An informative series of 40 interstitials on the Freedom Riders has won Mississippi Public Broadcasting and its Assistant Director of Production Edie Greene a 2012 Public Humanities Award from the Mississippi Humanities Council, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, for preserving the state's culture. The 30-second interstitials tell personal pieces of the larger story of the Freedom Rides, the 1961 civil-rights protest that challenged segregation in the deep South. The bus journeys culminated in Jackson, Miss., where hundreds of the activists were jailed.
Greene told Current that initially MPB was considering producing a film, but soon favored the interstitial approach. "Basically, in an age of Tweets, we micro-messaged a documentary," she said. "By doing this, we had the flexibility of airing each interstitial several times, we put them on our YouTube channel and we put them on radio. We are confident that we reached many, many more Mississippians with our approach."
"We deliberately went low-key in our telling of the Freedom Ride story," she added. "Instead, we let the faces of the riders and the facts of the time be both humanizing and horrifying."
The interstitial project may be viewed here. Greene will receive the Public Humanities Award at a banquet Feb. 24 at the Hilton in Jackson.