Posted by William Nunnelley on 2011-10-14

Mississippi ReMixed, a one-hour documentary film that explores the history of segregation in Mississippi, will be shown during the 21st national conference of the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts at Samford University Oct. 21-23.

            The conference theme of “Reconciliation in History, Literature, and Music" will explore how race and religion come together in the process of reconciliation.

            Mississippi ReMixed tells the personal story of Myra Williams Ottewell’s return to her birthplace of Jackson, Miss., determined to celebrate the great racial transformations in the state since the 1960s.  She discovers that understanding race relations is far more complicated than she bargained for.

            The documentary will be shown Friday, Oct. 21, at 1:30 p.m. in Samford’s Christenberry Planetarium.  The Samford Film Club also will hold a screening Thursday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. in the planetarium.  Both screenings are open to the public.

            Joel Scott Davis, a 2005 Samford graduate and music composer who became the school’s first Lilly Endowment Graduate Fellow, composed original music for the film.  Davis, who recently completed doctoral studies at Claremont Graduate University in California, is a faculty member at The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, Calif.  He will be at Samford to assist with the Lilly Conference, and will facilitate question-and-answer dialogs with the audience at both screenings. Ottewell plans to attend the Thursday evening screening.

            Ottewell and Davis’ mother, Cynthia Acee Davis, were classmates at Mississippi University for Women.  During their 40th anniversary class reunion, Davis told Ottewell about her son’s compositions, which included a work for piano that was premiered at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 2008.

            Ottewell said she already had some of the musical score recorded, but about a month later, she changed her mind and offered the scoring assignment to Davis.

            He and Ottewell reached an agreement for him to score film, even though they never met face-to-face until the documentary’s premiere in Jackson, Miss., last year.

            “It was an honor to be part of Mississippi ReMixed,” Joel Davis said. “Myra Williams Ottewell truly deserves the credit for carrying on with this project as a labor of love, on a true quest for reconciliation and justice.”



Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.