1964 Civil Rights Workers' Killings Revisited in New Documentary

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    NEWSLETTERS

    It may have been 46 years ago when three civil rights workers, two of them New Yorkers, were shot and killed by members of the Ku Klux Klan.

    But their story continues to be relevant today when it comes to the topic of race in America. (Published Friday, Aug 13, 2010)

    It may have been 46 years ago when three civil rights workers, two of them New Yorkers, were shot and killed by members of the notorious Ku Klux Klan.

    But their story continues to be relevant today when it comes to the topic of race in America.

    It was June 1964. Freedom summer in Neshoba County, Mississippi.  A deadly month for Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney.

    Their crime? Registering blacks to vote. Their punishment? Death.

    Steve Schwerner can remember the day he first learned his brother Micky had been killed.

    "It bothers me on a number of levels," said Schwerner. "And personal levels that I won't go into."

    Now, with the release of a new documentary titled "Neshoba: The Price of Freedom," he's hoping the film will shed light on what happened and who was responsible.

    "We have certainly made some strides but we still have a long way to go," said Schwerner.

    For the first time in decades, you'll hear from Edgar Ray Killen, a preacher convicted of manslaughter back in 2005 for organizing the killings.

    Neshoba's producer and director, Micki Dickoff, interviewed Killen.

    "I took away from the film that we still have a lot of work to do cause this man hasn't changed one bit," said Dickoff. "And many of the people in his generation hasn't changed one bit."

    "Mississippi Burning," a major Hollywood film, did not get the full support of both Dickoff and Schwerner.

    "It misses the point that the real heroes were the black folks who fought for years and years and got themselves killed and still did what they needed to do," said Dickoff.

    Both say "Neshoba" will give moviegoers a chance to dig into the story.

    "There are still people who are not yet prosecuted who were involved," said Schwerner.

    They point to the Shirley Sherrod scandal as an example.

    "We really need to have a discussion in this country about race and we really don't," said Dickoff.

    Viewers will also be able to compare attitudes from then to now.

    The documentary will air at Cinema Village starting August 13.