“The Long Black Line” came to me as a story idea in 1997.

I had spent maybe two years of my life in East Texas, and yet it was the only home I knew. Throughout my childhood, my family had moved from one Army base to another, relocating every two or three years – we covered two foreign countries and six states in the U.S. The East Texas woods were home to me because my grandparents were always there.

After moving back home to East Texas, I subscribed to a local newspaper, The Jasper Newsboy, which serves Jasper County – a place most people hadn’t heard of until a horrendous murder occurred there a few years ago, drawing national attention. One day, I noticed an article in the paper that recounted the history of a prominent local family. They had traced their roots back to the early 1800s, to ancestors who were among the first settlers in the area. Three facts struck me: First, their surname was Wright, like mine. Second, their ancestral land is located close to my family’s land. Third, they are white and I am black.

To this former history major, it seemed like a juicy story. As you know if you’ve seen the documentary, my research became more than a simple genealogy project. In time, I not only learned who I am and where I come from, but also learned that there are thousands of others like me, who came up successfully by the same path.

I turned a corner with this project when I read The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. He says that there is a key moment when an idea, trend or social behavior crosses a threshold, just before it is realized on a massive scale. The MC3 team discussed this book, and realized that it offered an explanation of what had happened in East Texas over the course of the 20th century. We realized that the transformation which had taken place within four generations was dependant on a few very important people (or perhaps types of people, as Gladwell suggests) who connected to form a movement, not unlike the Civil Rights movement. With this in mind, we were able to discern the stars of our documentary.

We decided to bring them back to life and tell their story – a story that should be heard by any American yearning to get ahead in this world.

The Filmmakers
Herman Wright
Executive Producer/Director/Writer

Herman Wright is founder and President of MC3 Company. The Long Black Line An American Story, was the result of this 20-year marketing and sales veteran and former history major’s discovery of a story about local family in his Texas hometown newspaper, the Jasper Newsboy. more...
The Process
We recently "voiced" the documentary, one of the final steps before completion.
Visit the blog for the film:
Copyright © 2006 MC3/
All RIGHTS RESERVED. All trademarks mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.