Down In The Delta; MudBound Explores Racism In Post War Mississippi

Two families from different back grounds with one common interest; Mississippi farmland.

In Mudbound the Jackson’s, an African American family of sharecroppers struggle to survive. Hap Jackson, played by Rob Morgan, husband to Florence Jackson, played by Mary J. Blige recounts how previous generations of Jackson’s dedicated their lives to toiling land owned by the McAllan’s. In the end giving their blood, sweat and tears with nothing to show for it.

The plot takes a turn when Ronsel Jackson, their eldest son goes off to fight in World War II. He later returns home to find that things haven’t changed in the deep south. The Jim Crow laws remain a way of life. Like many black men that go off to fight for this country, it seems only right to return home to a country that allows them the same equal rights as the white man.

After his return he befriends a fellow comrade, Jamie McAllan, who is haunted by memories of combat and emotionally devastated. The two men though from different backgrounds form a friendship. Their friendship served as a coping mechanism.

The friendship deemed unfitting not only to the people in town, but by Jamie’s brother and father. Later in the film Jamie is forced into a situation in which he has to choose what Ronsel’s punishment should be. His punishment being that he fathered a child with a white woman.

Mudbound is a historic / drama directed by Dee Rees. The focus is on two families in the segregated Mississippi Delta just before, during and after World War II. The African-American family are poor sharecroppers. And even though the white family owns their own land, they’re still struggling. Both are willing to do whatever it takes for the survival of their families.

This film like many others will insight anger, leaving the audience in tears. The idea of being judged and punished as the towns people see fit seems unreal. But this is very real and similar incidents such as this happened not that long ago.