1963
In 1963, Martin Luther King, jr. wrote his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” Medgar Evers was murdered, thousands of people took part in the March on Washington, and four little girls were killed by a bomb blast to the 16th Street Church in Birmingham.  In a small town in North Carolina, a young white girl,  hearing of these events, and constantly bombarded by talk of impending school integration, begins to notice all that is going on in the world around her and wonders why.  She develops a friendship with an African American man her own age and begins to see the world through his eyes too.  The adults around them are ambivalent, disinterested, afraid, bigoted, but, because of the determination and bravery of these young people, they begin to see the world and themselves in a different light as well.

EZRA
God knows, I'm as fair as the next man, Sara Jane.  I want everybody to have what's coming to him, fair and square.  But I'm the principal of Rutledge High School.  I have to go by the law whether I want to or not.  And if trouble starts, I'm the one who'll be standing on the schoolhouse steps trying to protect some poor colored children who may or may not even want to be there from somebody who's supposed to be the law but got a badge in one hand and a billy club in the other.  To tell you the truth, Sara Jane, it scares the hell out of me.

SARA JANE
Oh, Zeke and that pack of lawyers he runs with, you don't know what they may come up with.

EZRA
They can't top anything that Bobby Kennedy and his pack of lawyers can come up with.  It's Federal, honey.  Integration is gonna happen because the Justice Department of the United States of America says so.  And all I can imagine is Rutledge High School surrounded by Federal Marshals and the National Guard with Ezra Chandler standing in the middle of it, trying to be a man and not really sure what kind of man to be.

SARA JANE
You'll do what's right when the time comes.

EZRA
Yeah.  Maybe.  When the time comes.


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