It’s been several years in the making, and on Monday night the film “Isaac Pope: The Spirit Of An American Century” premiered at the Kinston Community Center.
It was in front of a large crowd. Many who knew Pope personally.
“Through and through,” said Ellen Smith, a friend. “Just as nice and intelligent and he could go way back from growing up as a child working in the fields. He would just take you on a story. We called him “Brotha Pope.”
In his 100 years on earth, “Brotha Pope” made strides locally fighting for equality, being a mentor, and paving the way for those who would follow in his footsteps.
“He always motivated me,” said Kinston Mayor Don Hardy. “He pushed me. He said, ‘son, you’re going to do great. You just keep pushing, and you’re going to be alright.’ So, that’s the thing I always remember. Those words that he told me.”
The film premiered on Monday on what would have been Isaac Pope’s 101st birthday.
Pope died this past summer.
Last year, Mayor Hardy declared December 17 from this point forward as Isaac Pope Day.
“Happy heavenly birthday Isaac Pope,” said Mayor Hardy.
In addition to his community efforts, Pope also went to war for his country fighting in World War II rising to the rank of sergeant.
Local veterans also came out to show their fellow soldier their support.
“It was very important to come out and support not only a prior veteran, but someone who has done so much outside of his military service,” said Eric Cantu, a Vietnam Veteran.
After the premiere, there was a discussion held about the film.