September 18: Free Online Film Showing


Sunday, September 18, 2022, 4-6 pm:

FREE ONLINE EVENT – Garden of the Peaceful Dragon

Film showing followed by Q & A with director Daniel Peddle

Space is limited – sign up on Eventbrite

Garden of the Peaceful Dragon is an intimate and transformative portrait of Burley Luvell Benford III, the first African-American senior class president at Berkeley High School. Born in Pasadena in 1940, Luvell graduated in 1955 from Berkeley High. He went on to be a Marine, martial arts grandmaster, IBM employee, neighbor of Timothy Leary, bodyguard for Bill Graham, and musician. When filmmaker Daniel Peddle first met him, Luvell was occupying an abandoned piece of government property by the beach in Kauai, Hawaii. Daniel filmed him during visits to Hawaii until Luvell’s death in 2014. This is a touching and sensitive feature-length portrait of a very deserving man whose life story otherwise might have been lost to time. After making his mark in his hometown as a youth, he went on to an incredible life beyond Berkeley. His life is a curiously American story defying stereotypes and convention. He saw so much — the end of WWII, segregation, and the industrial age. He witnessed the birth of hippies, computers, and the dawn of the digital revolution. He was a student, a soldier, a suit, a beatnik, a master martial artist . . . and homeless.

This Zoom event is in conjunction with our current exhibit, African Americans in Berkeley: Art, Entertanment, Literature, Sports at the Berkeley History Center through October 8.


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