"Yazoo Revisited: Integration and Segregation in a Deep Southern Town" - Friday, April 28 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 30 at 2 p.m. on MPB Television
In 1970, under a ruling by the Supreme Court, Mississippi finally implemented full integration of its public schools. The issue had been the center of heated controversy throughout the South in the 16 preceding years since the groundbreaking decision of Brown v. the Board of Education declared racially segregated public schools to be unconstitutional.
In contrast to many other school districts in Mississippi, the integration of the Yazoo City schools went smoothly and without incident. In fact, the peaceful manner in which the black and white communities came together to see the transition through was widely seen as a model for success, at least for a couple of decades.
Renowned writer and Yazoo City native Willie Morris returned to his hometown to cover the integration story for Harper’s, resulting in his 1971 book, “Yazoo: Integration in a Deep Southern Town.”
Fast forward to 2015, when David Rae Morris, filmmaker and son of the late Willie Morris, produced a documentary further exploring Yazoo City’s unique integration story. Through in-depth interviews with former students, faculty, administrators and community leaders, "Yazoo Revisited: Integration and Segregation in a Deep Southern Town" examines the factors that enabled Yazoo to successfully integrate, and how things began to unravel in later years.
Following the premiere of "Yazoo Revisited," MPB will air a special episode of "Conversations" focused on the current state of school integration in Mississippi.