Daily Archives: January 13, 2009

Day 4 by Dovedot-Quick Speak

It seemed everyone was equally up late last night working hard on all our assignments. Justin Allegri went down into another room around 4 a.m. to continue editing the two packages he had under his belt. Justin Perry and I took a two and a half hour nap to be abruptly woken up by Dr. Cheers banging on our door.

Then I found myself in a conference call with CNN pitching our group’s ideas and proposed packages over the next day. It was exhilarating; partially due to the fact that I had just woken up, but mainly because I was speaking with some producers at CNN about our proposed ideas.

Edmund Pettus Bridge now.

Night and morning.

Nick

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The Legendary South – Mississippi

The Legendary South – Mississippi
He carried the 75-pound gin fan, which they would later tie around his neck using barbed wire before ultimately shooting him in the head and tossing his body into the Tallahatchie River.
J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant admitted to the acts described above in a confession published by Look magazine in 1956.
Emmett Till, from Chicago, was visiting his family when a chain of events unraveled leaving the end result with a morbid outcome that screamed out for change.

Till’s killers were tried by an all white jury and never charged.
As the sun set in Sumner, MS on the old courthouse where the trial of Emmett Till was held, students were found reflecting on the struggles of the past and becoming aware of the struggles they face in the future.

A single day in Jackson, MS was not nearly enough to take in all the historic value that is held in this place of hallowed ground. Much of the civil rights movement started here in Jackson, beginning with the Freedom Rides. In 1961 more than 300 Freedom Riders were arrested as they demonstrated against segregation on public transportation. The events at Tougaloo College, the life work and death of Medgar Evers and the beginning of the James Meredith March.
Investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell for the Clarion-Ledger met with SJSU students to talk about the significant role he played as a reporter and journalist during the civil rights movements as well as how it feels being one today.
Neshoba County Philadelphia, MS was the last stop before the students headed to Selma, Alabama. Philadelphia, MS. marked the place where the three civil rights workers, Goodman, Schwerner and Cheney were slain by the KKK.

Bianca deCastro

City Hall in Tutwiler, MS Photo Credit: Bianca deCastro

The courthouse where Emmett Till's trial was held in Sumner, MS

The courthouse where Emmett Till's trial was held in Sumner, MS

Philadelphia, MS

Philadelphia, MS

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Day Three, Second Half by Dovedot-Mississippi to Alabama

Not too long after finishing my previous writing (Day Three, First Half…), still in the local mall in Jackson underneath the two escalators, I received a call from my uncle saying that he saw us on CNN. At the same moment, Justin Allegri received a text from his friend in Hawaii, his girlfriend in New Hampshire, and his brother in California that we were seen on CNN. The whole group seemed stunned and utterly speechless. National television.

 

We were on national television. Unbelievable.

Then we let out our joy and ecstasy in unison via screams, high-fives, clapping, fist pumps, and congratulations. Soon thereafter, we received a complaint from security that we were upsetting some of the folks on the floor above us because we were creating a ruckus.

Well of course we were. We just made it on national television, and we have been and currently are working at every opportune moment to create, edit, and publish the most pristine and premium work we can produce whilst traveling half the country in a van cramped to the brim with a total of thirteen people and all our luggage to boot; traveling night by night, crossing state to state, to experience and enrich our knowledge of the Civil Rights events that we look back on and try to imagine and immerse ourselves in that time period.

Nick Dovedot

The three Civil Rights Workers that were murdered. Photo Credit: Nick Dovedot

 

After finishing and needing to leave to get to our next, quick destination of Philadelphia, Mississippi to interview Stanley Dearman, retired editor and publisher of the Neshoba Democrat, we tore off for the first of one of our long drives of the trip to Selma, Alabama.

Once we arrived in Selma and found our hotel, the Comfort Inn, the Justins and I went to our room to think about filling our stomachs with some food. I ran head first into the door because I wasn’t looking. Then we ordered two medium pizzas from Domino’s and a liter of apple juice as the Justins’ began working on their broadcast package and myself making phone calls, sending texts, and emails to organize what had happened over the past hours and what was in store over the next two days.

