Wednesday, January 25, 2017, 7:00 p.m., City Lights Booksellers, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco
in conversation with Spencer Nakasako and Orlando Bagwell
discussing his new book
True South: Henry Hampton and "Eyes on the Prize," the Landmark Television Series That Reframed the Civil Rights Movement
from Viking Press
The inside story of one of the most important and influential TV shows in history.
Henry Hampton's 1987 landmark multipart television series, Eyes on the Prize, an eloquent, plainspoken chronicle of the civil rights movement, is now the classic narrative of that history. Before Hampton, the movement's history had been written or filmed by whites and weighted heavily toward Dr. King's telegenic leadership. Eyes told the story from the point of view of ordinary people inside the civil rights movement—the "fan ladies" and "ordinary world parishioners," mostly African American. Hampton shifted the focus from victimization to strength, from white saviors to black courage. He recovered and permanently fixed the images we now all remember (but had been lost at the time)—Selma and Montgomery, pickets and fire hoses, ballot boxes and mass meetings.
Jon Else has produced and directed many award-winning documentaries, including The Day After Trinity and Cadillac Desert. Else has been nominated for two Academy Awards and three Emmys, and is the winner of a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship and one Emmy, several Alfred I. DuPont and Peabody Awards, and the Sundance Special Jury Prize and Sundance Filmmaker’s Trophy. He is Professor and North Gate Chair in Journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
Spencer Nakasako is a filmmaker and faculty member in the UC Berkeley School of Journalism. He has served as a Walker Artist in residence from 2001 and 2002. He has developed a unique style of filmmaking that is inextricably intermeshed with social consciousness and community engagement. He has worked with Southeast Asian, at-risk teenagers in the San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood, teaching documentary filmmaking and video production. His films include Don Bonus (1995), Kelly Loves Tony (1998) and Refugee (2002)
Orlando Bagwell is an award-winning writer, producer and director, focusing his filmmaking on social and racial issues for the past few decades. His works include the PBS TV series "Eyes on the Prize," about the Civil Rights movement, and “Citizen King,” a portrait of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the last five years of his life. Other films of Mr. Bagwell’s include “Roots of Resistance, He is the new Director of the UC Berkeley School of Journalism. He is also the co-founder of the Ford Foundation initiative JustFilms,
What has been said about the work of Jon Else:
“No one is better suited to write this moving account of perhaps the greatest American documentary series ever made. Jon Else helped film it, and, two decades earlier, as a civil rights worker in the South, he lived through part of the history involved. He tells the story with the compassion and eloquence it deserves.”