LaLee’s Kin Movie 2001

“LaLee’s Kin: The Legacy of Cotton” is a 2001 documentary film directed by Deborah Dickson, Susan Froemke, and Albert Maysles. This compelling documentary sheds light on the issues of poverty, education, and inequality in the United States, particularly within the context of the Mississippi Delta.

The Story

“LaLee’s Kin” follows the life of LaLee Wallace, a determined and resilient African American woman living in the impoverished Mississippi Delta region. LaLee’s story is intertwined with that of her family and her community, where cotton farming has been a way of life for generations. The documentary explores the challenges faced by LaLee’s family and their neighbors, including inadequate education, limited economic opportunities, and a cycle of poverty that persists despite their hard work.

Educational Inequity

One of the central themes of the documentary is educational inequity. “LaLee’s Kin” highlights the disparities in educational resources and opportunities available to children in the Mississippi Delta compared to those in more affluent areas. The film exposes the struggles of students like LaLee’s grandchildren who are caught in a system that fails to provide them with the tools they need to succeed.

Personal Stories

The documentary uses personal stories to bring the issues to life. Viewers get to know LaLee and her family on a deeply personal level, understanding their aspirations, challenges, and the impact of limited educational access on their lives. Through their stories, the film humanizes the larger issue of educational inequality.

Community Resilience

“LaLee’s Kin” also highlights the resilience and strength of the community. Despite facing significant obstacles, the people of the Mississippi Delta support one another and work collectively to improve their circumstances. The film showcases their determination to break the cycle of poverty and provide better opportunities for the next generation.

Social Commentary

Beyond its portrayal of individual stories, the documentary serves as a social commentary on systemic issues. It raises questions about the responsibility of society and policymakers in addressing educational disparities and breaking the cycle of poverty.


“LaLee’s Kin: The Legacy of Cotton” is a powerful and thought-provoking documentary that delves into the complex issues of education, poverty, and inequality in the Mississippi Delta. It offers a poignant examination of the challenges faced by marginalized communities and calls attention to the urgent need for systemic change. If you’re interested in documentaries that address social issues and the resilience of individuals and communities in the face of adversity, “LaLee’s Kin” is a compelling and insightful choice.

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