ONE MORE RIVER
a report on the mood of the american south
filming by allan king associates
film editor don haig
directed by douglas leiterman and beryl fox
Today, from the teeming cities of the North to the plantation-country of the Deep South, the American Negro is on the move, demanding equal rights. Violence is increasingly replacing one-time passive yearning for equality. Must it all be resolved by violence or can this immense social revolution be achieved peacefully? Nine years ago the United States Supreme Court ordered the Negro to be integrated into the American life “with all deliberate speed”. But change of laws can only work if there is a change of heart.
This programme examines the current mood of the American South, a region where history runs deep, and where passions are easily inflamed. Using exciting techniques of actuality filming, it brings you face to face with the human and emotional conflicts of integration and questions whether integration of the heart exists today.
AN INTERTEL PRODUCTION ◦ TIME SLOT 55 MINUTES
Global Television Services Ltd.,
3 Vere Street, London, W.1.
Phone: MAYfair 1167
Cables: Helpful, London
A filmed report on the mood of the American South, nine years after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered integration “with all deliberate speed”, will be presented by Intertel in “One More River”. “In the past decade the Negro has made more civil rights gains than in the previous century”, says producer-director Douglas Leiterman. “But the South is a region where history runs deep, and where passions are easily inflamed.
“In the states of the deep South — the Black Belt — integration is only a token, and in three of these states, South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi, it has hardly begun”.
According to Leiterman, school integration is a symbol of race relations, and of more than two million Negro children in the South, only 10,000 are attending classes with white children.
Aim of “One More River” is to communicate some sense of the real meaning of integration, through the minds and emotions of people directly involved. Some of them are:
Calvin Craig, Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan of Georgia, who helps organize Christmas baskets for needy Negro families, but is prepared for violence if the Negroes “get out of hand”;
Mrs. Patricia Shelby, a white southern mother who has lived all her life among Negroes, but will not tolerate having her child attend school with Negro children;
Rev. Wyatt Walker, a northern-born, college-educated Negro, who has been jailed six times on charges of lunacy, inciting to riot and disorderly conduct;
Mrs. Charles Jones, a professor of English, whose son spent 30 days in jail — 10 days for each minute that he sat at an all-white lunch counter;
Wally Butterworth, a white southern broadcaster, who has dedicated himself to the maintenance of white supremacy and “racial purity”;
Malcolm X, a Negro segregationist who proclaims that “an integrated cup of coffee is no pay for 400 years of slavery”.
Producer Leiterman says: “The programme can make the viewer understand when the Negro describes integration as ‘a warfare waged daily in the heart.’ It can make him understand when a white southerner says ‘Negroes are fine people but it will be centuries before they are ready for equality’.”
One hundred years ago Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing Negroes from 250 years of slavery. The South is the region where integration of the heart has not yet begun. In spite of the headlines and the outbursts of violence, integration is essentially a heartening story. Progress, though slow, is substantial and violence has been much less than many believed possible in a society where prejudice has been the basis of economic and social life for centuries.
School integration is a symbol of race relations in this decade. Despite general compliance with the Supreme Court order of 1954, only 777 of the 2,389 southern schools practising segregation had admitted Negro students by 1961. Just 10,000 out of 2,800,000 Negro children in the South are attending classes with white children. Reluctance of both white and Negro southerners to integrate is mixed up with the myths of race inferiority and proliferation, intense fear of violence and social upheaval.
“One More River” is not a tract for or against integration. Its object is simply to communicate some sense of the real meaning of integration — through the minds and emotions of the people directly involved.