Finding Bookers Place
In 1965 a producer for NBC news went to Mississippi to film a documentary about how the state was dealing with the civil rights movement and segregation.
At the time the producer did not plan to interview any blacks, knowing that doing so could place them in danger, instead he planned to interview whites and present a view of how they saw the world. But along the way he was told he should interview a local black man who worked as a waiter at a nearby restaurant. The waiter was known for the special way he presented the menu to customers
The producer went and started to film the man, who did present the menu, but then something unexpected happened.
The waiter finished his presentation and then began talking openly about what it was like to be a black man in 1965 Mississippi. The presentation (seen in the video below) was powerful but it cost the waiter his job and landed him in the hospital after a brutal beating. Several years later he was murdered.
More than 40 years later MSNBC is presenting the story of that documentary and the impact it had on the family of the waiter and the producer, and how it reflects the progress of civil rights in the country today.
It will be aired tonight, July 15th at 7pm and looks to be well worth watching.
Here is a Youtube clip of the segment with the waiter, Booker Wright (with a language warning, the waiter uses the same words some of his customers did).
Here is the full documentary from 1965