Shared History documents the efforts of the black and white families of Woodlands Plantation to examine the persistence of their relationship and expose the myths that have sustained their connection for more than two centuries.


FORM:  Documentary, TV Program
GENRE:  Drama, Human Rights, Independent, Reality, Culture
LENGTH: 56 minues, 46 seconds
FIRST BROADCAST:  PBS Plus, February 2006 to 2009 (now available for acquisition)


Felicia Furman

Lillian E. Benson, A.C.E.

Felicia Furman
Lillian E. Benson

Vivian Glover

Directors of Photography
Frost Wilkinson
Skip Clark

Segment Directors
Vivian Glover
Lillian E. Benson
Anthony Simmons

Charles Gregory Washington

Executive Consultant
Dorothy M. Manigault

Creative Consultant
Karen E. Fields

Script Consultant
Katherine Robertson

Content Advisor
Jualynne E. Dodson


Since acceptance into the PBS system through PBS Plus in 2005, Shared Historyhas been broadcast nationally with numerous re-broadcasts in 2006, 2007 and 2008.  It has also been broadcast on Finnish television.  It was accepted as a work-in-progress at the prestigious 2005 IFP Market in New York City and premiered at the 14th Annual Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles on February 15, 2006.  Since then, it has screened at the River Run International Film Festival, Memphis International Film Festival, Crossroads Film Festival, Spaghetti Junction Urban Film Festival, Trenton Film Festival, Hearts and Minds Festival, the Africa in the Picture film festival in Amsterdam, the Images of Black Women Film Festival in London and XXIII Black International Cinema, Berlin/Germany; Warsaw/Poland and USA 2008.

Shared History has also been presented as a focus for discussion in churches, universities, galleries and arts centers and by educational agencies, school programs and historical societies including the Colonial Dames, the South Carolina Department of States Teacher Character Training summer programs, the University of South Carolina, University of Colorado, the College of Charleston, the Atlanta Girls School, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Black European Studies Scholars (BEST) conference at Frei-Universitat, Berlin and the 2006 annual meeting of the Collegium for African American Research (CAAR) in Madrid.  It is also used in online American history courses through the Wayne-Finger Lakes Board of Cooperative Education in New York State.  In 2008, Shared History was awarded Best Film/Video on Matters Relating to the Black Experience at the XXIII Black International Cinema Berlin.


Woodlands Families 50th Anniversary Gathering, November 24, 2001
J. Crawford Photograhy

DP Frost Wilkinson shooting Elliott Manigault, descendant of Jim Rumph, 2004
Pressly Hall Photography

Charles Orr (descendant of Isaac Nimmons), Rhonda Kearse (descendant of Jim Rumph), and Felicia Furman (descendant of William Gilmore Simms)(l to r), 2004
Pressly Hall Photography

Jim Rumph, born in Africa in 1810, died at Woodlands Plantation in 1922 at age 112, c. 1920
A. D. Oliphant

Sallie Laboard, midwife at Woodlands, c. 1920
Mary C. Simms Oliphant

Jim Rumph’s grandson with descendants of William Gilmore Simms, c. 1960
Kinloch Rivers

Students form the Atlanta Girls School at a program at Woodlands, 2006

1951 Christmas gathering of families connected to
Woodlands Plantation
Joel Hand, Jr.

Woodlands Plantation, 1843
Drawing attributed to
T. Addison Richards

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The Curry Family

Mrs. Oliphant identifies Cynthia Curry as the head cook at Woodlands. Cynthia, Albert, and Billy Curry are listed in the group of 47 freedmen identified by James Beecher as remaining at Woodlands after Sherman’s destruction of Midway. Beecher named Billy Curry foreman of the group who had planted a corn crop on the property, presumably after the Simms family moved to Columbia.

Cinthia and Albert are listed in the section of the Woodlands Plantation Book entitled “Births of Negroes” as being the parents of Sam, born 1862, Eugene, born 1856, and Alice, born 1859. Martha, born 1861, is listed as a “child of Cinthia.” Apparently, Albert Curry, the father or brother of Billy, stayed at Woodlands at least until 1868.