We don’t need to tell you that today is an important holiday, and we also don’t need to tell you that it would be a great idea to see Oscar-nominated Selma today, either, but Selma isn’t the only great film that examines the civil rights movements and the many struggles it took for our country to get where its today. We have listed the five best documentaries that explore the civil rights movement, the racism prior to it and the journey it took for this country to overcome it, cause we too want to watch something relative, but are too lazy to get our asses to the movie theaters. There are just too many Oscar movies to keep up with.
Booker’s Place: A Mississippi Story (2012)
We all know about the popular sit-ins civil rights activists took part of during the civil rights movement; siting in whites-only restaurants to protest, but ever wonder what it must’ve been like to have worked at one of these whites-only restaurants? Ever wondered what it must have been like to be a black server working for a restaurant that does not permit people of your race? William Booker was one of these black waiters who served in Lusco’s, a whites-only restaurant in Mississippi. His incredible story of the duties he was hired to perform (he would sing the menu to customers) and the racism he encountered during his employment there, will give you a side you’ve never considered learning about
Spies of Mississippi (2014)
One of the least talked about “weapons” the government concocted in the 60s, the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission’s spy unit spied on civil rights activists, from phone-tapping to searching through private documents, answering directly back to the government. The Commission’s message is one of the least-known governmental devices, but the Commission’s use of black spies is a lot less talked about. From befriending leaders, to tipping off officials of upcoming protests, this kept secret is insight into just how far the government would go to receive information about one of the largest political movements in the U.S.
Ghost of Ole Miss (2012)
This 30 for 30 episode is similar to the true story behind 2000’s Remember the Titans. The University of Mississippi was an eruption of violence, racism and even death when the university admitted their first African American student James Meredith in 1962. His enrollment resulted into a back and forth war between those in favor of the integration, and those opposed to it, which was so large and violent, the National Guard and Federal troops were called in to break it up. Two people resulted dead from the University of Mississippi riot, causing another layer of tension in this already segregated state, but the success of the university’s football team that year help make some needed amends, crossing the political tensions of the 60s and this family sport into this unexpected hit of an episode.
The Loving Story (2011)
One of the most explore interracial marriages of the late 50s and early 60s, The Loving Story re-visits the incredible story of interracial couple Mildred and Richard Loving. Richard Loving (a white man) was sentenced to a year in prison for his marriage to Mildred (a black woman), which violated the Racial Integrity Act of 1924. Mildred brought this case up, resulting in the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision to reverse the sentence and end all race-based restrictions in the U.S. Both Lovings are no longer alive, but their love story continues to inspire movie, songs and even a day (Loving day) commemorating the couple’s strong love and marriage.