As is the beauty of group projects, certain questions and obstacles arose.
“Our group’s not big enough for all of our parts. Could someone from another group make a cameo appearance?”
“We need someone who speaks Spanish. Could someone help us?”
The answer to each problem was to include someone who had been excluded or to step into the shoes of a character different from oneself. A Mexican American recorded the words, “I have a dream….” A boy read the part of Rosa Parks refusing to stand. So, while each movie advertises two to three writer/producers, there was much overlap as we scripted, cast, and edited.
On the Friday before the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, we set up the projector and had a full schedule of third through fifth graders signed up to view films. First, we shared the work that summarized what we had learned about the history of discrimination in our nation. We closed with video that included youthful voices of action and commitment to change. As we left school for the three-day weekend that now held new meaning, we felt that we had appealed to the masses. We believed that each student in our audience was walking home with a better idea of the power our words, actions, and gestures have to divide or to unite.