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Two Towns of Jasper
October 10, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Two Towns of Jaspar is perhaps the most revealing film about race relations ever made. Two filmmakers, one black and one white, who grew up together in one town, co—directed a film about a horrific murder of a black man in their home town. The fundamental difference in their reactions led them to conclude that making a film about the crime would provide an illuminating window on how race is lived in America.
‘On June 7, 1998, three white men from Jasper, Texas, chained African-American James Byrd to a pick-up truck and dragged him until his body disintegrated. This powerful documentary takes you to the white and black communities as it records their separate reactions to the most vicious racially motivated murder in the last 50 years. This film provides an unprecedented opportunity to see the divisions that separate one person from another.
Post-film discussion leader: Prof. Linda Tropp of Social Psychology in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Faculty Associate in the School of Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. For more than two decades she has studied how members of different groups experience contact with each other, and how group differences in status affect cross-group relations. She has worked with national organizations on court cases relevant to racial integration and equity, on national initiatives to improve interracial relations in schools, and with nongovernmental organizations to evaluate applied programs designed to reduce racial conflict.