Fundraiser underway for film on brothel owner ‘Miss Nellie’

Film reel_webNATCHEZ — Three filmmakers in Natchez are launching a fundraising campaign to make a documentary about “Miss Nellie” Jackson, who ran a bordello in the Mississippi River town for decades.

The Natchez Democrat reports that Mark Brockway, Lauren Jones and Tim Givens launched the campaign yesterday on the website indiegogo.com.

Brockway said the goal is to raise $20,000 for the film “Mississippi Madam: The Story of Nellie Jackson.”

Jackson died in 1990 after a neighbor allegedly doused her in gasoline and set her afire.

Jones said the story of Jackson, a black woman who ran a brothel in a Southern town, is an important one.

Among details the documentary will explore will be Jackson’s use of money to bail Civil Rights workers out of jail in the 1960s.

Jones, who is the documentary’s producer, said she believes the story of “Miss Nellie” had been swept under the rug in Natchez.

“I got really sick and tired of hearing people bury it,” Jones said. “You talk about Natchez, and you hear about all these antebellum homes and our history, but you don’t hear about the Civil Rights actions that ‘Miss Nellie’ took.

“It wasn’t all about her business. People should know how strong she was and how tough she was. When people about Natchez, I want this to be part of they talk about.”

Givens, the documentary’s cinematographer and a graphic designer for The Natchez Democrat, said he joined the project because he, too, thought Jackson’s story needed to be told.

“It’s a story I’ve known my whole life, and it’s a story I can’t believe no one has really told yet,” Givens said.

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