Women of the Struggle

June 22 2023
301 Main Street Natchez Ms

NATCHEZ – A groundbreaking film will be screened Thursday, June 22, at 6 p.m. at the Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture.

“Women of the Struggle: Facing Fear in the Civil Rights Era” chronicles the lives of women who lived through tumultuous times, and what they experienced and learned.

The documentary is the culmination of years of work by Natchez producers, who also produced the award-winning documentary “The Parchman Ordeal: The Untold Story.”

“We are excited to bring this remarkable film about women who lived through the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi,” said G. Mark LaFrancis, director and executive producer. Co-producers are Robert Morgan and Darrell White. “We anticipate several women who participated in the film to be in the audience.”

“Women of the Struggle: Facing Fear in the Civil Rights Era” is being 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 the 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.”

The Parchman Ordeal chronicles the arrest of more than 150 young civil and voting rights advocates in October 1965 in Natchez. Local authorities along with the superintendent of the Mississippi State Penitentiary in Parchman, MS, arranged to bus the advocates to the prison. There, they were subjected to abuse, punishment and humiliation. Many of those taken to the prison were women and girls.

“Women of the Struggle,” however, tells a much broader story about the role of women throughout Mississippi, who became leaders in their communities and nation,” LaFrancis said. “This film uplifts the women who served behind the scenes to fight oppression, segregation, and voter suppression.”

He said, “We intend for this film to have value and interest well into the future,” LaFrancis said.