Mississippi Remixed

Mississippi ReMixed is a very personal documentary about the history - and current state - of race relations in Mississippi. It should be perfect for your Black History Month scheduling! What started as an opportunity for producer Myra Ottewell to speak to a group of Canadian high school seniors about her experience growing up in Mississippi in the 1960s, ultimately turned into a lesson for Mrs. Ottewell. It was almost six years ago that Ottewell was invited to recount her days of growing up in the South to a classroom that had recently watched the movie Mississippi Burning. Ottewell remembered those days of her childhood depicted in the movie as peaceful and explained to the class that while the facts of the movie were true, that was not her experience growing up. Despite her good intentions, Ottewell's recollections did not sit well with the students. "They could not buy it," she said. "They didn't believe it." At that point, she set out to prove the students wrong and began interviewing her subjects - some well known such as James Meredith, a figure in the civil rights movement - and others not so well known, including Brenda Travis, who was arrested at the age of 16 for entering a whites only waiting room. Ottewell said she knew nothing about Travis' story growing up. "I was completely ignorant about what was happening to my African-American contemporaries in those times." Former Governor William Winter, featured in the film, says, "It's the stickiest, thorniest issue that this country has ever faced, and continues to face. And it's why it's so important that we deal with it honestly, and candidly, and in terms of not having illusions about the differences that separate us, but at the same time, not having illusions either, about the bonds that unify us."

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