1,700 slave owners. Shocking History of Chattel Slavery in Texas.

Filmmaker Eric Williams Announces release of film on Ancestral Slave Roots in East Texas  



[Dallas, Texas] – Eric Williams, a Dallas-raised filmmaker and activist released “Finding Mirriam”, a full-length documentary detailing his ancestry in former slave-owning east Texas. The film trailer was released in time for Black History month this February and the hour long version is set for release on June 19th, 2021 (Juneteenth), The Film will bring attention to largely unspoken topics pertaining to slavery, such as mysterious mistresses on plantations and the sheer amount of slave owners that were present in this area of the South prior to the Civil War. Williams also touches on wider topics such as the impact and motivation of the Civil War, and lends unique insight to this event considering his ancestry.








Shocking History of Slavery in East Texas


Williams’ documentary is set in Harrison county, an east Texas county that was once home to more than 1,700 slave owners with a slave population of nearly 52% at its peak. Williams travels this region in search of his ancestors, searching for answers as to what life looked like for them. He visits eight plantations, but one in particular, Mimosa Hall in the city of Leigh is especially interesting. Here he finds that his ancestor, Mirriam Williams is buried next to John J. Webster, owner of Mimosa Hall. Williams dives deeper into the significance of her placement and his family history.


You can expect a unique perspective on Mirriam, slavery, and the Civil War in “Finding Mirriam” as Williams explores the plantation where she lays and unveils the truth of the past. This film is set to be released online and smartcast into homes. The film will be an intriguing watch in observance of the emancipation of slavery in Texas on June 19th, 1865.



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Eric LeMonte Williams, former 2020  & 2014 U.S. Congressional Candidate , 2015 Dallas City Council Candidate,  Founder & Owner  of Out The Box Productions and UdroneAir is a native of Dallas, Texas. He is a graduate of Carter High School and a 30-year veteran of Journalism. He attended San Antonio College, the University of Detroit and the University of Hartford where he studied Communications and Journalism.


In the early 80’s, Mr. Williams integrated the Dallas Morning News photography department. He later became the first African American photojournalist and filmmaker to integrate National Geographic Magazine as a staff photographer.  Mr. Williams also became the first African American to win the prestigious National College Photographer of the Year award in 1987.


He has worked as a staff journalist for the Boston Globe, the Detroit News, the Hartford Courant, the San Antonio Light, the Topeka Capital Journal and the Atlanta Journal Constitution. In 1989, he helped launch the St. Louis Sun newspaper as the Director of Photography.

In addition, Mr. Williams has served as the personal filmmaker for the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Technical Director for Jesse Jackson Speaks to the Nation TV program. Mr. Williams independent investigative documentary films have appeared on CNN, ABC, FOX, BET, CBS, NBC and PAX TV.


In 2001, Mr.Williams became the first documentary filmmaker to showcase at the Cannes Film Festival as part of the Agora Film series in Cannes, France showcasing the life works of the Reverend Jesse Jackson entitled "The Country Preacher".  Walking Wounded, The Great Tsunami of Asia, Further biopic editorial accomplishments include a film on former 3-time heavyweight boxing champion, Evander Holyfield,  a film on basketball Hall of Fame and former WNBA coach, Nancy Liberman Cline. His photographic documentary entitled "Haiti Cries Out" was presented at the Presidential Jimmy Carter Library in Atlanta.


Mr. Williams has effected public policy by bringing light to dark places covering wars in Bosnia, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, famine in the Horn of Africa, AIDS in Uganda, revolution in Haiti, the tsunami in south east asia, Apartheid in South Africa, discrimination and homelessness in America.


In addition, Mr. Williams has documented activities in Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Finland, Ghana, Peru, Kenya, Angola, Canada, Mali, Nigeria, Liberia, Sri Lanka, Budapest, Croatia, Netherlands, Ethiopia, Senegal, Dubai, Republic De Guinee, Venezuela, Jamaica, France, Italy, Republic of Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, Pakistan and Kashmir. 


Recently, Mr. Williams completed  a documentary film on his previous two runs for publice office entitled "HankyPanky-Election or Selection. This documentary will be released this summer during the two party conventions.  Mr. Williams is married and currently mentors children as an Educational Consultant serving several school districts in North Texas with his Mobile Bus Technology Labs.