There is a lot of pain and turmoil surrounding this state, especially within the capital city. Mississippi has always had strong ties to the civil rights movement, and Jackson the states capital has faced many challenges especially when it comes to new laws that are disfranchising blacks till this day. In the 1960’s Jackson was the home of many violent protest one reason being that Jim Crowe laws were still being fully enforced. From the assassination of Medgar Evers and Emmitt Till to the induction of James Meredith as the first black student at the University of Mississippi better known as Ole Miss, Mississippi has seen enough bloodshed throughout the years that these historical events still effect us now.
James Meredith first attended Ole Miss in 1962. Just over a year ago there was a noose found hanging around the neck of the James Meredith statue within Ole Mss. There also was a Georgia state flag found near the statue. A former Ole Miss student named Graeme Phillip Harris was sentenced for the crime and is now serving six months in prison. In this documentary James Meredith explains his struggle and his story on that epic day when he first entered Ole Miss. The noose incident that emerged last year is symbolic because it represents the racism that seems to never leave this state.
In 1960 the Census Bureau stated that the state capital's population was 64% white and 36% black. At this time everything was segregated from public bathrooms, schools and even restaurants. Also geographical segregation was also present. This means that certain parts of the city was off limits to blacks. We take a deep look into the history of Mississippi and how many African Americans had to maneuver in ways to avoid certain areas. James Meredith gives his take on how it was growing up in Mississippi and his thoughts on the state flag issue.The state flag holds deep routed emotions in the state of Mississippi; while many say its about “our history” but to many African Americans it only means one thing. Controversy has always surrounded our state flag and it seems the majority has ruled; majority of African American tax payers do not agree with the flag.
Crime, education, healthcare and racism are many things that Mississippi rank last in; for instance Initiative 42 which was put on the voting ballot to supply adequate funding to public schools across Mississippi. This would have provided 1.7 billion to pay for teachers salaries for 10 years or 16.7 million textbook, 5.6 million computers etc. This documentary follows Mississippi born director Christopher Windfield as he gets deep insight from local politicians, civil right figures, and local residents as to why Mississippi always ranks last when it comes to issues such as education, racism, healthcare etc. Chris reveals alarming facts that seems to be birthed from old ideologies and Jim Crow ways of thinking.
The Last State Standing features interviews with: ordinary citizens who have been affected by discrimination, and have some very interesting stories to tell explaining there many experiences living in present day Mississippi; Civil Rights figure James Meredith who was the first black student to attend the University of Mississippi aka Ole Miss; Congressman Bennie Thompson a U.S. House of Representative who also gives his thoughts on things such as the state flag issue and the future of Mississippi. Former mayor of Jackson Mississippi Kane Ditto who will give his insights as to what happened and why Jackson is the way it is. Local citizens interviewed range from teachers, musicians, and military residents. Education. lack of opportunities, healthcare, livable wages are just some of the things this documentary address.