Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
We may earn a commission from links on this page

Lillian Smith: Breaking the Silence



Patricia Bell-ScottJulia BrockBrenda BynumNancy Smith FichterMargaret Rose GladneyLonnie KingSusan MontgomeryEmily PierceDiane RobertsGeorge Yancy


Henry Jacobs, Hal Jacobs



Few people remember writer/activist Lillian Smith today. She was a tireless advocate of social justice. One of the first white southern authors to speak out publicly against the evils of segregation. A progressive educator of young southern girls in a repressive era. A woman involved in a long-term same-sex partnership. A cancer survivor. Today she is more relevant as ever as we look for role models who demonstrate lifelong courage in the face of almost overwhelming forces. This documentary will explore her legacy and the life journey that led to her awakening, from her childhood experiences in a small southern town, to her years of living abroad in China, to directing a girls' summer camp in North Carolina. By the time she published a bestselling novel in 1944, her moral compass was finely tuned to the changes needed in the southern U.S., and she spent the next two decades confronting the ugly institution of segregation, saying that it harmed whites as much as blacks. In the decade before her death she wrote about the need for freedom and respect for everyone everywhere.