Prom Night in Mississippi (2009)


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Movie Info

While the United States Supreme Court declared that segregated schools were unconstitutional in 1954, change came slowly to Charleston, Mississippi. Once a haven for the Ku Klux Klan, Charleston maintained segregated public schools until well into the 1970's, and even then one major event in the school year was still divided along racial lines. Charleston's high school had separate Senior Proms for white and African-American students, and the annual events made news in 1997 when actor Morgan … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Paul Saltzman
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 15, 2009
New Video


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Critic Reviews for Prom Night in Mississippi

All Critics (4) | Top Critics (2)

Mainly the film is obliged to circle around the absent centre of the conflict, the dark heart of the very issue under scrutiny. Consequently, like a skinny boy in an oversized tux, it has to pad.

Full Review… | November 13, 2009
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 23, 2012
Top Critic

Inspiring docu tackles a tough topic: racism.

Full Review… | December 19, 2010
Common Sense Media

Despite the subject matter, Prom Night In Mississippi is surprisingly buoyant with the hope and joy of these kids.

Full Review… | November 13, 2009
Jam! Movies

Audience Reviews for Prom Night in Mississippi


A very inspirational film about two opposite races in a controversy over the white only prom and the black only prom. It's very sad to see these things still going on nowadays, because I thought this was far over and done by now, but I was very wrong. Prom Night In Mississippi is a beautiful documentary showing off the world/culture and how they are still able to interact with one another without be scared of the opposite race! Wonderful film!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer


This was the final film I saw at the Cleveland International Film Fest. It's a good documentary. It doesn't have the best video quality throughout, since it is a lot of home video diary footage from the high school students involved, but because of the subject, the message of the movie, I thought it was excellent. This was filmed in 2008 and is about the Charleston Mississippi high school senior prom of that year. Up until 2007, 2007!, 2007?!, this town was still having segregated proms for the black and white students. Their school is integrated, the students have classes with each other all during the day, the majority of the students are black, and yet the school board and parents continued the outdated tradition of separate dances. Morgan Freeman offers to pay for the prom if the school will plan one integrated event. He had offered the same thing a few years back and the idea was refused. But this year the senior class and the principal are in favor of an integrated prom. The movie is about the senior students, black and white, who take a stand in being on the prom planning committee. They share what they've experienced as far as school administration struggles with racism and parents' attitudes and general town atmosphere dealing with racism. Some parents of white students still plan their own party and don't allow black students or the film crew to attend. Some white students still do not attend the integrated prom, but many do and it is a successful fun event for the students to be proud of. The personalities of several students stood out as they let the cameras in their lives that year.

Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer


A wonderful film detailing the little known practices of a Mississippi town that has traditionally held black and white proms financed by local parents. Morgan Freeman, a citizen of the town, agrees to pay for a mixed prom to end the backward practice. What becomes quite clear is that students attending the prom are far more intelligent than their parents. Paul Saltzman however wastes too much time in his film showing us far too much of the prom itself. That wasn't the most interesting part of the saga Paul.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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