Prom Night in Mississippi

Prom Night in Mississippi
In 1997, Academy Award winning actor, Morgan Freeman, who lives in the Charleston, Mississippi
community, offered to fund the first-ever integrated Senior Prom in the history of Charleston's one high
school. His offer was ignored. In 2008, Morgan offered again... the East Tallahatchie County School
Board accepted. In this town of 2,300 people, its high school of 415 black and white students has, to this
day, always had separate proms: one black, one white prom. Our film follows the Charleston High senior
class of 2008 preparing and attending their historic, first integrated prom, in the context of strong
emotions, traditions, and conflict inherent in race relations in the community, and in the deep south.
Some of the white parents maintained their whites-only prom. Written by Paul Saltzman
1) Why do you think the community rejected Mr. Freeman’s offer the first time?
2) Were the hesitations of the high school administration well founded?
3) What issues do you predict the inter-racial couple will face in the future?
4) Would you attend the first ever inter-race prom? Why or why not? Would you only attend the
white prom? Would you attend both?
5) Should Mr. Freeman have shown up at the prom?
6) What did you see regarding socioeconomic lifestyles?
7) If you could hang out with one of these students, who would it be and why?
8) How do these students respond to the parents who are racist?