You Belong to Me

Sex, Race and Murder in the South

The Ruby McCollum Story


University & Educational Institutions Classroom - $349  (includes study guide & workbook)
University screenings - $200
non-profit screenings - $125

Please contact us directly to arrange all details including speaking arrangements. Producers and Director are available to travel for panel & class discussions, contact us for rates.

Study guide & workbook authored by Ruth Thompson Miller, PhD. Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Dayton Ohio, is now available. The study guide to accompany the You Belong To Me DVD purchase from a University or College is now completed and ready to use. Ruth Thompson-Miller PhD.  who is also featured in the film,  specializes on race and ethnicity, Jim Crow, mental health, human rights and civil rights. For purchase, please contact us directly through Vision Films Inc. 

YBTM Director John Cork While certain aspects of the Ruby McCollum case can’t be known, we were able to find out so much more than anyone who came before. More importantly, we expose the sexual double-standard of the segregated South, and for the first time, we let Ruby’s words be heard. This was a woman whose testimony was ignored by the local paper, whose words and story were twisted by others who wrote about the case. In this documentary, we allow her to tell her own story. One of the reasons we remember Ruby is because her story reflected a reality for so many families of color throughout the South and the nation.

Dr. Kenneth B. Nunn, University of Florida Levin College of Law "You Belong to Me is a powerful film that provides a stark examination of the hidden practice of "paramour rights" in the Jim Crow South. Through the telling of the story of Ruby McCollum, the film exposes a now forgotten history that challenges our notions of race, class, gender and power.  This film is a "personal documentary" and the filmmakers' commitment to excavating a truth that was buried by the courts, the media, racial privilege and time shines through. "You Belong to Me" is a must see for activists, students, scholars and citizens, indeed anyone who cares about justice."

Dr. Paul Ortiz, Director of Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, University of Florida  “You Belong To Me, is a lyrical, and courageous exposé of the deepest and darkest secrets of the Jim Crow South. Presented in the truth-telling traditions of Lillian Smith and Erskine Caldwell, “You Belong to Me,” shines a light on the ordeal of Ruby McCollum even as it demonstrates the central role that sexual exploitation played in the maintenance of white supremacy. This film has the power to open honest dialogs on the contemporary legacies of racism and inequality in our society. Destined to be a documentary film classic in southern studies.”

Dr. Churchill Roberts ,  Dr. Kenneth Nunn ,  Dr. Paul Ortiz ,  &   Producer Hilary Saltzman

Dr. Churchill RobertsDr. Kenneth NunnDr. Paul Ortiz,  &  Producer Hilary Saltzman

Rarely  does a documentary deal with every aspect of real-life human drama in the Jim Crow South as YOU BELONG TO ME does. Covering the subjects of race relations, women’s rights, law, journalism and history, this film exposes many unknown elements of what really went on in the smaller Southern townships.   This story would have been just another untold horror story had it not been for Zora Neale Hurston and William Bradford Huie writing extensively in the 1950s about Ruby McCollum.   Hurston’s articles in the Pittsburg Courier and Huie’s article in Ebony Magazine and Huie’s published book, “Ruby McCollum, Woman in the Suwannee Jail” were sensational in the 1950s, but soon forbidden reading in Florida and the South.  Ruby McCollum was silenced in the courtroom and many were threatened to speak the truth,  so the silence endured.

That is until the producers of YBTM went on a long journey to further uncover the story Hurston and Huie couldn’t get or weren’t allowed to get.   Ruby finally is given the opportunity to have her own words from the trial known and heard….at last.   Family members and the town’s residents finally speak about the story in a way that had not been told in the 1950s due to fear of repercussions by the Klu Klux Klan and the white establishment in Live Oak, Florida.   

This documentary presents extraordinary opportunities for educators to share with their students the many aspects of this complicated case on multiple levels.   African American Studies programs, Sociology programs, Psychology programs, Women’s studies programs, History departments, Journalism schools, Film schools and Law schools can develop course study or incorporate the documentary into existing programs.  

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