My heart was touched in many, many ways by this powerful documentary. Myra Ottewell's Mississippi ReMixed may be the beginning of a needed dialog about this important part of our heritage. I pray that it might be used to bring healing, forgiveness and understanding between the races.
Terry Gargano Coffey
Wow! What an awesome documentary; I identified so closely with the narrator; her growing up in Jackson, Mississippi, was so similar to my childhood in Olive Branch.....unaware, yet wondering...I can remember asking my Momma why we did not have black people in our church....red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world!
And, in the late 60's and early 70's I remember rejecting and rebelling against what I felt so strongly was wrong and not Biblical.....but practiced in our society.....mixture of Bob Dylan, Woodstock generation, reactions to King and Bobby Kennedy's assassinations.....I was a little younger than the narrator, I think....hippie generation....graduated from high school in 1970.
Wow....I want to send a copy to my sister in Columbus, Ohio. She left the South when she got married and has only been back a few times in the last 20 years.
My husband was asked by the teacher in charge of the Black History program at New Hope Middle School in Columbus, Mississippi, to find a film clip to use; He said, "If we can get this off of Hot Chalk, this is what I will give to Mrs. Lash."
P.S. I loved your ginko necklace; W alumnae will recognize that little touch!
This was a very heart touching documentary. I was moved to tears. I grew up in the same neighborhood in the 1980's and 90's. It was mostly an all black neghborhood and like you I didn't socialize much outside of the bubble of my own race. To see how far we as Mississippians have come is very gratifiying. I look forward to this becoming available on DVD. Thank you and God bless.
This was indeed an awesome documentary that touched so many different aspects of the subject. Myra and I were classmates at Provine High School and it was an odd but gratifying emotional feeling to have someone I know and shared the same time period in history with, express exactly what I felt and experienced during those years. It took a lot of courage to discuss openly and in such a public way, so many of the feelings and situations that we actually felt and experienced. My parents were just like Myra's parents, and I am sure most of our other classmates' parents. We indeed lived in a different world than what was actually happening all around us. What made it even more personal was that it was my hometown, my neighborhood, my friends, my school and familiar places and people that were used in the documentary.
Thank you Myra for your insight, your time, effort, your honesty, your courage and for sharing this with all of us. It certainly has enriched my life and hopefully will be used to enrich the life of other people and will give others a different perspective of life in that particular time in our history.
It was actually weird in a strange sort of way hearing and seeing things that you personally experienced and thought but never said, being said by someone else in such a public forum. Thank you again.
I thought the documentary was great. As a child growing up in Mississippi in the 50's and 60's, segregation was just the way it was. I didn't know about prejudice and hatred of blacks. It wasn't until I got out into the "real" world that I understood what blacks had been through. We had a black maid that helped around the house 2-3 days a week. We treated her like anyone else. I never feared going into her neighborhood to take her home.
Over the years I have taught mostly black children. Each year they ask me what things were like when I was growing up. Some of the questions they ask, I just have to say, "I don't know." I try to stress to them how far they have come and how far they can go if they apply themselves.
However, I do have some children that are bitter and express it openly. I feel that there are some parents/grandparents who are trying to keep racism alive. Just the other day, I had a third grade student to tell me, "I hate white people. I wish I had a black teacher."
I think Myra did a wonderful job creating this film. I would like to have a DVD to show my children at school.
Johnny E Coleman Sr.
I thought the documentary was an amazing display of the truth in the culture of MS, past and present. I thought the stories were well told and all the dialog was unbiased and honest. I think it is must-see for all Mississippians.
I think the best thing about your documentary is its honesty. That’s the hook that pulls the viewer in. There are no pretensions.
What I find impossible, though, is to watch it without putting myself in the story. I kept drifting off into my life, and then had to haul myself back to pay attention to what was going on, on the screen. I thank you for allowing that. I won’t repeat my musings in earlier emails, but will say again that we all were sheltered from reality in our childhoods. We all didn’t see things. And I’m not sure things have changed. I looked around the gym and thought, almost everyone there to watch your doc. was white…and what does this mean…what are we missing? But your message is that it’s not a matter of laying blame, but of learning and then applying what we’ve learned to make things better.
I liked your quote from Scripture. The Anglican Church has adopted those verses as the closing of our service. We stand together and say “Glory to God, whose power working in us can do more than we can ask or imagine…” It sends us out into the world, every Sunday morning.
I think the thing that made it so powerful was your willingness to be so honest. You were modelling for us what real repentance has to do, how unflinchingly we have to examine the legacy, the repercussions, and the gains wrongfully made as a result of sins of the past. Naturally, it leads us to look at the story of Canada's aboriginal people.
Visually and aurally it was stunning! Colourful and varied, with clear sound and especially great music. The historic footage was amazing. I wept several times, especially at the high school graduation and the story of that brave woman, and the scenes of Martin Luther King illustrated by scenes from the present. Usually films like this leave us with much guilt but little hope, and you took us through that into an inviting new place.
The overall thought that struck me as I watched the film was how incredibly brave you were to make it. You have demonstrated great humility by recognizing areas of ignorance and addressing them in such a public way. It is remarkable that you didn't default to an "oh well" mentality. You accepted your family and society's failings. You must have experienced a growing sadness as the truth slowly came to light. But despite this painful awakening, you revealed the positive changes that have been evolving in Mississippi over the years. There is still a long way to go, but look how far you're come!
Thanks for the exceptional courage you displayed in sharing your story. I applaud your willingness to step forward and make a difference. Spiritually speaking, I see the themes of confession and redemption coming through loud and clear in your film. May God continue to bless your efforts as the doors of opportunity swing open!