Preceding Alex Haley 's miniseries Roots , the film was one of the first films to take seriously depictions of African Americans in the plantation south. The film, like the book, also suggests a comparison between the contemporary moment of the Civil Rights Movement and the plight of African Americans at various points in history. The film, however, has some noticeable divergences from the novel. In the film the person who interviews Miss Jane is European American (played by Michael Murphy ).  There is no indication of the interviewer's race in the novel. In fact after the first couple of pages the interviewer completely falls out of the frame of the story though he continues to appear between flashbacks in the film. The film also opens with the book's final story about Jimmy coming to an almost 110-years-old Miss Jane to ask for her participation in a Civil Rights demonstration. The film appears to be a series of flashbacks that happen during this time of Jimmy's Civil Rights organizing. In the novel, Corporal Brown gives Jane her name. Originally she had been called Ticey. The Corporal exclaims that "Ticey" is a slave name but then also ironically declares "I'll call you Jane" after his own girl back in Ohio. In the film however, Corporal Brown only suggests the name "Jane" as one option in a list of potential names, so that it is Jane who says "I like 'Jane'". The movie never shows Tee Bob killing himself.
Thanks for your comments.
I have photographs of about 8 or so of St Gemma's letters and her handwriting is quite nice. It seems she always wrote in cursive in a smooth and flowing style.
I have an large photograph of one of St Gemma's letters here:
Letter of St Gemma
Click on the photograph of the letter and this will make it full size, so you can then get a good view of it.
Thanks again for your email and may God bless you and yours,
~St Gemma, pray for us!