TONI ACHEBE BELL, Researcher
I’ve always had a great love for documentaries. In my family, the creative arts were appreciated but were never something to be pursued as a career. Growing up in the South, I had always heard Tom Bradley’s name mentioned among the canon of African-American political firsts. When I first met Lyn and Alison and learned of BRIDGING THE DIVIDE, I learned the impact of Tom Bradley not just on the political climate of Los Angeles and California but on the nation as a whole. The life story of Tom Bradley and his political legacy is a lesson to a nation made up of diverse cultures and ethnicities that are learning to embrace what they have in common and appreciate one another’s differences despite the complexity of the task.
I am a published writer and poet. My work often bridges the personal and the political and examines what happens when cultures collide. I also write and edit the monthly newsletter for the Black Association of Documentary Filmmakers (BADWest). I received my M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University in 2009 and I am pursuing a certificate in Film and Television Development from UCLA Extension.