Memorial Hall Library

A Quiet Revolution: Documentary Screening & Discussion

"A Quiet Revolution, " is a feature-length documentary by Tom and Charles Dey. Charles Dey served as the Director of A Better Chance from 1964-65, and Board Chairman from 1970-74. The film is about a group of people who came together fifty years ago to create change and help a deeply divided nation heal itself. At the height of the Civil Rights movement, struggling for answers to burgeoning problems of racial inequality, Dartmouth College and a group of preparatory schools established a groundbreaking program to identify young students of color from low-income backgrounds for admission to the nation's leading boarding schools, with full scholarships. They believed, contrary to popular opinion, that if given the necessary tools, these students could succeed in the private schools and eventually compete in all sectors of our society, and that the only thing standing in their way was a lack of access and opportunity. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the filmmakers.

In April 2013, Charles Dey wrote about the film: "Our nation is increasingly segregated by economic ghettoes, golden to gutted, that too often inexorably determine life chances, but ABC has given us clear evidence that talent is limited neither by zip code nor neighborhood. By permitting poverty to stunt the futures of so many children, our nation is both wasting enormous talent and limiting a fundamental civil right – educational opportunity. ABC was a bold, experimental program that took the long view and changed many lives dramatically, but this documentary is not a promotional film for A Better Chance. We have not accepted any funds from the program because we want to be able to tell the whole story as truthfully and objectively as possible. There is a moral responsibility that goes with changing the trajectory of another human being’s life. ABC stories of both struggle and success comprise a history that is uniquely American and largely unknown. By documenting their 50-year journeys we will put face and voice to these pioneering integrationists and their families who initially challenged the status quo. By crossing borders, they and their teachers and communities played a critical role in the civil rights era, leading, in the words of Bill Berkeley, the first ABC President, “a quiet revolution.”  By sharing their experiences more dramatically on film, we want to contribute significantly to the ongoing debates regarding how best to identify, nurture and educate talented youngsters from all quarters of our society."

A discussion with the filmmakers will follow the screening.

A collaboration of Memorial Hall Library and A Better Chance Andover's 50th Anniversary Celebration.