Local history documentary earns Telly Awards

The Murfreesboro Post, May 30, 2018

From left, Tim Fredericks, Brenda Fredericks and Daryl Webb. SUBMITTED

The 39th Annual Telly Awards has recognized the City of Murfreesboro’s local documentary “The House Still Standing” as winner in two categories – General Documentary and Biography.

“The House Still Standing” tells the stories of Burrell Gannaway, one of Murfreesboro’s first aldermen, and King Daniel Ganaway, a descendant of a slave who became a celebrated African-American photographer.

Documentary writer and narrator Mike Browning and CityTV video producer Michael Nevills collaborated to produce the historical documentary for airing on CityTV. The film highlights the work of genealogists Tim and Brenda Fredericks and Daryl Webb, whose research of their ancestral past unsilenced the story of their African-American ancestor.

The historical documentary first aired as a special edition of “Murfreesboro Storytellers” in November 2017 and again as a celebration of Black History Month in February 2018. The award-winning documentary can be viewed on YouTube at bit.ly/2IEpfac.

“We want to thank the Telly Awards for recognizing the work of these dedicated genealogists who should be recognized as historians in their own right,” said City Public Information Officer Mike Browning. “The Gannaway/Ganaway histories are compelling stories of early 19th century American and 20th century Black migration. We simply wanted to present the history in a way more people in Murfreesboro and across the globe could gain a deeper appreciation for the history, the work by genealogists and the Murfreesboro property.”

“With prestigious awards like the Tellys, the CityTV team continues to demonstrate television production at the highest national level,” said Communications Director Alan Bozeman. “The City of Murfreesboro and viewers of CityTV on numerous platforms, including YouTube and Roku, benefit from the highest professionalism and award-winning excellence.”

“The May 22nd winner’s announcement caps a year-long initiative by the Telly Awards to rebuild the honors for the multi-screen era,” said Tellys Managing Director Sabrina Dridje. “It is exciting to see how perfectly this year’s winners capture the innovation and energy of the rapidly changing video and television industry that we rebuilt the Telly Awards to recognize. They are an exciting culmination to an ambitious year-long effort that has re-established The Telly Awards as a trusted benchmark for the industry.”

Genealogists Tim and Brenda Fredericks, of Indianapolis, and Murfreesboro native Daryl Webb first visited the Gannaway home and slave cabins in Murfreesboro in June 2016. Mike Browning accompanied them as they visited the structures still standing on property in the Barfield area.  Tedious research led them to the property after discovering that Tim’s great-grandfather, King Daniel Ganaway, had descended from slaves.  Tim’s family history had been silenced until the truth was uncovered.

Fredericks, who grew up white, and his African-American wife Brenda, tell the story of how Tim’s family history was kept secret until they uncovered that his African-American grandfather was from Murfreesboro. Through their ancestral journey, they have helped other relatives, black and white, discover their newfound interracial family history.

Browning, a Public History graduate from MTSU, and Nevills have lengthy television experience and have produced award-winning documentaries in the past—Browning for public television and Nevills for CityTV and as a freelancer whose work was showcased at the Nashville Film Festival.

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