Two Towns of Jasper (2003)

  • Director/Producer: Marco Williams
  • Director/Producer: Whitney Dow
Film Length:
90 min.

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.

The Film Campaign

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.

Issue: Race & Ethnicity

Where to buy:
Two Towns of Jasper

Community Screening DVD $50.00

Host a Screening: It's Easy As...

  1. Sign Up

    To host a community or campus screening.

  2. Buy the dvd

    Choose the appropriate screening rights for your event.

  3. Plan for max impact!

  4. Get the word out!

  5. Take Action

    After the film, ask your audience to get involved with your group or take action on a local issue.

    Take Action!
  6. Report Back

    Be sure to let us know how your screening went and how your community is taking action.

    Add feedback!

There are many different ways to take action against racism. Here are a few:

  • Interrupt offensive jokes or stories, explain that they are insulting and why.
  • Speak up or seek help when you witness discrimination against others or if you experience it first hand.
  • Become involved in racial justice efforts in your community and work with others. Anti-racism is everyone's responsibility.
  • Encourage work, community, and study environments to be places where diversity is valued.
  • Discuss issues of inclusion and diversity with children, youth, and adults.
  • Question the validity of generalized statements and stereotypes.
  • Educate yourself about human rights
  • Be sensitive to other's feelings. Be aware of how your actions might intentionally or unintentionally affect others and think critically about the language that you use.

Comments on this film: