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The Strange Demise of Jim Crow

Events, Houston History Archives

cole001-ccThe Museum of Fine Arts, Houston will screen the film The Strange Demise of Jim Crow on Sunday, February 9th at 5pm in the Caroline Wiess Law Building.

Directed by David Berman, this 1998 film delves into the quiet inner-workings and subtle, sometimes shady, machinations of the process of desegregation of southern cities like Houston, where quiet compromise and media blackouts replaced the bombastic violence of fire hoses, police dogs, and street battles that engulfed other southern locales and burned themselves into the nation’s television screens.  Tickets may be reserved in advance for free at the MFAH website.  A panel discussion will follow the screening of the film, moderated by co-producer Thomas R. Cole.

At the University of Houston Special Collections, we are proud to make available for study the Thomas R. Cole Desegregation Papers.  Part of the Houston History Archives, the Thomas R. Cole Desegregation Papers contain the research materials that went into the making of this film.  As we have written previously, these papers are an excellent starting point for anyone interested in researching the unique path to desegregation that cities like Houston followed.  The collection contains drafts of scripts for the film, correspondence related to fundraising, and a variety of materials related to the topic of segregation as well as publicity for the film.  We invite you to review the detailed finding aid and visit us at your leisure to study these rich materials.

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