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January 31, 2014

SUCO grad to return, premiere 'Black List' film


Gallagher said he hopes his documentary helps to set the record straight.

After he showed the finished documentary to his interviewees a few months ago, Gallagher said, some became emotional. He said Edward “Bo” Whaley, a former SUNY Oneonta Educational Opportunities Program counselor whose story is central to the documentary, left eight minutes into the film because it was too difficult for him to watch.

Gallagher said he is hoping for a packed house at the screening, but is most excited for the discussion that will follow. He said when he heard about the Black List his senior year, he was fascinated and perplexed that he had spent three years in the city without ever having heard about what happened on campus in 1992.

“It’s a film to learn from,” Gallagher said, “focusing on what happened rather than where it happened ... because this could have happened anywhere. But a college campus is the perfect place for the film to be shown. I believe the topic is more relevant than ever.”

O’Mara said she worked at the college in 1992 and was directly involved in the struggle to get the truth out. There were several groups formed at that time with similar goals, she said, including a student group, the film’s namesake, “Brothers of the Black List.”

O’Mara said she believes Gallagher’s documentary is extremely informative, and will give some people a chance to revisit and rethink their initial convictions surrounding the case.

“His hard work shows,” O’Mara said. “The film brings up a lot of really important points regarding racial profiling. If we don’t acknowledge history, we won’t be vigilant in preventing similar occurrences in our community and around the world.”

Gallagher said his documentary cost him approximately $10,000 to make. He said he plans to take the documentary to college campuses across the nation to, he hopes, spark a much-needed dialogue. Gallagher said he will speak in several communication arts classes at SUNY Oneonta before the screening.

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