Murder In Mobile, which tells the poignant story of a Jim Crow-era hate crime brought to light seven decades later by a Northeastern law student, will be featured at the 21st Annual Roxbury International Film Festival. It will be shown at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
On March 17, 1948, a middle-aged African-American man named Rayfield Davis was discovered, beaten and barely alive, on the high-edged bank of a shallow creek in Mobile. His murderer, a younger white man named Horace Miller, was spared prosecution. His crime was uncovered and exposed by Chelsea Schmitz as part of Northeastern’s Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project, which was founded by law professor Margaret Burnham.
Murder in Mobile, created by Northeastern Films, tells the story of how Schmitz uncovered the details of the crime before sharing them with a descendant, Nichole Ulmer, who would not have known of her distant cousin’s existence—never mind his death—if not for Schmitz’s investigation
“We’re thrilled with the exposure that Murder in Mobile is receiving, spreading its message of resistance and restorative justice—potentially in many film festivals all over the world,” says creative director Adam Fischer, who made the documentary with fellow creative director Benjamin Bertsch.
“It’s an important and powerful story,” said Fischer, “and one we hope creates a lasting legacy for Mr. Rayfield Davis and his family.”