Lessons from ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ relevant in schools

Updated
File Photo: Actors Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch and Brock Peters as Tom Robinson in the film 'To Kill a Mockingbird', 1962.
File Photo: Actors Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch and Brock Peters as Tom Robinson in the film 'To Kill a Mockingbird', 1962.
Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

From the Zimmerman trial to Paula Deen’s racially insensitive tirade, the questions and challenges of racial inequality, class, and gender roles depicted in Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” remain at the forefront of American life.

Filmmaker Sandra Jaffe joined msnbc’s Alex Witt to discuss her documentary Our Mockingbird Saturday. Jaffe’s documentary follows a stage production of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel performed by an all-white and an all-black school in Alabama.

Jaffe said that she, “thinks that a collaboration like this shows…that these communities want to talk about race, racism and how to move past it.”

“A lot of us, without wanting to admit it, we’re scared not only to be on the other side of towns but to meet people that are not necessarily in our community and that some people avoid,” she said.

Raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Jaffe grew up in a racially charged atmosphere. Though times have changed over the last half-century, she said that progress is very much in the “eye of the beholder,” and how groups treat non-members.

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Lessons from 'To Kill a Mockingbird' relevant in schools

Updated