Son of the South Reviews

At the height of the Civil Rights Movement, 20-year-old Andrew Goodman joined the Freedom Summer Project of 1964 to register Black Americans to vote. On his first day in Mississippi, the Ku Klux Klan murdered Andy and two other civil rights workers, James Earl Chaney and Michael Schwerner. Today, The Andrew Goodman Foundation, established by Andy’s parents to honor their son’s life, continues Andy, James, and Michael’s legacy of pursuing equal voting rights for all Americans.

Son of the South, a 2020 biopic written and directed by Barry Alexander Brown and executive produced by Spike Lee, tells the story of Bob Zellner, a white activist and ally, like Andy, who was fighting for voting rights in Alabama in the 1960s. The grandson of a Klansman, Zellner becomes active in the Civil Rights Movement and the first white field secretary of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Several members of the Andrew Goodman Network viewed the film and provided the following reviews:

“I have known Bob Zellner for decades. Son of the South captures Zellner’s deep American values that all people are created equal, an unusual belief for a white Southerner of the 1950s-1960s, who was also willing to put his life on the line to live those values. Everyone should see this movie to remember that lots of blood has been shed to make sure we have a working democracy.”

David Goodman, Chairman of the Board of Directors, The Andrew Goodman Foundation

“Son of the South is critical viewing for all Americans, especially for white allies. Zellner’s story is one of sacrifice, rooted in a powerful and optimistic vision of what America should be. Following the lead of Black organizers, Zellner chooses the path of justice and civil rights activism over a life of comfort and security. Along the way, he forms new relationships and loses old ones that he thought would last forever. Son of the South illustrates that freedom is never given but must be won by those willing to speak truth to power.”

Usjid Hameed, 2018-2019 Andrew Goodman Puffin Democracy Fellow

“We continue to confront active and deeply destructive systemic racism. Bob Zellner’s story is that of a young man moving beyond “not being racist” to become actively anti-racist. To do so requires intellectual and emotional growth only possible if we as white allies are open to listening, learning, and changing our own behaviors. Bob Zellner is an inspirational son of the south, a call to leave the sidelines and enter the ongoing fight for a more just society.” 

Anya Gandy, Andrew Goodman Alumna

To watch Son of the South, check theaters near you or follow @sonofthesouthfilm on Instagram to find updates on the film and how to stream at home.