rights activism of today. Coche previously served on the Memphis faculty before joining CJC in fall 2018.
Telecommunication Professor Churchill Roberts also produced a documentary film, released in 1971, about Memphis called “Keep Your Trash,” which recounts the events of the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers’ strike and the assassination of Dr. King.