Pin It

Monday, February 15, 2010

Blood Done Sign My Name showcases activist’s legacy

click to enlarge CLASS ACT: Nate Parker (second from left) as Ben Chavis, high school teacher and Civil Rights activist
  • CLASS ACT: Nate Parker (second from left) as Ben Chavis, high school teacher and Civil Rights activist

In 1970, the murder of African-American Henry Marrow on the streets of Oxford, N.C., tragically evoked the brutal deaths of Emmett Till and others in the Jim Crow South. The fallout of the Marrow killing, and the acquittal of accused killers Robert and Larry Teel, proved unexpectedly explosive. Black citizens, including many Vietnam veterans, marched, rioted and in some cases, committed acts of arson that cost an estimated $1 million in property damage in the tobacco town.

Oxford native, budding Civil Rights activist and future NAACP President Benjamin Chavis recalls his hometown protests as unprecedented. "There had been a lot of riots in the late 1960s, but not in the South. The riots were in the urban Northeast and Midwest, and on the West Coast. And most of the riots had been in urban areas. Who ever heard of a rural riot?" Chavis says.

The new film Blood Done Sign My Name sheds light on a neglected episode from the Southern Civil Rights era, dramatizing the Marrow case and the contributions of Chavis and others as crusaders for equal justice. Based on the nonfiction book by Tim Tyson, Blood Done Sign My Name primarily follows the point of view of the author's father, liberal Methodist minister Vernon Tyson (Rick Schroder) and Chavis (Nate Parker), at the time a young schoolteacher and restaurateur. Chavis praises the film's accuracy, but though Blood Done Sign My Name skirts the pitfalls of most films about the Civil Rights era, it slips into new ones.

Continue Reading "Blood Done Sign My Name showcases activist’s legacy"

(Photo courtesy Paladin)

Tags: , , ,

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Fresh Loaf

More by Curt Holman

11/20/2014

Search Events

Search Fresh Loaf

Recent Comments

© 2014 Creative Loafing Atlanta
Powered by Foundation