Two Towns of Jasper

Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award 2002


In 1998, when three white men in Jasper, Texas, took it into their heads to drag a black man, James Byrd Jr., behind a truck until he was ultimately decapitated, the resulting murder case made national headlines. But Two Towns of Jasper suggests that perhaps the real defendant in Byrd’s murder should have been Jasper, the town, and its two separate communities, which are divided along racial lines. Directors Whitney Dow and Marco Williams went to Jasper with two crews—one black, one white—to get at the truth of what life in Jasper is all about. The resulting testimonies, from black residents as told to the black crew and white residents as told to the white crew, indict the town’s inhabitants as possible accomplices to Byrd’s murder. Two Towns of Jasper causes viewers to examine their own racial prejudices and politics, and raises the question, “Could this happen where I live?”  NBB


Whitney Dow, Marco Williams


Whitney Dow, Marco Williams, Jennifer Latham, Steven Miller

Release Year


Festival Year



United States

Run Time

90 minutes