Less than a week after the 50th anniversary of the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, a civil rights leader marked another anniversary. Monday morning, Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) tweeted “ 53 years ago 53 yrs ago today I was released from Parchman Penitentiary after being arrested in Jackson for using "white" restroom.” That tweet contained Lewis’ Jackson Police Department mugshot. The photo went viral, receiving more than 20,000 retweets. Lewis told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he sent the tweet to “educate and inform people who were not even born 53 years ago.”
For 13 years, filmmakers Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson turned the cameras on their son Idris Brewster and his best friend Seun Summers as they attended one of the most prestigious private schools in New York City. The result of editing more than 500 hours of footage into 135 minutes is the documentary, "American Promise", a film that chronicles the difficulties two boys face as black males in a predominantly white institution. GPB spoke with the directors about the film and how they plan to continue the conversation around black male achievement.
The film, "Freedom Riders," recounts the 1961 crusade by daring young activists intent on ending segregated travel on interstate buses in the Deep South. The American Experience film, set to air May 16 on PBS, has been generating buzz on the film festival circuit ever since its showing at Sundance in January.