Jackson, Mississippi: Black Poverty on the Rise (02:59)
Jackson, MS, is plagued with poverty, drugs, and lingering racism. Archival film footage shows the 1962 events surrounding James Meredith's entry into "Ole Miss." Despite a black mayor and black newspaper editor, thousands of black people fall farther behind.
Integration and Economic Opportunity (03:32)
One result of forced integration of schools in Jackson, MS, was an exodus of white people from areas that had previously only black schools--taking the economic base with them. Integration without economic opportunity was not enough.
Loss of Black Role Models (02:47)
As successful blacks moved out of inner city neighborhoods, the community lost its most powerful role models. Fifty years after the dawn of the Civil Rights movement, a Jackson, MS, high school is in many ways worse off than before.
Fatherless Black Families (04:40)
Lanier High School is situated in a black "ghetto." The principal is black and so is the mayor of Jackson, who regularly drives through the neighborhood. Most children grow up without fathers at home.
Teenage Pregnancies in Jackson, MS (03:16)
At all-black Lanier High School in Jackson, MS, a higher than average number of young teens have 1,2, or 3 babies. Girls share their opinions about why this is the case.
Black Males in High School (03:04)
A talented black basketball player at Lanier HS, raised without a father, has trouble with male authority. He considers dropping out of school. One-third of black high school dropouts are incarcerated.
Proactive Jackson Mayor and Inspirational Story of Commitment (03:18)
The black mayor of Jackson, MS, makes "neighborhood sweeps" in low-income neighborhoods. One young woman's success story is an inspiration to her sisters, whom she raised. The cycle of hopelessness can be broken.
After-School Opportunity for Black Youths (02:23)
A black youth minister offers an after-school program that provides young men with a surrogate family for a few hours a day. Some teens fight extraordinary odds to make successes out of themselves. Others give up an go onto the streets.
Parental Failure/Child Failure (03:21)
Many parents do not accept responsibility for their behavior of for their children. Children are often raised by grandparents, siblings, or by street gang members. A teen drops out of school to care for her son. A teen boy spirals into failure after failure.
Influence of Hip-Hop on Motivation in Black Teens (03:38)
Black heroes have change from Martin Luther King, Jr. to hip-hop superstars. The hip-hop influence is strong among black teens who have little else to call their own. Some black teens are offended by hip-hop.
Racist Father/Tolerant Daughter (02:41)
In 1962, Mississippi's governor, Ross Barnett, opposed James Meredith's enrollment at "Ole Miss." His daughter grew up to become a teacher at Lanier High School and prominent supporter of integration. She shares her story with Tom Brokaw.
Blacks Discuss Racism (03:16)
Three generations of a black family in Jackson, MI, gather to talk about racism. The older generation notes that frank discussions about racism are disappearing. Younger blacks say there are more opportunities for blacks than at any time in history.
Postlude: Follow-Up on Jackson Teens (04:01)
Teens featured in this film reach the end of the school year. There are successes and failures, and a few surprises. Several students will go to college, and one enters a program for at-risk teens.
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