The documentary "Prom Night in Mississippi" premiers tonight on HBO at 9 p.m. Eastern. The film is the story of the first racially integrated high school prom in Charleston, Miss. – in 2008.
Actor Morgan Freeman, a Charleston native, agreed to pay for the prom, on one condition — that both black and white students be allowed to attend. Parents in Freeman's hometown had traditionally organized and sponsored segregated proms. Charleston High School is about 70 percent black and 30 percent white.
Interviews and video diaries are used to chronicle the event, which was met with resistance by some white parents who prohibited their children from attending and organized a separate "white only" prom.
The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program created a teacher’s guide for the documentary in partnership with HBO and director-producer Paul Saltzman.