BYU premieres documentary ‘The Black 14: Healing Hearts and Feeding Souls’
PROVO, Utah — BYU takes on the University of Wyoming on the football field this weekend, but tonight, a new documentary about the two teams premieres. The documentary, “The Black 14″ Healing Hearts and Feeding Souls,” focuses on a 1969 football game between BYU and the University of Wyoming.
The Wyoming team dismissed 14 of its players for wanting to protest against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint’s racial policies of the time.
The church did not allow Black men to hold the priesthood at the time — a policy that changed in 1978.
The coach of the Wyoming team kicked off the 14 players after they showed him the black armbands they had planned to wear in protest.
They returned home after the incident, wanting to help their communities, and saw a need for easing food insecurity. The group created a non-profit, which provides food to those in need, creates scholarships for Black students and supports student-athletes.
Director of the Daily Universe at BYU, and one of the staff members who oversaw the project, Melissa Gibbs, said that in the 50 years since the incident, those players have worked with the church to bring food to those in need.
“They wanted to curb food insecurity and along the line, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Days Saints reached out to them and offered to help with that,” Gibbs said.
BYU journalism students made the documentary under the supervision of faculty.
“The film is created, produced, shot, written, edited by students with the help of faculty and staff mentoring them,” Gibbs said.
The students created it over the summer, in a flurry, Gibbs said, “We took 5 students to 11 states in 10 days to create this documentary basically about forgiveness, healing, and coming together to help others.”
The creators of the documentary planned to have its premiere the same weekend BYU faces off against Wyoming, a callback to the event that started it all.
The premiere is at 7:00 p.m. at the Varsity Theater on the BYU campus in Provo, Utah. Two of the Black 14 will be at the premiere of the documentary tonight and will light the Y for the game tomorrow.
Samantha Herrera contributed to the reporting of this story.
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