I Ain‘t Lying (1975)

About the Film

Captions recommended.

16mm color documentary based on fieldwork William Ferris conducted with African American storytellers and bluesmen in the communities of Leland and Rose Hill, Mississippi. The stories include include folk and religious tales, jokes, toast telling sessions, and characters from African American oral tradition. The film also includes footage filmed at churches and juke joints.

Principal performers are Shelby "Pappa Jazz" Brown (1903-1974), James "Son" Thomas, Joe "Sheet" Skillet, Joe Cooper, Amanda Gordon, Mary Gordon, and Reverend Isaac Thomas.

Materials were produced by Yale University Films as part of the Yale Media Design Studio Project.


For licensing, film rights and permissions, contact William (Bill) Ferris, the distributor Center for Southern Folklore, or Folkstreams.

Film Details

  • Film by: William (Bill) Ferris
  • Produced by: A production of Yale University Media Design Studio in association with Center for Southern Folklore, produced in association with Howard Sayre Weaver
  • Cinematographer: Dale Lindquist
  • Sound: Robert Slattery
  • Editor: Sara Miller
  • Other Credits: Production assistant: Sara Miller
  • Funding: With support from Ford Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Edward W. Hazen Foundation
  • Original Format: Film: 16mm
  • © 1975 William Ferris, Yale University
  • 22mins, Color
  • Categories:
    Music Narrative & Verbal Arts: Storytelling Work African American Culture