Civil rights movements - Mississippi - Natchez - History - 20th century
Deacons for Defense and Justice
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party
Natchez (Miss.) - Race relations
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
The Ed Pincus collection consists of approximately 52 hours of 16mm black and white film footage used to create two civil rights era documentaries, Black Natchez and Panola. Filmmakers Ed Pincus and David Neuman shot the footage in Natchez, Mississippi, between June and September 1965. In 1967, they returned to Natchez and shot 10 additional hours of film for a planned sequel to Black Natchez, which was never produced. The films focus on the lives of ordinary people with unedited coverage of public and private civil rights organizational meetings, street demonstrations, and contests of power between young militants and the old guard, as well as secret meetings of African American self-defense organizations and interaction among the Black community.
Black Natchez (1967, 62 min.) was shot the week following the murder of Wharlest Jackson, the treasurer of the Natchez branch of the NAACP. Jackson had been working in the Armstrong Tire and Rubber Plant, and had recently been promoted to a position that had been previously held by white workers. On the evening of February 27, 1965, a bomb detonated in Jackson’s pickup truck and killed him. He had received threats at the plant, and the incident highlighted the continued presence of the Ku Klux Klan in Natchez. In the week that followed, the African American community, along with local and national civil rights activists, gathered to address the problem. What Pincus captured were the protest marches, community meetings, and general public sentiment following Jackson’s death. The rolls of film he shot are genuine, often candid, portrayals of a city at a time of turmoil. At times, Pincus and his partner, David Neuman, turn the camera on an individual and interview him. Everyone from a prominent civil rights leader like Charles Evers to the average man in the street is asked to express his or her thoughts and feelings about the racial tensions and violence in the city. The film also chronicles the tensions between the NAACP and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, both of which were working in Natchez. Panola (1970, 21 min.) focuses on the life of an African American man living in Natchez, Mississippi, at the height of the civil rights movement. He discusses his living and working conditions, and tries to make sense of the violence and non-violence efforts to break down segregation.
A summary of contents of the collection is as follows:
Black Natchez – one Digital Betacam Master, four 16mm B&W fine grain positive image reels, 87 16mm B&W negative image reels (87), 138 16mm B&W positive image reels, 159 16mm separate magnetic soundtrack reels, four 16mm separate optical soundtrack reels, and 217 ¼” audiotape reels.
Panola – one Digital Betacam Master, one 16mm B&W fine grain positive image reel, three 16mm B&W negative image reels, 34 16mm B&W positive image reels, 27 16mm separate magnetic soundtrack reels, and one ¼” audiotape reel.
Black Natchez Sequel – nine 16mm B&W negative image reels, 19 16mm B&W positive image reels, and 41 16mm separate magnetic soundtrack reels.
Summaries of the film reels for the sequel to Black Natchez can be found at http://www.amistadresearchcenter.org/pdfs/Archon/Pincus_Film_Collection_BlackNatchezSequel_summaries.pdf
Inventory to the Ed Pincus collection appended to this finding aid.