On June 7, 1998, the most vicious racially motivated murder since the 1955 lynching of Emmett Till occurred in Jasper, Texas. James Byrd, an African American, was chained to a pick-up truck and dragged behind it for three miles until his body disintegrated.
Two film crews, one black and one white, set out to record the repercussions of this modern-day lynching by following the trials of the men charged with the crime and the reactions of the community members.
Two Towns of Jasper integrates footage from an all white crew documenting the white community and an all black crew filming the black community. Many documentaries and dramatic films have been made about the racial divide in America, but none have used segregated crews as a lens on the subject. Filming within the respective races as opposed to across the races provides a unique and rare occasion for audiences to have insider access, to witness intimate moments typically not shared with anyone outside a closed community.
Given the need for continued dialogue and action to bridge race and other divides in communities, Working Films released of the Education and Community Outreach DVD of Two Towns of Jasper. The film documents the town of Jasper over the course of the trials of the three men charged with dragging Mr. Byrd to his death. This DVD includes a range of tools for screening hosts, including a How to Host a Community Screening Guide, fact sheets, customizable event fliers, and DVD extras featuring case studies of successful uses of the film by community groups and educators. These dynamic resources are designed to help jump-start new conversations around race relations in communities nationwide.
To host a community or campus screening.
Choose the appropriate screening rights for your event.
After the film, ask your audience to get involved with your group or take action on a local issue.
Be sure to let us know how your screening went and how your community is taking action.
There are many different ways to take action against racism. Here are a few: