The Barber of Birmingham

Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism announced this week that Gail Dolgin’s and Robin Fryday’s Oscar nominated short film, The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement, which was broadcast in 2012 on PBS’ POV (Point of View) documentary series, has won a 2014 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award.

The Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards “honor excellence in broadcast and digital journalism."

As Vanessa said back in August 2012, about the short film, it chronicles:

...The proud and humble 85-year-old civil rights activist and World War II veteran James Armstrong, a barber in Birmingham, AL who passed away on Nov. 18, 2009, as he recounts his struggles during segregation in the South. In the days before and after Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008 presidential election, an 85-year-old civil rights activist and “foot soldier” looked back on the early days of the movement in this Oscar nominated short. World War II veteran James Armstrong was the proud proprietor of Armstrong’s Barbershop, a cultural and political hub in Birmingham, Ala., for more than 50 years. Among his clients was Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. In this small establishment, where every inch of wall space was covered in newspaper clippings and black-and-white photographs, hair was cut, marches organized and battle scars tended. Armstrong, who carried the American flag across the Selma bridge during the Bloody Sunday march for voting rights in 1965, links the struggles of activists of the past with a previously unimaginable dream: the election of the first African-American president.

The film was, for a time, available to view on online on POV ‘s website on

It is also now available on DVD through the film’s website HERE.

Unfortunately this was the last film project that Ms. Dolgin was involved with. She passed away after a battle with breast cancer in October 2010.

Check out the trailer below: