Holmes honored in film

Published 8:30 am Friday, May 13, 2022

The story of Joseph R. Holmes, formerly enslaved in Charlotte County, who campaigned for civil rights and education after emancipation has now been honored in film.

Recently, Longwood University students, Will Johnson and Henry Basilica, made a documentary about Holmes.

The film was featured in the University’s Showcase and has been submitted for a local Emmy.

Last October a historical marker honoring Homes was unveiled and dedicated in the Court House Square in Charlotte Court House.

It was 10 years ago that Kathy Liston an archaeologist and archival researcher and Lisa Henderson the great, great grandniece of Holmes, began the journey to have Holmes recognized.

“I never dreamed we could achieve the recognition for Joe that has come.” Liston said.

The story of Homes began after emancipation, when he served as a delegate to the Virginia Republican Party conventions in 1867 and 1869 and was elected to represent Charlotte and Halifax counties in Virginia’s Constitutional Convention of 1867-68.

On May 3, 1869, four white men assassinated Holmes on the county’s courthouse steps.

The men charged with his murder were never tried.

According to Liston, because of his outspoken support of civil rights and education for freed people, he was murdered on the courthouse steps in Charlotte County.

“Joseph R. Holmes should not be defined by his murder, He was so much more than that,” Liston said.

The newly released documentary about Holmes can be found on YouTube at:

Trailer: https://youtu.be/GdVq3lq4f-Q

Final cut V2: https://youtu.be/otpdXa904R8