Filmmaker’s Name and Title:
Dr. Wilma E. Mosley Clopton, writer/producer/director
Film Name:
Elport Chess and the 1947 Lanier High School Bus Boycott
Length of film: 18:18
Genre: Documentary
In 50 words or less, what’s this film about?
Elport Chess was a World War II veteran enrolled at Lanier High School in 1947.  When he refused to give up his seat for a white passenger who boarded the bus designated for transporting “colored” students to school. Elport was taken off the bus and arrested.  This led to the Lanier Bus Boycott of 1947. Elport Chess did not feel it was right that he should have to come back home after fighting in WWII and be told to move to the back of the bus. He had fought a war for these same rights for others; now, he did not understand why he could he not have the same rights at home so, he refused to move. Elport Chess and the Lanier High School Bus Boycott of 1947 relives this moment in time as told through the eyes of those who were there.
What inspired you to make this film?
In 2009, I received a call from Mrs. Grace Sweet, inviting me to the invited to the annual Christmas Luncheon held by the Lanier Class of 1948. She told me the story of Elport Chess. It was intriguing! His classmates, most of whom were in their mid to late 80s, wanted to share with me the story of their classmate, Elport Chess. They believed that his legacy should be honored; people should know of his bravery. He was the impetus for an untold story of a bus boycott which occurred in Mississippi eight years before Rosa Parks. This story was one which had to be told. I am honored that they entrusted it to me.
Name your Top 3 Films of All Time:
Avatar; can't get beyond this one...
What’s your connection to Mississippi?  (If you don’t have one, why did you apply to a Mississippi festival?)
I am Mississippi born and bread; the only daughter of the Drs. Charles C. and Jessie B. Mosley.