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Ghosts of Mississippi
SUBJECTS — U.S./Civil Rights, 1945 - Present; The Law;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Courage; Justice;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Trustworthiness; Responsibility; Citizenship.
Age: 13+; MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for a strong scene of violence and for racist dialogue); Drama; 1996; 123 minutes; Color.
Ghosts of Mississippi recounts the retrial and conviction of the assassin of Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers, some 30 years after the murder. Both his widow, Myrlie Evers, and Bobby DeLaughter, the prosecutor, served as consultants for the film. With a few exceptions discussed in the Learning Guide, the film is reasonably accurate. The film also shows Mississippi's change to a state with a functioning justice system. The movie describes the workings of the legal system, a widow's perseverance and crusade for justice, as well as a prosecutor's commitment to righting an old wrong.
The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide to Ghosts of Mississippi will help teachers introduce children to the themes raised in the film, including: the dangers of Civil Rights work in the South in the 1960s and the difficulties in obtaining justice for slain Civil Rights workers.
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Ghosts of Mississippi will acquaint children with the heroism of Medgar Evers, the belief of Bobby DeLaughter in our system of justice, the villainy of Byron de La Beckwith, and the determination of Myrlie Evers.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To demonstrate how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to improve lesson plans, we have set out below a paragraph from the Learning Guide to Ghosts of Mississippi.
The Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission was charged with preserving segregation in the state. It kept secret files on some 78,000 Civil Rights workers and alleged subversives. The Commission went out of existence in 1973 when the Mississippi governor (the same man who, as district attorney, had unsuccessfully tried to convict de la Beckwith in 1964) vetoed funding for the agency. The Legislature tried to seal the Commission's files but they have been opened to the public by federal court order.
The Learning Guide to the film Ghosts of Mississippi contains sections on Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Helpful Background, Discussion Questions, Links to the Internet, and Bridges to Reading. The Discussion Questions are divided into three categories: Subject Matter, Social-Emotional Learning, and Moral-Ethical Emphasis.
A subscription to TeachWithMovies.com will give teachers access to 350 Snippet Lesson Plans, Learning Guides, and Movie Lesson Plans. Subscribe Today and create a great lesson plan from Ghosts of Mississippi to introduce children to the heroism of Medgar Evers, the determination of his wife that justice be done, the courage of Bobby DeLaughter, and the murderous villainy of Byron de La Beckwith.
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