ABOUT ABOUT THE FILM
The Psalm of Howard Thurman is the first feature-length documentary film on the life and wisdom of one of the world’s greatest spiritual treasures, Howard Thurman (1899-1981).
The film introduces audiences to Thurman’s uplifting story, his transcendent yet grounded presence, and his important voice for our times. The film aspires to be a psalm,a lyrical work of beauty and truth, and a creative utterance that moves, touches and inspires.
ABOUT HOWARD THURMAN
A JOURNEY OF HEART, MIND AND SOUL
In 1935, while a professor at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Thurman and his wife, Sue Bailey Thurman, led a pilgrimage of African Americans to Ceylon, Burma and India and met with Mahatma Gandhi. As a result of this trip, he formulated, a generation before Martin Luther King Jr., a non-violent approach to social change in America. This “love-ethic” informed one of Thurman’s best known works, Jesus and the Disinherited, a book which later influenced King and other leaders of the Civil Rights Movement.
At the close of the 1935 pilgrimage, looking down into Afghanistan at the Khyber Pass, Thurman experienced a vision of a church that would be open to “seekers of all colors and creeds.” He was compelled to see if “experiences of spiritual unity among peoples could be more compelling than the experiences which divide them.”
Hoard and Sue Bailey Thurman
Howard Thurman Birth Home, Daytona, Florida, USA
HOWARD THURMAN was born in Daytona, Florida in 1899. Early on, he developed a kinship with nature and a “hunger of the heart”–a curiosity into the meaning of life. He found refuge during times of loneliness and trepidation in an old oak tree in his back yard. It was while young Howard stood with his back placed firmly against the tree that he first felt the unity of all living things and engaged in what he would later call, “the religious experience.”
As a young boy Thurman was raised by a strong and affirming grandmother. She was a former slave who had a profound influence on what would become an essential part of Thurman’s thought–that if theology is to have any validity, it must justly deal with one’s life situation and must affirm one’s worth as a child of God.
MEET THE ARTISTS BEHIND THE FILM
“Arleigh Prelow is the right person to create a documentary about Dr. Thurman. She has the spiritual sensibility to understand his life and convey who he was in a truthful and meaningful way.”
– Sue Bailey Thurman (before her death in 1996)
ARLEIGH PRELOW, PRODUCER/ DIRECTOR
INTERVIEWS WITH ARLEIGH PRELOW, PRODUCER/DIRECTOR
THE SPIRIT AND WORK OF HOWARD THURMAN LIVES ON
PEDRO CESCA FALCI
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, HOWARD THURMAN CENTER BOSTON UNIVERSITY
THE HOWARD THURMAN CENTER FOR COMMON GROUND
Source: The Psalm of Howard Thurman