July '64

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July '64

Special Screening
Special One-Time Screening


60 min


Not Rated

This event is free and open to the public

A discussion with director Carvin Eison and producer Chris Christopher will follow the film.

July '64 debuted to coincide with the 40th Anniversary of the riots in July 2004 to a standing room only crowd at the Dryden Theater.  It was broadcast nationally on PBS as part of the series “Independent Lens.”  The film has been seen by audiences worldwide, and is in the libraries of literally hundreds of colleges and universities. “July ‘64” was nominated for two Emmy Awards for Best Historic/Cultural Documentary and Best Director.

Director Carvin Eison and Producer Chris Christopher have a significant body of award-winning film and television work that they have produced together, as well as many accomplishments has individual filmmakers.

Director Carvin Eison has nearly forty years of experience as a filmmaker working around the nation and the world. He received national recognition for his work through ImageWordSound llc, including two NYS Emmy nominations, a 25th anniversary Classic Gold Telly, four bronze Tellys, the Award of Excellence from the Broadcast Education Association, gold and silver medals at the Houston International Film and Video Festival and several additional honors and awards. He is the winner of two National Black Programming Consortium Prized Pieces awards for work produced in association with WXXI and was the recipient of Rochester’s “Communicator of the Year” award for film and video and a Red Ribbon from the American Film Festival.  In addition, Carvin Eison is associate professor of communication at SUNY  Brockport and General Manager of Rochester Community Television.

Producer Chris Christopher is a two-time Emmy Award winning writer/producer, and a alumnus of of the prestigious Sundance Documentary Film Fund.  Her work has been recognized with many national awards including the Organization of American Historians Eric Barnouw Award and the Award of Execellence from the Broadcast Education Association. Her film, Criminal Injustice: Death and Politics at Attica, had its PBS broadcast debut on WXXI and is currently in broadcast distribution to PBS affiliates nationwide. She has lectured at both national and international conferences about her work, often with Professor Eison.  Christopher was previously the owner of Christopher Communications and now is the Director of Communications for the City of Rochester.

About the Film:

July ’64 tells the story of a historic three-day race riot that erupted in two African American neighborhoods in Rochester, New York. On the night of July 24, 1964, frustration and resentment brought on by institutional racism, overcrowding, lack of job opportunity, and police dog attacks exploded in racial violence that brought Rochester to its knees. Directed by Carvin Eison and produced by Chris Christopher, July ’64 combines historic archival footage, news reports, and interviews with witnesses and participants to dig deeply into the causes and effects of the historic disturbance.
In the 1950s, millions of African Americans from the Deep South packed their belongings and headed north in search of a better life. The city of Rochester, New York, with its progressive social justice history and a reputation for manufacturing jobs, drew people like a magnet. Between 1950 and 1960, Rochester’s black population swelled by 300 percent. The city groaned under the weight of unprecedented growth. City fathers ignored newcomers’ housing and education needs. The only openings for blacks at companies like Kodak and Bauch and Lomb, were “behind a broom.”
On the night of July 24, 1964, what community leader and minister Franklin Florence calls the African American community’s “quiet rage” exploded into violence. What began as a routine arrest at a street dance in a predominantly black neighborhood in downtown Rochester ended with the National Guard being called to a northern city for the first time during the era of the civil rights movement. The uprising, which later came to be known as the Rochester Riot, sparked a series of summertime riots in small- and mid-sized northern cities. As in many of those cities, the three days of unrest and civil disobedience in Rochester provoked actions and sentiments that reverberate to this day.