Prom Night in Mississippi Proms are known for having high levels of high school drama, but for the 2008 Prom for Charleston High School of Charleston, Mississippi, the drama engulfed the entire town. Earlier in the school year, actor Morgan Freeman made an offer to the Senior Class: he would pay for their entire prom if they would end the school’s tradition of separate events for white students and black students and have the first racially integrated prom in Charleston history.

The documentary Prom Night in Mississippi follows a group of Charleston High School students in 2008 as they deal with the town’s racial tension, choose their prom dresses, fight with fellow students, find dates, and explain their decisions for why they will or will not attend the parents-sponsored “white-only” prom. Although witnessing the town’s undercurrent of racial prejudice that supported the continued segregation of the school’s prom (the school itself was integrated in 1970) is disheartening, the students’ honesty and their determination enjoy their prom is challenging and uplifting.

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