Sounds uplifting . . . but there's more to the story. Though the prom is embraced by both the school administration and the students themselves, some parents organize a separate "whites only" prom and ban their children from attending the integrated dance. The filmmakers' cameras were forbidden from the "whites only" dance, too — so those parts of the story are told through graphic novel-style segments based on the memories of students who did attend.
But despite the conflict, says HBO, "When prom night arrives, the event is a huge success, with live soul and rap music, a packed dance floor and a pre-recorded appearance on a big screen by Freeman, who cannot attend in person due to a prior acting commitment. There is a sense that history is being made, and that the students have somehow grown from being a part of the process." Did that happen? A follow-up, Prom Night in Mississippi: One Year Later, is available OnDemand and revisits the school this Spring, telling the story of the second integrated prom — held alongside another "whites only" dance.
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