Emmy-winning Director Stanley Nelson Premieres PBS Documentary to Mark 50th Anniversary of ‘Brown’

Media 04.29.04

On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education struck down the doctrine of “separate but equal,” ending legal apartheid in education in America. Fifty years later, the true promise of Brown has yet to be fulfilled.

In his latest work, award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson of Firelight Media explores today’s troubled educational landscape and the historical legacy of Brown v. Board of Education in “Beyond Brown: Pursuing the Prmoise.” Narrated by veteran television and film actor Joe Morton, the hour-long documentary will premiere on PBS stations May 12th at 10 pm ET (check local listings) – five days before the 50th anniversary of the decision.

“Beyong Brown” poignantly blends human stories of contemporary educational debates to examine the unfulfilled promises of Brown. The film, segmented in five vignette treatments, reaches past a retrospective, historical review and past the dichotomy of black and white to offer one of the most comprehensive explorations of the Brown legacy yet recorded on film.

Each story presented in “Beyond Brown” – a look back at the genesis of the historic lawsuit; ability tracking in Los Angeles; school funding in New York City; a voluntary busing program in the Boston Area and high stakes testing in Orlando, Florida – weaves a fabric that reveals the still deeply blemished racial divide of our nation’s public schools.

Firelight Media is dedicated to telling stories of people and issues underrepresented in mainstream media. In a fitting salute, Nelson will be awarded a prestigious Peabody Award for the PBS American Experience documentary The Murder of Emmett Till on the official anniversary of Brown May 17. Nelson also won a CINE Golden Eagle earlier this month and a 2003 Primetime Emmy for Emmett Till.

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