Film: 7912

Social History | 1960 | Sound + Silent | B/W

Synopsis:

14.1.66 - Silent - Hattiesburg, Mississippi, U.S.A.. Smoking wreckage of house having been destroyed by fire bombing. The act resulted in the death of a black man, Vernon Dahmer, a president of the local branch of the NAACP. The only thing still vertical is the chimney stack. Burnt out car on driveway. Mrs. Dahmer being interviewed. Policeman surveying the ashes. Policemen, in long shot, kneeling and looking through ashes. Ku Klux Members committed the murder. 50 years after the attack the Mississippi State Legislature honoured the civil rights leader by designating 10 January as Vernon Dahmer Day.
25.5.66 - Sound - Los Angeles, U.S.A.. Policeman accused of killing a black man testifies at inquest. Wife of the dead man had claimed that the policeman had killed her husband in cold blood when he was driving her to the hospital where she was to give birth. The policeman, in a suit and tie, tells a different story. Claims that having stopped car he leant into it, it moved forward, knocked him off balance, he instinctively grabbed, pulled the pulled the trigger and killed the man.
26.7.66 - Sound - Washington DC, U.S.A.. Black Urban League Director, Whitney Young, states in interview that although the black troops in Vietnam are not being used as cannon fodder there is discrimination being practiced in relation to commissions and promotion.
22.7.66 - Sound - Greenville, Mississippi, U.S.A.. A black farming community accumulates $200,000 and builds a town from prefabricated buildings. A tractor ploughing. Black people lifting parts of a prefabricated building. A white woman directing activity from near a car. Black man sawing wood. Raising the roof of a prefab which is a cross between a concertina and a tent. A black woman holding a child and followed by three more, walks into one of the completed houses. A row of these buildings. People milling around. Black female resident wearing horn rimmed spectacles being interviewed (sound very bad here).
9.8.66 - Sound - Grenada, Mississippi, U.S.A.. A Civil Rights demonstration at night (footage is very dark). Man on ground nursing injured shoulder. Mildred Smith, a Civil Rights marcher holding a cloth to her face having been hit by iron bar thrown by white demonstrators. Black march leader, Robert Green, confronts Grenada's County Sheriff, Suggs Ingram. Green calls the whites cowards and bullies. Claims that the only reason Ingram is not hitting him now is because the cameras are there. The marchers leave with a police escort.
2.9.66 - Sound - Plaquemines, Louisiana, U.S.A.. Whites picket school to protest against forced integration. White man in Stetson says that he does not think that he is breaking the law. White men and women standing outside school holding banners that state 'DON'T'. Man pushing these banners into the ground alongside the road. Man in spectacles walking states that he is ready to go to jail. He stops, calls his wife over, they stand in front of the camera holding each other and the banner. He smokes a cigar and is a typical Southern conservative (Red Neck). This couple will not send their children to school if it becomes integrated. The private school to which the whites would send their kids (a large house in long shot). Leader of the anti-integrationist movement in Plaquemines, leader Perez states that he does not know if the Communists in Washington will intervene in their actions.
10.9.66 - Silent - Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.. American Nazi party members march through Black neighbourhood. White men marching flying the American flag and swastika. Marcher shouting, he throws something into the crowd. Policemen in helmets bundling a man into a van. Policemen at the front of the march. Black people looking out of their windows at white people. Man being led away by police. Woman marcher carrying baby and man with child on his back.
26.9.66 - Hayneville, Alabama, U.S.A.. Trial of Ku Klux Klan member accused of murdering Mrs. Liuzzo, a Civil Rights worker. The accused, Eugene Thomas, wearing a suit, seated in a courtroom with his lawyer. State Attorney Richmond Flowers is interviewed as is Arthur Hanes the Defence Attorney. There is a dispute as to the validity of the jury which is made up of black people. Black men, the jurors, standing outside courtroom. (Footage is a little too dark.)
27.9.66 - Hayneville, Alabama, U.S.A.. Black dominated jury acquits Ku Klux Klansman, Eugene Thomas, of murdering Viola Liuzzo. Exterior of building, zoom in on jury room window through which can be seen jury members. Attorney General Richmond Flowers walks past camera and is then interviewed. He states that it is unbelievable that Thomas should be acquitted. Thomas interviewed in corridor. Asked what he has to say to which he replies that he is glad it is over and that he got a fair trial. Asked if the black jury members were pressurised by whites and he repeats that he had a fair trial. His Defence Attorney Hanes interjects stating that Richmond is out of order suggesting that negro (sic) jury members were intimidated, denying that they were 'Uncle Toms'. Jury leaving, a black jury member walking around building to escape media attention.


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