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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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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Connections

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

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I Am A White Northerner
24 January 2017 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

This is a very effective documentary which chronicles the civil rights struggle in the State of Mississippi during the 1960's. The alternating segments of interviews with actual participants and historical footage of the demonstrations and events at the time kept my interest to the end. I had not seen this film before and am very pleased that tcm was able to carry it. For me, not all documentaries succeed in what they set out to do, but this one did, at least in my view. It portrays a very important chapter of American history from which we can all learn.

As to the recent user review of January 18 describing the reviewer's personal experiences with racial segregation in central Florida, I will add that I grew up during the 1950's and 1960's in the northern town of Union, New Jersey and experienced many of the same racial prejudices there that the reviewer witnessed in central Florida. The public schools were mostly segregated through the eighth grade, then through the sixth grade, and integrated in the upper grades only by structural necessity. The separation of the elementary schools, at least at my end of town, created resentment at the upper grades as the black students were clearly at an academic disadvantage following nine and then seven years of racial segregation. It wasn't until after I graduated from high school in 1967 when the federal government intervened and forcibly integrated Union's elementary schools. Beyond Union, most of the towns that surrounded us were completely restricted from the purchase or rental of homes by African Americans. The towns that were most threatened by integration were the towns that were most affordable to black families who desired to leave Newark for the suburbs. Wealthier towns, such as Merrill Streep's native Basking Ridge (Bernards Township) were far more protected and insulated from the dramatic social upheaval occurring in the area at the time because, for the most part, they were economically inaccessible to African American families in Newark who wanted to leave the city. I only write this because I have witnessed an enormous amount of hypocrisy and falsehood in my life, including my own, personal experiences regarding race as I was growing up in a northern town. I touched upon this theme in a novel that I recently wrote and that has yet to be published.


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