Vernon Johns, a brilliant man coupled with an eloquent speaker, upsets his community through his radical ideas on social change and economic independence of blacks. From his pulpit, he attacks the white power and denounces police brutality towards his brother race. His biggest enemy is nonetheless his own congregation who hesitates to mobilize behind him.Written by
ON SCREEN: "Before the civil rights movement could begin, it would take the actions of a few brave souls to set that movement into motion. This is a story of one of them." See more »
After one of his parishioners is raped, Rev. Johns has his daughter post his Sunday Sermon announcement on the church sign. The sign shows the name of the church, Sunday Service 11:00 AM, and "Dr. Vernon Johns, Pastor", and between the service time and Johns name is 'WHEN THE RAPIST IS WHITE', with single quote marks before and after. In the next scene, Johns is called to see a judge, who shows Johns a picture of the sign with the Sunday Sermon announcement, except the picture shows "WHEN THE RAPIST IS WHITE" with double quote marks before and after, and with the Sermon announcement above the service time, and instead of 'Dr. Vernon Johns, Pastor', it reads 'Rev. Dr. Vernon Johns' with 'Pastor' on a separate line below his name. See more »
This boy lived a trifling and worthless life. He went around Montgomery daring someone to cut his throat. Saturday night somebody obliged him. He lived like a dog; he died like a dog. Undertaker, claim the body. Choir, sing.
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The Producers acknowledge the significant contribution of author, Taylor Branch, to the public awareness of the life of Reverend Vernon Johns. See more »
I saw the movie on TV a few days ago and thought it was excellent. It was good on two levels: acting and education. James Earl Jones did a superb job of displaying emotion, focus passion and vision. My heart was heavy as I watched the brutal and heartless treatment of blacks. I am glad that much of the outward side of racism is diminishing but I don't know if peoples' hearts have changed that much and that is where true change takes place. It was hard to watch but for those of us who have not been around that kind of racism it was a needed reminder to participate towards equality.
The change that took place in the older daughter was at the expense of much pain but her decision to go for the higher cause will always be the price of change.
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