You Got to Move (1985): Lucie Massie Phenix and Veronica Selver’s Documentary about Political Involvement in the South

Lucie Massie Phenix and Veronica Selver directed You Got to Move a documentary that follows people from communities in the South and how they became involved in social change.

You Got to Move
You Got to Move 1985.jpg

The film’s centerpiece is the Highlander Folk School (now known as Highlander Research and Education Center), an 89 year-old center for education and social action, which was in each of the lives chronicled.

Featuring folk, country and gospel music from the Southern US, You Got to Move takes its name from an old spiritual.


Bernice Robinson, a black beautician who became the first teacher of literacy program on Johns Island, off the coast of South Carolina, talks about teaching adults to read and write in order to pass voter registration requirements in the mid-1950s and 1960s throughout the Southern states.

Rebecca Simpson Fought to get damage payments for the people in her community, much of whose property was destroyed by floods related to strip-mining abuses; she succeeded in reclaiming much of the land around Cranks Creek.

Gail Story and MaryLee Rogers, housewives from Bumpass Cove in East Tennessee helped organize community action to stop trucks from dumping hazardous chemicals in their area.


Directed by Lucy Massie Phenix, Veronica Selver
Produced by Cumberland Mountain Educational Cooperative
Cinematography Alan Dater, Roger Phenix, Gary Steele, Andrew Garrison
Edited by Lucy Massie Phenix
Distributed by Milliarum Zero

Release date: 1985

Running time: 87 minutes