Danville local creates documentary about grandmother/civil rights activist Cora Tucker

Published: Apr. 25, 2023 at 5:56 PM EDT
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - A Danville woman is sharing her grandmother’s story through a documentary she created.

Halifax native Cora Lee Mosley Tucker spent her life advocating for civil rights and highlighting the ongoing issues of racial discrimination in the area.

In 1980, Tucker became the first Black woman to run for Virginia Governor. She also worked with President Jimmy Carter and was the advisor to Virginia’s first Black governor, Douglas Wilder.

“If she needed to make a statement, whether it was about inequality or something like that in the community, she would speak out,” said Ebony Guy, granddaughter of Cora Tucker. “She would make sure that everybody heard her voice.”

Tucker’s granddaughter, Ebony Guy, put six years into creating a documentary with her cousin and a friend to shed light on her accomplishments called “On the Battlefield”.

“I believe when people watch this documentary, not only does it honor my grandmother’s work, but it honors the work of a lot of people in rural communities. Every county in this in the world has a Cora Tucker. They may not see her as much, but everybody has someone who is always advocating for people.” added Guy.

Tucker also founded Citizens for a Better America to advocate for children’s equality in school systems in Halifax County.

“In rural areas like this, it was still a long stretch to get to a place where people could integrate and have their children play together, go to school together, and play sports together. There are letters that I’ve seen where she’s talked to the local high school principal, saying, ‘we need integration here, and if you don’t integrate, you’re going to hear from me,’” said Guy.

Guy hopes the film calls viewers to action in their own communities.

“You don’t have to be the biggest and the baddest in the room to make a change. My grandmother was five foot nothing. She really made her voice heard. So, it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, what zip code you’re in, Black, white or indifferent, you can make a difference in your community,” explained Guy.

They hope to release the film to the public this fall.