TUNE IN: Gay-made 'Bishop College' doc on KERA tonight

Posted on 16 Feb 2009 at 4:09pm

Gay viewers should take notes while watching tonight’s new KERA documentary, “Bishop College: A Bridge Between the Worlds.”

The program explores the history of Bishop College — the black educational institution that was founded in Marshall, Texas and moved its campus to North Texas in 1961.

Written and directed by openly gay filmmaker Rick Thompson, pictured, the 45-minute program provides excellent inspiration for gays to fight against discrimination. Thompson also worked on KERA’s “Finding Our Voice: The Dallas Gay & Lesbian Community.”

Before the Civil Rights movement kicked in, Bishop professor Dr. Richard Rollins remembers how in 1955, he moved to Marshall from Philadelphia and met a local constable who “Didn’t shake hands with niggers.”

In Marshall, students fought for equal rights by disobeying Texas’ segregation codes — with restaurant sit-ins, getting arrested and being doused with fire hoses.

In the ’60s and ’70s, Bishop thrived in North Texas at its location in the  4400 block of Forney Road. But after accusations of financial scandal, it closed in 1988. During the better days, Bishop was a beacon of equality.

Airs tonight — Monday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. on KERA.

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