DVD and DVD + 3-Year Site/Local Streaming
82 minutes, 2015, Produced and Directed by David Shulman
ABOUT THE FILM
Emmy Award Winner
Dirt And Deeds In Mississippi uncovers the largely unknown and pivotal role played by Black landowning families in the deep South who controlled over a million acres in the 1960s. They were prepared to put their land and their lives on the line in the fight for racial equality and the right to vote in America’s most segregated and violently racist state.
In the face of escalating terror, Black landowners and independent farmers provided safe havens, collateral for jail bonds, armed protection and locations for Freedom Schools. They were often the first to attempt to register to vote and run for public office.
Dirt And Deeds in Mississippi reveals the extraordinary story of a Delta community called Mileston in which 100 sharecropping families gained control of 10,000 acres of some of the best land in the state as a result of a radical New Deal era experiment in the 1930’s and in turn, became leaders of the movement in the 1960s. The film also presents new information about the infamous case of the three young activists murdered during Freedom Summer in 1964.
Narrated by Danny Glover and winner of a Television Academy Award, Dirt And Deeds In Mississippi tells how an independent farmer and teacher who came to own the land on which his great-grandparents were slaves became the first Black candidate elected to a state-wide office in Mississippi in the 20th century.
"Powerful! Its portrayal of events around Freedom Summer is the best I’ve seen"
Robert Moses, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
"The film reveals how…without the Black independent farmers and landowners, there could not have been a Civil Rights Movement."
"...A powerful film which fills an important void in Movement historiography"
John Dittmer, Author Local People
"A provocative and deeply moving documentary that is highly recommended."
"Highly recommended. An essential historical document."
Educational Media Reviews Online
"One of the most important new films on the Civil Rights Movement in many years."
“Provides a distinctive and crucial window into a neglected theme of rural organizing. Skillfully weaves together interviews with civil rights activists, archival film footage, and original historical research to portray the key period leading up to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.”
William Minter and Michael Honey, PRRAC Newsletter