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Boxser Diversity Initiative: The Inspiring Fish Fry Documentary

In the heart of Palmetto, Florida, an unassuming tradition thrives – a weekly fish fry that extends far beyond its delectable offerings. With a shared vision of fostering unity, the community at an African-American church embarked on a journey that would eventually evolve into a heartwarming documentary. Thanks to a grant from the Manatee Community Foundation, the Boxser Diversity Initiative is able to capture the narrative of the Fish Fry, highlighting the transformational power of fellowship, shared stories, and a plate of good fish. 

At its core, the Fish Fry documentary captures the essence of camaraderie that emerged from a simple idea. A group of enthusiastic fishermen recognized that their church mission could extend beyond the sanctuary. Every Friday, the church parking lot transformed into a space where people of all backgrounds could come together, share tales, and savor delicious fish. As the years passed, this weekly gathering transcended its culinary origins, becoming a pillar of unity in a community still grappling with the echoes of segregation.

Filmmakers Paul & Petra Ratner, Durand Adams, and Chief Judge Charles Williams realized documenting the profound impact of the Fish Fry required dedication, passion, and resources. With a grant from MCF along with other community partners and donors the foundation invested in the storytelling process, recognizing the documentary’s potential to inspire and ignite conversations about unity and inclusion.

In a world often characterized by differences, the Fish Fry documentary stands as a poignant reminder that shared experiences can bridge even the widest divides. This captivating narrative now serves as an enduring testament to the strength of community, the warmth of friendship, and the unifying potential of a plate of delicious fish. As we immerse ourselves in the Fish Fry’s story, we’re reminded of the boundless possibilities that emerge when hearts and minds come together, igniting change, one story at a time.

Be on the lookout for the completed documentary Fall 2023/Spring 2024. You can learn more by visiting