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.


Vote Now for the 2022 BroadwayWorld Los Angeles Awards
voting ends in



STAGEStheatre Presents ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE: A RADIO PLAY At The Curtis Theatre Photo
Curtis Theatre & STAGEStheatre present Joe Landry's IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE A Live Radio Play directed by Amanda DeMaio, running December 15 - 18, 2022.

Idyllwild Arts Presents A Westside Ballet Masterclass With Robyn Gardenhire On January 15 Photo
For students aged 12 to 17 years old who are interested in exploring dance, Idyllwild Arts (www.idyllwildarts.org) will present a ballet masterclass with Robyn Gardenhire, the Founder and Artistic Director of City Ballet of Los Angeles.

Pacific Opera Project Presents US Premiere Production Of ERCOLE SUL TERMODONTE Photo
Pacific Opera Project (POP) presents the US premiere production of the rare Vivaldi opera, Ercole su'l Termodonte, almost 300 years to the day from its original premiere with eight performances at The Highland Park Ebell Club from Friday, January 6, 2023 to Saturday, January 21, 2023.

The Laguna Playhouse Receives Funding from Bank of America for the Our Stories Outreach Pr Photo
Laguna Playhouse has received support from Bank of America for the Our Stories program for the third consecutive year. Bank of America has voiced its support of this mental wellness outreach program that seeks to improve the lives of local underserved youth.


More Hot Stories For You


INTO THE WOODS Broadway Production is Coming to the Ahmanson Summer 2023INTO THE WOODS Broadway Production is Coming to the Ahmanson Summer 2023
December 6, 2022

The Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Tony Award-winning triumph, “Into the Woods,” will play a series of exclusive engagements across the U.S. in 2023, including Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.

BLUES IN THE NIGHT Comes to North Coast Repertory Theatre in JanuaryBLUES IN THE NIGHT Comes to North Coast Repertory Theatre in January
December 6, 2022

According to the legendary Billie Holliday, “Blues is to jazz what yeast is to bread.” With 26 glorious, hot, torchy songs fueling BLUES IN THE NIGHT, a powerful cast of singers plumb the innermost reaches of their hearts, sharing the heartbreak and humor of life and the indomitable will to do more than survive.

Pasadena Chorale Seeks Student Composers For Its Listening To The Future ProgramPasadena Chorale Seeks Student Composers For Its Listening To The Future Program
December 5, 2022

The Pasadena Chorale has opened the application process for its student-mentor composition program – Listening to the Future, now in its seventh year. The Chorale is looking to accept Pasadena area high school students from ninth through 12th grade to enroll into its Listening to the Future program that will begin in January 2023 and run through June 2023.

Margaret Cho to Launch LIVE AND LIVID! Tour in 2023Margaret Cho to Launch LIVE AND LIVID! Tour in 2023
December 5, 2022

Margaret Cho - the five-time Grammy and Emmy nominated comedian/actress has announced she will tour the country with her brand new Live and LIVID! tour. The Live and LIVID! tour will hit theaters across North America with tickets on-sale Friday, December 9.

HOME FRONT by Warren Leight to Have West Coast Premiere at Victory Theatre in JanuaryHOME FRONT by Warren Leight to Have West Coast Premiere at Victory Theatre in January
December 5, 2022

This country will break your heart. The Victory Theatre Center will present the West Coast premiere of Home Front by Tony® Award-winning playwright Warren Leight (Side Man). Leight’s moving portrait of a post-World War II interracial marriage runs January 13 through February 19 at The Victory Theatre Center in Burbank.