“Change in the Wind,” a documentary about author Margaret Mitchell’s secret efforts to help blacks in the pre-Civil Rights era airs Sunday at 4 p.m. on WSB-TV (Channel 2). The documentary is largely based on the Margaret Mitchell collection in the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The documentary also uses footage from the Andrew Avery Home Movie Collection in the Walter J. Brown Media Archives.
Mary Ellen Brooks, director emerita of Hargrett, assisted documentary director CB Hackworth with the research in previously unexplored correspondence.
From the Athens Banner-Herald article:
Brooks notes the affection between Mitchell and blacks to whom she became close. Included in the correspondence is a telegraph in Mitchell’s handwriting to be sent to Hattie McDaniel, who played “Mammy” in “Gone with the Wind,” at 5 a.m. the day after the premiere telling her that Atlanta Mayor William B. Hartsfield called for a “big round of applause” for McDaniel. Their correspondence continued for years.
“The (entire collection of) letters shed a lot of light, especially when you read what (blacks) have to say,” Brooks said. “It showed how they viewed whites. So at last we have two sides.”