Eyes on the Prize — “Indispensable”

Did you know that William Bradford Huie was interviewed for the award-winning documentary series, Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1985?

The archive of the project is housed at Washington University in St. Louis.  Read the transcript of Huie’s interview, which is part of their Digital Gateway here. If you haven’t seen it, you really should. Time Magazine called it “Indispensable” — a critical tool to learn about the complexities of the Movement.  Eyes on the Prize was recently re-run on PBS’s American Experience. A wealth of information about the series is available on the PBS site.

From American Experience: Eyes on the Prize is an award-winning 14-hour television series produced by Blackside and narrated by Julian Bond. Through contemporary interviews and historical footage, the series covers all of the major events of the civil rights movement from 1954-1985.

Series topics range from the Montgomery bus boycott in 1954 to the Voting Rights Act in 1965; from community power in schools to “Black Power” in the streets; from early acts of individual courage through to the flowering of a mass movement and its eventual split into factions.

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.

Eyes on the Prize was created and executive produced by Henry Hampton (1940-1998), one of the most influential documentary filmmakers in the 20th century. His work chronicled America’s great political and social movements and set new standards for broadcast quality. Blackside, the independent film and television company he founded in 1968, completed 60 major films and media projects that amplified the voices of the poor and disenfranchised. His enduring legacy continues to influence the field in the 21st century.”

A book of the same title was published in 1988 by Juan Williams, was written as a print accompaniment to the first season of the series.  This was Williams’ first book. Juan Williams also happened to pen the Afterword to one of Huie’s books, Three Lives for Mississippi, which was featured on an earlier post. Three Lives for Mississippi is available in print from The University Press of Mississippi, and is also available through Amazon to download on your Kindle.

Jack and Bill

As the exhibit comes together, we are looking at some wonderful family photographs, including this portrait of young Bill Huie with his baby brother, Jack, taken ca. 1914.

Peace, the Dreamer, and a dream.

Today marks the forty-sixth anniversary of Dr. King’s receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.  On October 14, 1964, Martin Luther King, Jr., became the youngest person (at that time) to win the Nobel Peace Prize.  He went on to donate the entire award of $54,000 to supporting the causes of the civil rights movement.  The next year, in 1965, Huie published his book, Three Lives for Mississippi, with Dr. King penning the introduction to this powerful and haunting piece of investigative reporting, considered to be the only complete account of the heinous Freedom Summer murders.

Dr. King said of Three Lives for Mississippi,  “This book is a part of the arsenal decent Americans can employ to make democracy for all truly a birthright and not a distant dream. It relates the story of an atrocity committed on our doorstep.”

Banned in Florida!

William Bradford Huie’s investigation of the Ruby McCollum case in 1954 resulted in his being charged of contempt of court. He ended up serving three days in jail and was was fined as well.  His efforts in uncovering the horrible truths in this case resulted in his book,  Ruby McCollum, Woman in the Suwannee Jail. The story was first published by E.P. Dutton in 1956 in hard cover, and in several subsequent editions, including this compelling Signet paperback. From the time of its publication, it was banned in the state of Florida until the year 1982, when a newspaper near Live Oak, Florida, where the events took place, decided to publish the story as a serial in their paper, the Lake City Reporter.   Here’s to the freedom to read!  Banned Books Week 2010!

Happy birthday “Emily”

Dame Julie Andrews, star of stage and screen, celebrates a birthday today.   Julie Andrews starred in the film adaptation of Huie’s novel, The Americanization of Emily.  Andrews played the title role, Emily Barham, alongside James Garner, Melvyn Douglas, and James Coburn.   The film came out in 1964.  1964 marks the first year that Andrews played a starring role in a film — and there were two that year. The other is a little picture known as Mary Poppins!

Movie posters, and different editions of the novel, including foreign editions will be featured in the exhibit on Huie, opening November 9, 2010 at the Hoole Special Collections Library.

Remembering Tony Curtis, star of The Outsider

Based on William Bradford Huie’s book, Hero of Iwo Jima, The Outsider starred Tony Curtis as Marine Corporal Ira Hamilton Hayes, one of the soldiers who raised the flag on Iwo Jima. This tragic story is just one of many examples of Huie’s writing that explores war and its aftermath. Tony Curtis is memorable as Ira Hayes, and he is memorable as a great actor.

Save the dates!

November 9, 2010 at 5 pm at the Hoole Library, an exhibit opening and talk with Martha Huie and Wayne Greenhaw.

November 10, 2010 at 7 pm at the Bama Theater on Greensboro Avenue in Tuscaloosa, a film screening (the real reel deal — print of the film) of Elia Kazan’s 1960 film, Wild River, which was based in part on Huie’s autobiographical first novel, Mud on the Stars.  Guest speakers and a reception too!

Both of these events are free and open to the public!