Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

PBS SOCAL And OUR L.A. Present BRIDGING THE DIVIDE: TOM BRADLEY AND THE POLITICS OF RACE

The encore presentation of the award-winning documentary is being released during another historic Los Angeles mayoral race occurring now.

PBS SOCAL And OUR L.A. Present BRIDGING THE DIVIDE: TOM BRADLEY AND THE POLITICS OF RACE

"Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race" reveals the life and legacy of the first African American mayor elected in a major American city, with an overwhelmingly white majority, and will be broadcast on PBS SoCal on Thursday, October 6 at 8:30 p.m., Our L.A. announced today.

The encore presentation of the award-winning documentary is being released during another historic Los Angeles mayoral race occurring now. It is also available on PBS.org, and on PBS and World Channel's Saturday Playlist Initiative on race.

"Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race" tells the little-known story of Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley whose 1973 election was a remarkable political first in the history of race and politics in America. The documentary raises important issues about race, identity, and coalitions, and is especially relevant at this time when the nation is still at a tipping point in the struggle against racial injustice and police brutality.

Featuring never-before-seen historical footage and photographs, "Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race" examines the creation of 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.

Produced by Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Lyn Goldfarb and multiple 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: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race" 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.

"We are honored to return to PBS SoCal, during a mayor's race with many parallels to Tom Bradley's breakthrough campaign," says Lyn Goldfarb, the documentary's director, writer, and producer. "We believe in the power of storytelling and the value of our shared history. Tom Bradley's story is part of a critically important narrative for the City of Los Angeles and the nation in how he transformed American politics by bridging racial and ethnic divides."

"Remarkably, Tom Bradley's story is still not being taught in our schools, and our history books often exclude his significance in the national political landscape," remarks Alison Sotomayor, the documentary's producer, writer, and research director. "'Bridging the Divide' will provide a unique, historical perspective to illuminate our understanding of race and multi-ethnic coalition building in America. The story of Tom Bradley, no doubt, will encourage thoughtful reflection and conversation that will deepen our awareness of our lives and our world."

"Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race" is streaming on Kanopy.com for free with a library card thanks to the support of participating libraries, colleges, and universities.

The documentary is also available on pbs.org. The website, https://www.mayortombradley.com/, provides an extensive look at Tom Bradley's life and legacy.

"Bridging the Divide" Festivals & Awards: Grand Prize, Best Documentary Feature, Golden State Film Festival, 2019; March on Washington Film Festival, 2017; Pan African Film Festival, 2016; Los Angeles Emmy Award Nomination for Best Documentary Feature, 2016; Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival, 2015; World Premiere, Los Angeles Film Festival, 2015.


BroadwayWorld Logo Vote Now for the 2022 BroadwayWorld Los Angeles Awards
Vote Nowvoting ends in



The Progressive Contemporary Dance of Gibney Company To Make Los Angeles Debut at USC Photo
Visions and Voices, USC's premiere arts and humanities program, will present the Gibney Company on Friday, January 20, 2023. The world-class, New York-based contemporary dance company's performance at historic Bovard Auditorium is free and open to the public.

El Portal Theatre Presents Three Special Shows For The Holidays! Photo
El Portal Theatre presents three special shows to celebrate the holidays onstage at the historic El Portal Theatre Debbie Reynolds Mainstage, 5269 Lankershim Blvd. in the NOHO Arts District, North Hollywood, CA.

Free CHARACTER TRANSFORMATION WORKSHOPS: With World Renown Acting Teacher Giles Foreman An Photo
Free three hour character transformation workshops with world renown acting teacher Giles Foreman will be held in person in New York City and Los Angeles. 

Langson IMCA Presents New Exhibition BRUTON SISTERS: MODERNISM IN THE MAKING Photo
UCI Jack and Shanaz Langson Institute and Museum of California Art (Langson IMCA) is presenting The Bruton Sisters: Modernism in the Making, a new exhibition organized by guest curator Wendy Van Wyck Good.


More Hot Stories For You


The Progressive Contemporary Dance of Gibney Company To Make Los Angeles Debut at USCThe Progressive Contemporary Dance of Gibney Company To Make Los Angeles Debut at USC
December 8, 2022

Visions and Voices, USC's premiere arts and humanities program, will present the Gibney Company on Friday, January 20, 2023. The world-class, New York-based contemporary dance company's performance at historic Bovard Auditorium is free and open to the public.

El Portal Theatre Presents Three Special Shows For The Holidays!El Portal Theatre Presents Three Special Shows For The Holidays!
December 7, 2022

El Portal Theatre presents three special shows to celebrate the holidays onstage at the historic El Portal Theatre Debbie Reynolds Mainstage, 5269 Lankershim Blvd. in the NOHO Arts District, North Hollywood, CA.

Free CHARACTER TRANSFORMATION WORKSHOPS: With World Renown Acting Teacher Giles Foreman Announced In NYC And LAFree CHARACTER TRANSFORMATION WORKSHOPS: With World Renown Acting Teacher Giles Foreman Announced In NYC And LA
December 7, 2022

Free three hour character transformation workshops with world renown acting teacher Giles Foreman will be held in person in New York City and Los Angeles. 

Langson IMCA Presents New Exhibition BRUTON SISTERS: MODERNISM IN THE MAKINGLangson IMCA Presents New Exhibition BRUTON SISTERS: MODERNISM IN THE MAKING
December 7, 2022

UCI Jack and Shanaz Langson Institute and Museum of California Art (Langson IMCA) is presenting The Bruton Sisters: Modernism in the Making, a new exhibition organized by guest curator Wendy Van Wyck Good.

World Premiere of ON THIS SIDE OF THE WORLD & More Announced for East West Players 57th Anniversary SeasonWorld Premiere of ON THIS SIDE OF THE WORLD & More Announced for East West Players 57th Anniversary Season
December 7, 2022

East West Players, the nation’s longest-running Asian American theater and the largest producer of Asian American theatrical works, is launching its 57th anniversary season.