Hate Mail: Lost documentary saved

Earlier this month, we got a nod from the Dallas Morning News for our recent digitization and ongoing preservation of “Hate Mail,” a 1992 documentary on racism produced by Mark Birnbaum and Bart Weiss that has been unavailable to the wider public for most of its life.

The documentary gets its name from the spiteful missive sent to Bob Ray Sanders, a black talk radio host on an otherwise predominantly white radio station in Dallas, TX. Birnbaum and Weiss interviewed Sanders and other black community leaders in Dallas about their experiences with racism, as well as members of the Ku Klux Klan, including then-Grand Cyclops Butch Mayfield.

To celebrate the online re-release of their film, Birnbaum and Weiss sat down to discuss the genesis for the program and how they ended up interviewing members of the KKK.

Almost 25 years later, much of the documentary is still deeply relevant to our ongoing discussions about race and racism in America. You can watch that discussion, plus the full 30 minute documentary, below:


Bart Weiss is Director of the Dallas Video Festival and an Associate Professor of Film and Video at the University of Texas–Arlington. Mark Birnbaum continues to make documentaries; his most recent production is Remembering Tracy Hicks.



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