Screening at The Lyric Theater in Harrison, Arkansas, Friday, September 9th
“Mississippi Innocence,” the award-winning documentary that traces the combined thirty year ordeal of Levon Brooks and Kennedy Brewer, two Mississippi men convicted of crimes that they did not commit, will screen at The Lyric Theater at 7 p.m. in Harrison, Ark. Sept. 9 as part of the Ozark Art Council fall arts series.
James Loewen writes of Harrison in his book, “Sundown Towns” (New Press, 2005). He writes that in 1905, “a white mob stormed the jail, carried several black prisoners outside the town, whipped them and ordered them to leave. The rioters then swept through Harrison’s black neighborhood, tying men to trees and whipping them, burning several homes and warning all African Americans to leave that night. Most fled without any belongings.” The violence spread and black residents in neighboring communities fled as well. In the 1900 Census, the black community in Harrison numbered 115 people in a town of 1,500. Less than ten years later, that community was gone. Today, Harrison is home to just over 12,000 residents, more than 97 percent of them white. Fewer than 40 African Americans live in Boone County, out of a total population of 34,000. Many in Harrison have made efforts at racial reconciliation. Nevertheless, the Harrison-based Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is the largest and most active Klan unit operating in the U.S.
The University’s Law School site is here: http://www.law.olemiss.edu/