Filmmaker will discuss new book ‘True South’ and the making of ‘Eyes on the Prize’

Washington University Libraries are pleased to announce a talk with filmmaker Jon Else at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at the Missouri History Museum’s Lee Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Else will discuss his new book, “True South: Henry Hampton and ‘Eyes on the Prize,’ the Landmark Television Series That Reframed the Civil Rights Movement.” The event will also include a screening of an “Eyes on the Prize” episode, a discussion of Else’s time as a producer for the series, and a look at previously unavailable excerpts of “Eyes on the Prize” material available in Washington University Libraries’ Film & Media Archive. Copies of “True South” will be available for purchase.

The event is co-sponsored by Washington University Libraries, the Missouri History Museum and Cinema St. Louis as part of the Henry Hampton Film Series.

In “True South” Else tells about the life of Hampton, a Washington University graduate who grew up in segregated St. Louis in the ’40s and ’50s. Hampton, active in the civil rights movement in 1960s, became committed to capturing the history of that time. With the goal to document the African-American experience, he established the film company Blackside Inc. in 1968, where Else would eventually work with him on “Eyes on the Prize.” In “True South,” he shares the challenges, frustrations and triumphs of making the series, which helped pave the way for future social justice documentaries.

In the book, Else also recounts his involvement in the civil rights movement, including his voter registration work in Mississippi in 1963 and 1964 and his time on the staff of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Atlanta and in Selma, Ala., in 1965.

Else has produced and directed many award-winning documentaries, including “The Day After Trinity” and “Cadillac Desert.” He has been nominated for two Academy Awards, has won four Emmys and is the winner of a MacArthur Fellowship. He is Professor and North Gate Chair in Journalism at the University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. V

Via Press Release


About the Film & Media Archive

A unit of Washington University Libraries, the Film & Media Archive collects, preserves, and makes accessible documentary film and other media that chronicle political and social injustice of the 20th century and beyond. The Archive also preserves the documentary filmmaking process in its entirety through the acquisition of production elements and supporting materials, such as original filmed interviews and outtakes, rare stock footage, photographs, producers’ research and notes, treatments, scripts, storyboards, and correspondence.

The Archive was established in 2001 after the Libraries acquired the collections of Blackside Inc., the largest African-American-owned film production company of its day.