Saturday, January 15, 2011

Mississippi Burning

I'm finishing up the movie Mississippi Burning. The movie came out in 1988, so I'm a little late watching it. But I was 4. I didn't watch anything by Donna Reed reruns and Strawberry Shortcake.

Mississippi Burning is about the murders of 3 civil rights activists (2 white, 1 black) in Philadelphia, Mississippi in 1964. It's a town of 7,000 folks. It was covered up by the local law, and then the FBI got involved. Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe (Nate calls him Bell, Biv, Devoe). It's a very intense movie. Lots of killing. Lots of white people doing what they did back then to black people. It's sickening. It's just plain messed up.

Mississippi Burning Poster

In the end, justice somewhat prevails. Some of the folks went to prison. None went for more than 10 years. And that's for killing 3 innocent people. Sick, sick, sick

For some reason, I'm a bit obsessed with the south. Mostly the history of it all. Racism is a part of the history of the deep south. Shoot, the KKK was formed down the road from where we lived in Tennessee. It was formed in Pulaski, TN.

The murders in Philadelphia, MS were in 1964. According to my calculations, that was 37 years ago. That wasn't THAT long ago. That's just crazy to me. My parents went to segregated schools. I can't remember what grade my mom was in when black kids started going to her school. And even Native Americans. They had their own school in my town.

I don't understand racism. I just don't get it. How could you possibly hate someone so much? Could you imagine the ugly attitudes that people walked around with back then? As if we were better than anyone else? That's messed up, man.

On the same note, I read a book last summer by Kathryn Stockett called The Help. 

The Help

GREAT book. I didn't want it to end. It's set in Jackson, MS in the mid 1960's. It's about a rich, white girl who wants to be a journalist. So she starts interviewing the help around town, meaning the black folk to wait on the white folk (maids and such), and getting the dirt on their jobs. It was a very touchy subject back then. The journalist could've been killed if she would've been seen talking to the help in such a manner. Great, great book. Since it was set in the mid 60's, my calculations tell me that it wasn't all that long ago. Folks are still around that were all sorts of racist back then.

Racism. I just don't get it.

I'm so glad I wasn't around back then.

Have any of y'all seen Mississippi Burning or read The Help?

all images via google


Melissa said...

I haven't read The Help, but it's definitely on my short list! Everyone I've heard of has read it! AND, I totally agree with you about just doesn't make sense to me! Finally, I didn't know that about Pulaski! You learn something new every day!

Caroline & Sean said...

I actually had to watch Mississippi Burning in my 1960s history class and it was just so sad. I hate to see justice take so long when it is rightfully deserved. I'll have to checkout The Help book at the library. My favorite southern book has got to be To Kill a Mocking Bird, classic and such a good read!