Film clips from Wednesdays in Mississippi documentary

  1. Watch the three short clips of footage from the Wednesdays in Mississippi documentary film project. After each clip, ask students to turn to the person next to them and discuss one or two of the questions on their discussion sheet. Depending on how much time you have and how comfortable your students are with verbal discussion vs. writing, consider having your students fill in information on their chart after each of the film clips rather than waiting until the end.
    1. "Portraits from Wednesdays in Mississippi" (3:42):
      The first clip looks at the different experiences of the Northern and Southern Wednesdays women through interviews with Beatrice "Buddy" Mayer (part of the Chicago team) and Elaine Crystal, who as a member of the Jackson, Mississippi team hosted Mayer when she came down.
    2. "A Journey South" (2:58):
      The second clip describes the danger the Wednesdays women encountered and reveals the dormant racism that existed in even some of the Wednesdays women. Susan Stedman and Doris V. Wilson of the Jackson team describe meeting the Northern women at the airport, with Klu Klux Klan members watching and spitting on the women as they arrived. Edith Savage Jennings, the first black woman to meet with a group of white women in Jackson, tells of how after she (intentionally) removed her glove none of the women were willing to shake her hand.
    3. "WIMS: A Model of Women's Activism and Social Change" (2:20):
      The third clip addresses the significance of organizing women in particular, and the impact of relatively well-off white and black women from the North and South working together for social change. Includes observations by historians Debra Schultz and Deborah Gray White, as well as by Polly Cowan's daughter, Holly Shulman, and her daughter-in-law, Rabbi Rachel Cowan.
  2. Bring the group back together. Ask a few pairs to share a couple examples of what they discussed, perhaps focusing on points of disagreement between them, or on things they found particularly surprising or confusing.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Film clips from Wednesdays in Mississippi documentary." (Viewed on September 24, 2021) <https://jwa.org/node/11874>.

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