Southern Rites : A Social Cinema screening with From Moment to Movement

Tuesday 23 June, 2015
6:30 - 8:30pm, $0

156 Fifth Avenue, Floor 2

Add to Calendar
Share: Twitter | Facebook

In 2009, photographer Gillian Laub went to rural Georgia to document Montgomery County's two segregated high school proms. Her New York Times essay that followed stirred a powerful outcry and forced the school district to bring the longstanding tradition to an end. Back a year later to photograph the school's first integrated proms, her welcome had run out and, despite the school district gains, she encounters a world still strongly divided and shaped by the legacy of Jim Crow.

Another year later, she's drawn back again when she learns of the murder of Justin Patterson, an unarmed 22-year-old black man, by an older white man. Years before the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Freddie Gray exposed the country's enduring struggle with racial injustice, the death of Patterson went largely unreported. With commentary and candid reflections from local residents, young and old, black and white, Southern Rites weaves together the stories of the senior prom and the murder of Justin Patterson to reveal a complex portrait of a small Southern town still grappling with the deeply-held beliefs and racial tensions that that case lays bare.

Join New America NYC for a screening of Southern Rites and a conversation with the film's director and two outspoken journalists on the persistence of well-worn racial lines and the challenges our country faces in the choice to ignore or confront them.

Introduction: Beth Dembitzer
Curator, Social Cinema@New America

Gillian Laub
Director, Producer, and Cinematographer, Southern Rites

Kai Wright
Features Editor, The Nation
Reporting Fellow, the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute

Steven Gray

Editorial Director for News and Social Justice, Take Part

Advertise on Platform