I highly recommend you see the movie “Free State of Jones”!
The movie tells the true story of Newt Knight, a Southern Farmer who descended from the Confederate Army after realizing that the Civil War was really a rich man’s war – poor men were losing their lives in battle so the rich could keep their slaves and make money. Knight retreated to the swamps of Jones County, Mississippi meeting up with some former slaves. They quickly banded together along with other soldiers who descended from the army to fight against the Confederates taking back their land, goods, and gain their freedom. Knight lead the uprising that led Jones County, Mississippi to secede from the Confederacy and become the Free State of Jones; hence the title of the film.
The film also gives you a much more realistic picture of what really happened after slavery was abolished at the end of the Civil War. Southern states quickly created new laws that kept African Americans enslaved in the South, share cropping just a new look to plantations and instituting Black Codes and later Jim Crow Laws. The film does an excellent job of showing you how many of these same issues are still current and affect many people today. They flash forward to a court case where there is debate over whether the man on trial is African American or Caucasian. It was against the law for a Caucasians and African Americans to marry each other, and he had married a Caucasian woman. In fact up until the Supreme Court decision in the Loving v. Virginia case in 1964, in many states it was considered illegal for a Caucasian person to marry a person of color. This movie sheds light on how severely that time period during and after the Civil War affected present day.
If you are interested in getting a different perspective on the Civil War, Southern culture, and how it effects and impacts our world today, go see this film.
Kevin L. Booker, Jr., was born and raised in Hartford, CT. His commitment to uplifting and educating people began at an early age when he himself was discriminated against because of his race and where he grew up. Defying the odds, Mr. Booker went on to achieve various degrees through the support of his family and strong mentors. He now teaches college and high school level classes, facilitates leadership in diversity workshops, lectures, mentors, and speaks publically all over the country to encourage people who have been disenfranchised to understand the power of education.