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Mississippi’s impact on the Academy Awards as well as the arts world

February 29th, 2012

Morgan Freeman at the Governors Ball following the 84th Academy Awards on Sunday in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.

At one point during the Academy Awards presentation last week, I was taken aback by the indelible mark Mississippi and Mississippians were making on the film industry at that very moment.

Sure everyone knew about “The Help”, and wondered if the Kathryn Stockett book, then turned into a movie could pull the upset and win for Best Picture. And yes, we all were keenly aware of Octavia Spencer winning an Oscar for her role in that movie.

But, there was more — much, much more.

Our own Morgan Freeman — a winner of an Oscar for acting and a cast member of three Best Picture winners, not to mention his best movie, “Shawshank Redemption,” which is recognized as one of Top 100 movies of all time — was the leadoff hitter for the show as a presenter.

“The Muppet Movie” (remember Jim Henson) won an award, and then the academy recognized Mississippi natives James Earl Jones (that’s Darth Vader to my kids and Terrance Mann to me) and Oprah Winfrey (no description needed) with Oscars.

Their awards were part of the Governors Awards, which were launched three years ago.

With Mississippi in the midst of boosting its image among film big shots as part of a Creative Economy campaign, the state couldn’t have had a bigger and more positive night in the spotlight.

I don’t have any particular numbers to back this up, but I would suspect that Mississippi — per capita — had a bigger impact on the Academy Awards in 2012 than any other state in America.

Add that to our world-wide impact on literature as well as the music industry and there is a case to be made that Mississippi should be considered to have had the most positive historical influence on arts in America — ever.

  1. March 1st, 2012 at 23:42 | #1

    Good news. Great story. Mississippi’s Creative Economy campaign is working well!

  2. Kate Snow
    March 5th, 2012 at 21:02 | #2

    Place: Marriott, Jackson 200 East Amite Street Jackson, Mississippi 39201
    Date: March 7, 2012, Wednesday
    Time: 2:00 PM
    On the hills of the academy award winning movie The Help, Hollywood’s elite will be in town this Wednesday to sign the next block buster movie and book deal.
    Deborrah Kaye “Debbie” Allen is an American actress, dancer, choreographer, television director, television producer, and a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. She is perhaps best known for her work on the 1982 musical-drama television series Fame, where she portrayed dance teacher Lydia Grant, and served as the series’ principal choreographer. She is the younger sister of actress/singer Phylicia Rashād, and her Mega Star husband Norman Nixon was the 22nd overall pick in the 1977 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. He played for the Lakers for six successful seasons and helped them to win NBA championships in 1980 (4–2) and 1982 (4–2), both against the Philadelphia 76ers.
    They will be in Mississippi to sign a contract with James Stern, The former Inmate that Edgar Ray Killen wrote the letters of confessions to. Mississippi most controversial piece of history will now be put to a book and major motion picture, this will cover the 1964 Mississippi burning case and the largest conviction of the most notorious elusive KKK Leader in history, Prosecuted by State Attorney General Jim Hood, one that took the state 45 years to accomplish. The letters Mr. Stern has obtained are said to be the single most important documents of the civil rights era. They are already in demand to be put on display in civil rights museums across the country.
    The signing will take place before the press of Mississippi to generate excitement and support for the next big deal here. Mr. Stern documents, that’s now sit in a California Safety deposit box, will shape history. He is said to want to bring about racial reconciliation with this project.
    The Mississippi Film Office has given there stamp of approval in regards to the direction James Stern would like to see the movie and book go in, they both agree, one big block buster like this could help recondition the way the world look at this Great State, collaborates Nina Parikh of the Mississippi Film Office. She will be meeting with Debbie Allen, and Norman Nixon to deliver the film office outlook on this great honor. The film office and James Stern have already met.
    For more Information Contact:
    Racial Reconciliation, at
    (601) 502-4662 or racialreconciliation@comcast.net

  3. Really Doe
    March 12th, 2012 at 15:50 | #3

    This looks and seems to great. But….travel to the state of see how far advanced it’s become. I dare you.

    Sergeant Dillard: [Claude won’t dig, and complains that it’s too hot] You tell that lazy jigaboo the State of Mississippi ain’t interested in his meteorological assessments!
    Hoppin’ Bob: Listen up, jigaboo! State of Mississippi ain’t interested in your, your, uh-“metacological assessments”!
    Sergeant Dillard: You tell him the State of Mississippi is only interested in getting this here ditch cleared by sundown.
    Hoppin’ Bob: State of Mississippi wants this here ditch cleared by sundown. You got that, boy?!


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