7.7/10
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2 user 2 critic

Freedom on My Mind (1994)

Chronicles the Mississippi voter registration drive from 1961- 64.
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins. See more awards »

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Ronnie Washington ...
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Chronicles the Mississippi voter registration drive from 1961- 64.

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22 June 1994 (USA)  »

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$71,176 (USA)
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in The 67th Annual Academy Awards (1995) See more »

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I am a White Southerner
18 January 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am a white Southerner. I have always considered myself Southern. I was born in a small Southern town in North Florida called Live Oak. I grew up in a small Southern town in Central Florida called Ocoee where the history of that town has a lot in common with what is stated in this documentary on the suppression of non-white voting dating to the 1920 massacre. Today that small Southern town, which before the 1920s was diverse in race, after the massacre that happened there, Ocoee remained all-white for 40 years.

When I hear about the horrible things that happened in this documentary, I know it's true. Even when I grew up in Ocoee in the 1980s, and I saw my elementary school only having two black teachers (both female, one Kindergarten the other 3rd grade, both I had as teachers) and one single black student (also female) and the racism by staff and students they endured was awful. And those of us who were white and stood up against it were treated no different than they were. They called us "N-- lovers" or just saw us as being black too and hiding in white skin. By Junior High (Middle School) our school was mainly white until a dilapidating mainly black school the next town over was combined into our school. And in 6th grade we had a "race riot". White children fighting and beating up black students and black students defending themselves and those of us in the middle beat up by the whites who believed we were no different than the blacks and the blacks fighting us because they didn't know we weren't racist against them, that was in 1988/1989. High School was more calmer in retrospect because Ocoee didn't have a High School at the time and we all mainly went to the High School in Winter Garden, FL which was highly diverse but while there there were incidences, it wasn't as bad as going to school in Ocoee.

I hear from some family members, or from others throughout my life that white people have it bad because non-white people have a voice now and they are taking away all their rights. None of their rights are being taken away except those that take away the rights of other people.

Documentaries like this remind me of a few things: non-whites, and especially black people, and especially in the Southern United States, are still to this day struggling against oppression. They just want equality. To be treated no better and no different than anyone else. It also reminds me of my childhood, which wasn't that long ago. I'm only 39. Which means it still goes on today. Ocoee has grown, it's gone from 7,000 people, mainly white to almost 50,000 people still mainly white but with a growing black community. The town I live in now, my hometown, I don't know...I still hear white people using racial epithets as if it's normal to do so. Ironically, the town itself is mainly non-white yet whites still control almost everything. There was an incident not too long ago at a hotel dwelling with racism against black people. Also, nothing will change until white people--and me being white I think I can say this--start recognizing they are not superior to other people not their skin color. No one is trying to take away your rights. They just want the same rights as you, and for the most part: they don't.

Documentaries like this are important. Sadly, they don't get watched by those who actually need to watch it.


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