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IPL Hosts a Community Screening of ‘Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race’
By Sentinel News Service
Published February 10, 2016

The Inglewood Public Library will host a free screening of “Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race” at the Gladys Waddingham Lecture Hall, 101 W. Manchester Blvd. on February 28 in Inglewood. Recently broadcast on PBS, “Bridging the Divide” tells the little-known story of Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, the first African American mayor elected in a major American city with a white majority. His 1973 election was a remarkable political first in the history of race and politics in America. In celebration of African American History Month in 2016, this documentary raises important issues about race, identity and coalitions, and is especially relevant at a time when the nation is at a tipping point in the struggle against racial injustice and police brutality.

Featuring never-before-seen historical footage and photographs, “Bridging the Divide” examines the creation of Tom Bradley’s extraordinary multi-racial coalition of African Americans, Jews, white liberals, Latinos and Asian Americans which redefined Los Angeles, transformed the national dialogue on race, and set the foundation for sustainable coalitions that encouraged the elections of minority candidates nationwide, most notably President Barack Obama. At the same time, the film examines the complexities and contradictions of Bradley’s career as a bridge builder.

A Q&A will follow the screening of “Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race” with the filmmakers, former Los Angeles City Councilman Robert C. Farrell, and other special guests.

Produced by Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Lyn Goldfarb and Emmy® Award-winning filmmaker Alison Sotomayor, “Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race” also brings into sharp focus the issues of police brutality in minority communities and the challenges of police reform, and shows how Tom Bradley, a former police officer whose political aspirations were shaped by the Watts Rebellion, could not break the cycles of poverty and despair that would ultimately spark the 1992 Los Angeles civil unrest, and mark the end of his era.

Narrated by Emmy® Award-winning actress Alfre Woodard, with an original score composed by Stephen James Taylor, “Bridging the Divide” is a human story about struggle and success, conflict and community. It is a classic, American story of determination against seemingly insurmountable odds; the story of a black man, the son of sharecroppers and grandson of a slave, who fought poverty, prejudice and bigotry to bridge racial divides. It is the story of the pressures which face our cities, the challenges of diversity, and the complexities of coalitions in a changing America.

The screening is free and open to all. Parking at the Main Library is free on Saturdays.

For more information call (310) 412-5380, e-mail publiclibrary@cityofinglewood.org, check out our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/inglewoodpubliclibrary or visit library.cityofinglewood.org.

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