Please read the directions well!!
Must be more than 5 pages long not including title page and resources pages. 300 words per page.
I’m attaching the paper I wrote on “On Democracy”, the Jim crow info you can look up online.
1. This paper will examine how this searing motion picture addresses the issue of rights and equality. The film focuses on the murder of three civil rights workers in Mississippi who were participating in a voter registration drive in the 1960’s. The paper should summarize the plot, explore the point of view adopted by the film and discuss what you learn about the civil rights movement from watching this movie. The paper should also discuss how the ideas in On Democracy and The Strange Career of Jim Crow help to put the issues raised in the film in the broader context of understanding rights in America.
o This is a link to an article that appeared in the New York Times magazine section on July 23rd 1989 looking back, after 25 years, to the events that occurred in Neshoba County MS in 1964 and the aftermath of the murder of the three civil rights workers depicted in “Mississippi Burning”. Recommended Reading
- Highly Recommended: Douglas Linder, “Bending Towards Justice: John Doar and the Mississippi Burning Trial”, Mississippi Law Journal, Vol 72 (Winter 2002) p. 731.
Mississippi Burning, a film based on actual events that occurred in 1964. By the 1960s Mississippi had become the focal point of a voter registration drive prompted by the fact that only about 5 percent of African-Americans were registered to vote at the time. The voter registration drive, in turn, led to a violent response by some whites in Mississippi who used intimidation and violence in an attempt to blunt the efforts of “outsiders” attempting to register blacks. Some of this intimidation was in the form of burning black churches, hence the term “Mississippi burning”, and the title of the film. The FBI operation to find those responsible for the violence had the code-name “MIBURN”.
As you recall from The Strange Career of Jim Crow, the disenfranchisement of black voters was an essential part of how whites maintained control in many Southern states. The grandfather clause, literacy tests, the white primary and other devises were used effectively to ensure that blacks couldn’t exercise their right to vote. By the 1930’s and 40’s in some areas of the South it was estimated that less than 5 percent of eligible blacks were registered. For the same reason that whites wanted to keep blacks from voting, blacks saw in the right to vote the key to political change. In 1957 Congress passed the first civil rights bill since 1875, designed in part to protect voting rights. But it was watered down to the point that it was ineffective. So too was the Civil Rights Act of 1960. By 1963 serious attempts to get blacks registered was underway, and civil rights organizations descended on states like Mississippi where the denials of the right to vote were most extreme. This takes us to the circumstances that are portrayed in Mississippi Burning. Three civil rights workers, Michael Henry Schwerner, James Earl Chaney and Andrew Goodman, who were part of the voter registration drive in that state, went missing and were later discovered dead in Neshoba County. The film tells the story of how the FBI solved the case, and about how local law enforcement officials and the Ku Klux Klan were involved in the murders. The events surrounding the killings led to a Supreme Court decision in 1966, United States v. Price. Price was the Deputy Sheriff of Neshoba County.
The following site from the University of Missouri Law School has a wealth of information about the background and aftermath of these events in Mississippi and links to other sources: http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/FTrials/price&bowers/price&bowers.htm
Watch the movie carefully and take good notes. Don’t just summarize the movie. While your paper should include a summary it should also discuss what you have learned from the film about equality and rights as they relate to the themes in our course. As I read your paper I need to feel that you actually watched the movie and thought about the events that it portrays. As it indicates, your paper should draw upon ideas from On Democracy and The Strange Career of Jim Crow. Your paper should make reference to any dialogue, scenes and characters that helps you to write with detail. Better papers will have also drawn upon some of the other resources about these events that are noted on the website. Movies are a powerful medium for communicating ideas and while film is obviously a form of entertainment it can nevertheless be harnessed in a way so that popular culture informs us about our country, our history and ourselves