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LGM Film Club, Part 83: Dallas at the Crossroads

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When I was reading Andrew Sandoval-Strausz’s book Barrio America in preparation for the podcast with him, I noticed he mentioned a 1961 film titled Dallas at the Crossroads. Narrated by Walter Cronkite, this was an attempt by the civic leaders of Dallas to tell its citizens not to protest desegregation with riots like had just happened in Little Rock and New Orleans. What’s remarkable about this film is that it does so….by never actually mentioning civil rights or showing a single Black person. Even when it is showing footage from Little Rock and New Orleans, it is only of angry white people, framed by what this anger is doing to your poor impressionable children. That’s followed by a discussion of law enforcement not putting up with violence or rioting and then a bunch of patriotic mumbo jumbo. Really a fascinating document on the so-called moderate white South in 1961.

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