Nick Dovedot

Stanley Dearman. Photo Credit: Nick Dovedot

 

Sitting in our hotel room with the Justins’ and Jade (as those three worked on another broadcast package), Justin Perry chimed in as I read out loud, that he’s dubbed me the Human Oxford Dictionary.

I’m looking forward to breakfast.

Night and morning.

Nick

Nick Dovedot

Hardee's. Also known as Carl's Jr. for those living in California. Photo Credit: Nick Dovedot

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Revisiting History in Mississippi

 

 

<em>SJSU students in front of former Bryant's Grocery store where Till allegedly whistled at Carolyn Bryant. Derek Sijder</em>

SJSU students in front of former Bryant's Grocery store where Till allegedly whistled at Carolyn Bryant. Derek Sijder

One of the more touching stories during the civil rights movement, was the brutal murder of Emmett Till. Being one of many highly disturbing tragedies during the era, Till’s case was especially significant because it served as an accurate reflection of race relations in America during the 1960s. Millions of people have heard of Emmett Till, but very few actually get the opportunity to stand in the mist of history.

The physical journey to the funeral home where his body was sent, to the courthouse where his killers were tried then set free, to the exact grocery store where he allegedly whistled at Carolyn Bryant, and standing where his mutilated body was found was an experience like no other. As we stood at the various sites, Jerome Little, president of the Tallahatchie Board of Supervisors, and Robert E. Huddleston, the first and current African American State Representative of Mississippi, thoroughly guided us through the sites involved in the Till story. The tour was created by the Emmett Till Memorial Commission of Mississippi in 2007.

Prior to our arrival to Mississippi, I had my reservations. Not only is it the home of the Emmett Till murder, but of the murders of CORE voting rights activists Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Chaney, as well as its high involvement with the Ku Klux Klan. As we drove into Mississippi, a strange mixture of nervousness and being antsy came over me. Scenery full of thousands of barren trees due to the chilly, winter weather, single-lane dirt roads, and dilapidated buildings provoked my attempt to imagine living there 40 years ago. And therein lies the issue: I couldn’t. It was impossible for me to fathom living in such a secluded yet spaced out place, especially being born and raised in the lively and overcrowded city of San Francisco, CA.

Mississippi has an eerie feel. One who’s trees scream injustice, who’s roads are worn from weary feet and who’s wind cries for the souls lost during it once dark and gloomy past. If these walls could talk? More like if this land could talk. Ashe’.

Peace and Blessings,

Angela A. Hughes

 

 

 

 

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A True Journalist

Today was a day where I felt like I was a true Journalist. The group woke up early this morning to interview Jerry Mitchell. Mitchell is an investigative reporter for the Jackson The Clarion-Ledger. He has done a countless number of stories on the 1964 triple murder of Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney.

Having prepared for this interview the night before I expected to ask some questions and hear an exhilarating story from an inspiring journalist. Before we even got to the parking lot we got a call that would most certainly change the course of the day if not the entire trip. CNN called and asked for a news piece as soon as possible, the video and audio was done but we didn’t have any of it edited. Dr. Cheers asked Jerry Mitchell very kindly if I could edit my video somewhere in the newsroom… without hesitation Mitchell said, “sit at my desk.” I sat down and just stared for a moment, knowing I had a ton of work to do but at the same time trying to comprehend the amount of work and effort that he has accomplished behind this desk alone.

After the rest of the group interviewed Mitchell we went to a café and dispersed to work more on our material. I finished editing Justin Perry’s package and sent it off to CNN while they called for updates every three minutes. About 10 minutes after I sent it off I got a text message from a friend who was in Hawaii she said “I just saw your video on CNN.” I just sat there and didn’t know what to do or say… another text from a friend in California and then New Hampshire and then it hit me, my video was being seen across the country! I just stood up and said loudly “CNN already played our stuff!” The moment will be forever ingrained in my mind.

–Justin Allegri

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