Here are 6 Black history productions filmed in Georgia that you've never heard of (and should know about)

Veteran actress Ruby Dee is all smiles as she holds up the Emmy that she was awarded for her performance as Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Special in "Decoration Day," in Pasadena, Calif., Aug. 25, 1991. The film was shot entirely on location in Georgia in 1990. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

In the past decade, Georgia has become known as “The Hollywood of the South,” with various television and film projects in production at a near-breakneck pace.

However, before its boom, Georgia served as a production hub in the 1990s catering mostly to the stories of African American history.

Here are six television and film projects produced in Georgia during that period that may not have high name recognition, but played a major role in showcasing the often complex and layered history of the South and African American perseverance.

Murder in Mississippi” (1990)

Set in 1964, the made-for-television film portrays the real-life stories of Civil Rights and voting activists Michael “Mickey” Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney, Viewers are given insight into the final three weeks of the young men, who travel to the town of Philadelphia, Mississippi, to register Black voters, leading to their murders by local Ku Klux Klan members.

In this image provided by the FBI, Civil Rights workers, from left, Michael Schwerner, 24, of New York, James Chaney, 21, from Mississippi, and Andrew Goodman, 20, of New York, who disappeared near Philadelphia, Miss., June 21, 1964. It was an era marked by murders, beatings, disappearances and church bombings amid the struggle for voting rights and the fight against segregation. (AP Photo/FBI, File)

The NBC film, which starred Blair Underwood, Jennifer Grey and the recently-passed Andre Braugher, was shot outside the metro Atlanta area in 1989 and garnered critical and commercial success.

The film is available in its entirety on YouTube.

Decoration Day” (1990)

Starring screen legends James Garner and Bill Cobbs, this Hallmark Hall of Fame movie follows the relationships of Albert Sidney Finch, a retired Georgia judge, who reunites with his childhood friend Gee Pennywell, a Black World War II veteran, after 30 years of estrangement. The latter refuses to accept a Medal of Honor awarded decades previously for his service in the war, bringing Finch out of “hiding” to file a motion in court to prevent the ceremony from occurring.

Actor Bill Cobbs, pictured on the set of the 2009 Georgia-filmed movie “Get Low,” stars as World War II veteran Gee Pennywell in the 1990 made-for-television film, “Decoration Day.” The movie was filmed throughout the outskirts of Atlanta. (Wikimedia Commons)

Airing Dec. 2, 1990, with scenes filmed on location at Agnes Scott College and Newnan, Georgia, the film proved to be a hit with television audiences and award committee boards, winning a Golden Globe for Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television and an Emmy Award for supporting actress Ruby Dee in 1991.

The film is available in its entirety on YouTube.

“Perfect Harmony” (1991)

Produced by Walt Disney Television and filmed predominantly at Berry College in Rome, Georgia, this early ’90s film showed the racial tensions of Blacks and whites within a small private school in South Carolina. 

Set in the late 1950s, Derrick Sanders, a newly hired choirmaster, sees struggles for equality come to a head when he tries to recruit Landy, a young African American boy whose grandfather is the caretaker of the prestigious school, into the choir. The bigoted reactions of the townspeople lead to a tragedy that brings both sets of residents to a head.

Mary Hall at Berry College is shown photographed circa 2004. The college and the residence hall were used as the filming location for the fictional Blanton Academy in Disney’s 1991 drama film, “Perfect Harmony.” (Wikimedia Commons)

The film, starring Moses Gunn, Peter Scolari and Cleavon Little, is available in its entirety on YouTube.

“I’ll Fly Away” (1991-1993)

For two seasons, the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning series “I’ll Fly Away” filmed throughout metro Atlanta. The series starred Sam Waterston of “Law and Order” as Forrest Bedford, a southern district attorney, and Regina Taylor as his quiet but strong-minded housekeeper Lily Harper as both experience the social and political changes of the 1950s South due to the Civil Rights Movement.

Exterior locations for the fictional town of Bryland, Georgia, were filmed throughout Newnan, while the production headquarters and interior shots were located at “Lorimar Hollywood South,” a warehouse converted to a makeshift soundstage outside of Stone Mountain.

Cast and crew prep for on location filming during shooting for a season one episode of the NBC series “I’ll Fly Away” in 1991. (Courtesy of Celine Ciaccio)

The show, while acclaimed by critics and real-life Civil Rights activists, was canceled after 38 episodes due to low viewership. Atlanta-based actors Elisabeth Omilami, RaeVin Larrymore Kelley and John Aaron Bennett played supporting roles.

The two-hour pilot is available on the University of Georgia Archive website.

Actress Regina Taylor poses with her award at the 25th Annual NAACP Image Awards in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 16, 1993. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)

Miss Evers’ Boys” (1997)

This HBO original film, led by Academy Award nominees Alfre Woodard and Laurence Fishburne, is based on the true story of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. The controversial medical study, organized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, saw doctors fail to treat syphilis in lower-income African American men in the years 1932-1972 at Tuskegee University. The study led to as many as 100 deaths.

In this 1950’s file photo released by the National Archives, a black man included in a syphilis study has blood drawn by a doctor in Tuskegee, Ala. Historic failures in government response to disasters and emergencies, medical abuse, neglect and exploitation have jaded generations of black people into a distrust of public institutions. Some might call it the Tuskegee effect, referring to the U.S. government’s once-secret syphilis study of black men in Alabama that one study shows later reduced their life expectancy due to distrust of medical science. (National Archives via AP, File)

Woodard’s character, nurse Eunice Evers is aware of the experiment, unbeknownst to the men selected, and struggles with the guilt of her involvement while trying to still provide support to the victims.

The movie, filmed primarily in the towns of Covington and Porterdale, was well received, winning a 1997 Emmy Award for Outstanding Made for Television Movie and a 1998 Humanitas Prize. The movie is available on YouTube.

Selma, Lord Selma” (1999)

Filmed in Griffin, Georgia, for ABC’s The Wonderful World of Disney, this Civil Rights biographical drama details the true events of March 1965 in Selma, Alabama, known as Bloody Sunday.

The film’s lead character Sheyann Webb, played by a young Jurnee Smollett, was a real-life “freedom fighter” during the historical event at only eight years old.

Aside from Smollett and Hollywood actors Clifton Davis (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) and Mackenzie Astin (Jonathan Daniels), “Selma” saw prominent supporting performances from Atlanta-based actors Afemo Omilami, L. Warren Young and Brett Rice. Yolanda King and Elisabeth Omilami, the real-life daughters of Civil Rights legends Dr. King and Hosea Williams, also had roles in the film.

The film is available in its entirety on YouTube.