DeKalb filmmaker's hometown names day in his honor

Documentary tells story of desegregation

David Barrow
David Barrow

DeKALB – DeKalb resident David Barrow, owner of OC Imageworks, was recently honored in his hometown of Denton, Texas, for his documentary “When We Were All Broncos.”

July 15 was officially designated “David Barrow Day” in Denton in recognition of Barrow’s efforts to tell the story of Denton’s transformation from a segregated southern town into a community that led the way for desegregation in Texas during the 1950s and 60s.  

“I played on a racially integrated football team in 1972 that went farther in the Texas state playoffs than any Denton team in 43 years,” Barrow said. “The friendships among the players, the success we enjoyed, the pride the town felt in our team—none of it would have happened if weren’t for some extraordinary Denton citizens who paved the way for us. I wanted to tell their story and express the gratitude that many of us feel for their efforts.”

The documentary premiered in February at Denton’s Thin Line Film Festival and was met with rave reviews and large crowds. Two additional screenings were added to accommodate popular demand, and Barrow went back to Denton in April for two encore screenings at Denton High School.  

“Denton’s school board was the first in Texas to voluntarily desegregate its schools, and there were other positive actions leading up to that decision that were unique for the time and place,” Barrow said. “It’s really an inspiring story about a great community.”

Barrow hopes to contact local educators to see if the documentary can be shown in high schools in DeKalb County.

“There really weren’t that many of us who experienced desegregation in the South as students,” Barrow said. “We all know the stories of conflict and violence that accompanied the civil rights struggle, but few of us know about those instances where people came together voluntarily for the common good. I think the story of Denton, by and large, is one of those positive stories.”

Barrow notes that credit for the film’s impact belongs equally to his son, Brian, a graduate of DeKalb High School and the Florida State University Film School who filmed and edited the documentary with the help of OC Imageworks’ director of photography, Miguel Sierra.

“Working with Brian and Miguel on this film was its own reward,” Barrow said. “I couldn’t have done it without them.”

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