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USM Special Collections, Center Human Rights and Civil Liberties to Host Screening of Civil Rights Film April 17

Fri, 04/14/2023 - 11:26am | By: David Tisdale

“Women of the Struggle”University Libraries’ Special Collections and the Center for Human Rights and Civil Liberties at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) will host a screening of the film “Women of the Struggle: Facing Fear in the Civil Rights Era” on Monday, April 17 at 5:30 p.m. in the Gonzales Auditorium (room 108) in the Liberal Arts Building on the Hattiesburg campus. Admission is free and the public is invited.

“Women of the Struggle” is a powerful and inspiration documentary focusing on 18 women who were key contributors in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement, including USM alumna and Hattiesburg resident Raylawni Branch. Branch will join film producers G. Mark LaFrancis, Robert Morgan, and Darrell White for a discussion following the screening.

The film was produced in partnership with the Mississippi Humanities Council and the Mississippi Film Alliance, both of which provided grants to help make the documentary possible. Also involved in its production are the Natchez Art Association and New Dawn Video Productions, the independent film company that created “The Parchman Ordeal: The Untold Story,” which has become a book The Parchman Ordeal: 1965 Natchez Civil Rights Injustice.

“While it is generally accepted that women were instrumental in the success of the civil rights movement, this documentary casts them in the spotlight and gives their work the attention it deserves,” said Lorraine Stuart, associate professor and head of Special Collections with USM University Libraries. “Special Collections holds about 100 collections pertaining to the civil rights era, including Raylawni Branch’s.

 “When Mark LaFrancis offered to have a screening of ‘Women of the Struggle’ and speak with Ms. Branch on the USM Hattiesburg campus, I knew it was something University Libraries and the Center for Human Rights and Civil Liberties would get behind. It remains an important topic for our students, faculty, and community.”

For more information on this event, email Stuart or call 601.266.4117. For information about USM Special Collections, visit their website. For information about the USM Center for Human Rights and Civil Liberties, visit their website