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Son of the South

Bob Zellner, the grandson of a Klansman, comes of age in the Deep South and eventually joins the Civil Rights Movement.

Son of the South storyline

Chaka Forman plays his own father, James Forman Sr., in this movie. James Forman Sr. was a prominent African American leader in the American Civil Rights movement during the 1960s. As executive secretary of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee for much of the 1960s, he played an essential role in many of the seminal events of the Civil Rights movement, including the freedom rides, the Birmingham movement, and the Selma-to-Montgomery marches. Chaka Forman’s mother, Constancia “Dinky” Romilly, a white woman, was a daughter of Jessica Mitford (one of the aristocratic Mitford Sisters, several of whom became famous–or infamous–in their native England for their divergent political loyalties). Unlike her sisters Diana and Unity (who declared their loyalty to Nazism) Jessica was a devoted leftist who at one time was a Communist Party member. She was also close friends with Virginia and Clifford Durr (portrayed in this movie by Julia Ormond and Greg Thornton) and was in fact living with the Durrs when she gave birth to Constancia; Virginia Durr’s autobiography, “Outside the Magic Circle: The Autobiography of Virginia Foster Durr,” contains a photograph of Chaka Forman’s mother, Constancia, as babysitting on the lap of her mother, Jessica.