How did Tom Bradley — the first black major elected in a major U.S. city with a white majority — unite a divided community through a unique multi-racial coalition? And how did that help usher in police reform and transform American politics?
The little known story of Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley is told in “Bridging the Divide,” beginning with his 1973 election — a remarkable political first in the history of race and politics in America.
The film also examines the creations creation of Bradley’s extraordinary multi-racial coalition of blacks, 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 delves into the complexities and contradictions of Bradley’s career as a bridge builder.
Through never-before-seen historical footage and photographs, the documentary raises important issues about race, identity and coalitions that are especially relevant during our nation’s current struggles against racial injustice and police brutality.
Explore these themes and discuss their solutions in a special, free screening of “Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race” held in partnership with the Greater Little Rock Chapter of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators Thursday, Feb. 1, at 6 p.m. in the Kendall Center on the campus of Philander Smith College.
A reception will precede the film at 5 p.m., and a panel discussion will follow the film at 7 p.m.
Panelists include: Rita Bailey, state district court judge (Pulaski County); state Rep. Vivian Flowers (District 17); Sgt. Rodney Lewis, president of the Little Rock Chapter of the Black Police Officers Association; and Tristan Wilkerson, interim executive director of the Social Justice Institute at Philander Smith College. Veteran journalist Steve Barnes will moderate.
Local partners include: the Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus, the Greater Little Rock Chapter of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, the City of Little Rock, the Little Rock Chapter of the Black Police Officers Association and Philander Smith College.
Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018
“Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race” Reception, Screening and Panel Discussion
900 W. Daisy L. Gatson Bates Dr., Little Rock
Reception: 5 p.m.
Screening: 6 p.m.
Panel discussion: 7 p.m.