With All Deliberate Speed

Timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, this documentary by Peter Gilbert traces the landmark Supreme Court case back to Farmville, Virginia, where a headstrong black teenager named Barbara Johns organized a student strike in April 1951 to protest the sorry condition of her segregated school. Her surviving classmates, now elderly men and women, gather for the camera to remember that explosive situation and lament the racial inequity that persists in rural southern schools. Gilbert would have done well to stick with these witnesses; instead his History Channel-type video presents a dutiful overview of the Brown case, thumbnail portraits of Thurgood Marshall and civil rights pioneer Vernon Johns (Barbara's uncle), and scenes of a contemporary high school teacher hectoring her students on the subject of integration. 120 min.

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