RESISTANCE CINEMA Presents “NO EASY WALK” Episode 4 from EYES ON THE PRIZE Produced by BLACKSIDE, created and executive produced by HENRY HAMPTON, narrated by JULIAN BOND (1987, 55 min)
WHEN: Sunday January 15th 1;15 pm
WHERE: Community Church NY Gallery Room, 28 East 35th st. btwn Park & Madison Aves.
ADMISSION: Free, donations appreciated
SPECIAL GUEST: VINIE BURROWS
Welcome back for the Winter 2012 season of RESISTANCE CINEMA. Our first screening falls on the birthday of one of this nation’s great heroes of social justice, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.. We have chosen an appropriate film to honor his legacy. In addition we are delighted to have a very special guest, veteran actress Vinie Burrows who will do a dramatic reading.
Eyes on the Prize is an award-winning 14-hour television series produced by Blackside and narrated by Julian Bond. It was broadcast in 1987 on PBS. The entire series covers all of the major events of the civil rights movement from 1954-1985.
The series has been hailed as more than just a historical document. Clayborne Carson, a Stanford University history professor and editor of the published papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., remarked that "it is the principal film account of the most important American social justice movement of the 20th century". Because of its extensive use of primary sources and in-depth coverage of the material, it has been adopted as a key reference and record of the civil rights movement. When Eyes on the Prize premiered in 1987, The Los Angeles Times called it "an exhaustive documentary that shouldn't be missed." The series went on to win six Emmys and numerous other awards, including an Academy Award nomination, the George Foster Peabody Award, and the top duPont-Columbia award for excellence in broadcast journalism.
Episode 4 NO EASY WALK finds us in one of the most decisive turning points of the Civil Rights movement in the U.S., the 15 months from June 1962 to September 1963. In this period, from the discouraging results of protests in Albany Georgia to “Bull” Conner’s dogs and fire hoses in the bloody victory in Birmingham Alabama, to the triumph of the March on Washington, and the horror of a church bombing killing four little girls, Martin Luther King Jr. emerges as the leading figure of the movement.
Making skillful use of archival footage and contemporary interviews we see the evolution of King’s thought as he puts into practice the philosophical concepts he studied from Gandhi and adapted to the American South. It is in this period, after being jailed in Birmingham and besieged by criticism from all quarters that King writes his famous “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”. In this masterpiece of eloquence and passion he explains what his moral vision is, where it comes from, what are its intellectual roots, and how it compels him to do what he does. With it he has turned an important corner and found his voice. The theorist has met the activist and become a dynamic unity.
However thwarted by the unyielding resistance of the system and unexpected obstacles from all sides, King manages to improvise solutions and break through to find a path and prevail. Tensions are always present, whether between SNCC and the SCLC, between black and white clergy, white liberals and radicals, or uncertainty over how the federal government will respond. But despite the enormous and complicated challenges, it is Kings simple spiritual determination that eventually becomes the most potent force and comes to define the movement.
WALK TOGETHER CHILDREN is a piece created by Vinie Burrows as a dramatic one woman show. Utilizing prose, poetry and song, it is a chronicle of the African-American experience that tells the story of raw survival after the auction block and up to present-day struggles and triumphs of Afro-descendant peoples in the US.
VINIE BURROWS began her career as a child actress on Broadway with Helen Hayes, in a production directed by Joshua Logan. Vinie appeared in the Broadway show (Having Our Say) in 1997, in productions at the award-winning Berkeley Rep (California) and Alley Theatre (Texas). Her career has encompassed roles ranging from Rosalind, Lady Macbeth, and other Shakespearean roles to a judge on Days of Our Lives. Vinie has won an impressive array of awards over the years. She graduated summa cum laude with a Masters Degree in Performance Studies at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, along the way winning the Performance Studies Departmental Award (for academic year 2000). Vinie has also won the Eugene McDermott Award of the Council for the arts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (Previous winners include I.M.Pei, the architect, and Henry Moore, the sculptor.)
Vinie Burrows has been a staunch anti-war and social justice activist, who over the years has worked with numerous commissions and NGOs at the United Nations, and is currently a member of the “Grannies For Peace”.