It’s been said that Mississippi is in a class by itself.
There’s the South … and then there’s Mississippi.
Independent Lens, the PBS documentary series featuring films put together by independent producers, explores a little-known aspect of life in the Magnolia State in the 1950s and’60s. “Spies of Mississippi,” which will air Monday at 9 p.m. on Panhandle PBS, peels away the secrecy surrounding the state’s effort to block integration of public-access locations.
The film was produced and directed by Dawn Porter, founder of Trilogy Films. She’s been acclaimed for her work exposing racism and bigotry. “Spies of Mississippi” reveals an overt attempt by the state to keep blacks and whites separate and to defy federal orders to integrate places where everyone congregates.
As it is stated in the film, this wasn’t just the work of “a bunch of rednecks.” The state had its hand in this endeavor.
Independent Lens is well-known as a documentary series that takes chances and gets in front of controversy. “Spies of Mississippi” is one such project.
It’s worth a look to see how officials in one of our 50 states sought to defy what the federal government said was right and just.