On Monday, February 10, at 10pm, WGBY airs Independent Lens: Spies of Mississippi, the story of a secret spy agency formed during the 1950s and 60s by the state of Mississippi to preserve segregation and maintain white supremacy. Over a decade, the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission employed a network of investigators and informants, including African Americans, to help infiltrate the NAACP, CORE and SNCC.
Watch a preview:
The program tracks the commission’s hidden role in important chapters of the civil rights movement, including the integration of the University of Mississippi, the trial of Medgar Evers and the KKK murders of three civil rights workers in 1964.They were granted broad powers to investigate private citizens and organizations, keep secret files, make arrests and compel testimony.
The Independent Lens’ Community Classroom has resources to engage educators and students through film and PBS LearningMedia also has hundreds of civil rights’ resources that you can search by grade, specific subject and standards.