The Nine O'clock Whistle
For years on Saturday night, white authorities in Enfield, N.C. blew a siren, warning Blacks to clear the downtown streets. This curfew was one of many demeaning practices used to keep the Black population separate and unequal. One fateful night, three days after the March on Washington, hundreds of Blacks on the streets of downtown Enfield refused to heed the blowing of the nine o’clock whistle. The Nine O'clock Whistle tells the story of a dramatic cultural shift that rocked the segregated town of Enfield from 1963 to 1965 through the narratives of Willa Cofield, her former students, and current residents of the town. The video documents the racial indignities, segregation practices, and labor exploitation of the time. The story offers a supreme example of how the civil rights grapevine grew from one small act of resistance in Enfield to envelope an entire region. The documentary brings hope, spirit and encouragement to those struggling to overcome entrenched, powerful, and oppressive forces.