Reviews & Awards

Telly Award-Bronze

July 6, 2011


Athens, Ga. -- Donald L. Hollowell: Foot Soldier for Equal Justice, a production of the University of Georgia Foot Soldier Project for Civil Rights Studies, has received a bronze Telly Award. 

The annual awards program honors excellence in local, regional and cable television programs and commercials, as well as video, film and multimedia productions by some of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators and corporate video departments. In its 32nd year, the competition receives more than 11,000 entries from all over the world. Other 2011 winners included Booz Allen Hamilton, Nickelodeon and Turner Studios, to name a few.

The documentary was developed by Maurice C. Daniels, dean of UGA’s School of Social Work and director of the FSP, and Derrick Alridge, professor in the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education. The film chronicles Hollowell’s achievements through his service as lead counsel in Holmes v. Danner, the landmark case that secured admission to UGA for Charlayne Hunter (now Hunter-Gault) and Hamilton Holmes, the first African Americans to register for classes at the university; his legal victory that won the release of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. from the Reidsville State Prison; and his effective defense of Preston Cobb, a 15-year-old black youth who was sentenced to die in Georgia’s electric chair.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the prestigious Telly Awards, which promotes creativity for the visual arts by acknowledging the very best works from all over the world,” Daniels said. “This award is a credit to the interdisciplinary work of colleagues and students who conducted the research and produced this film.” 

The film was narrated by Hunter-Gault, who went on to graduate from UGA with a journalism degree in 1963. As a journalist, she has won Peabody and Emmy awards for her work. Others who played a key role in UGA’s desegregation were interviewed in the film, including former Georgia Governor Ernest Vandiver; Vernon E. Jordan Jr. and Federal Judge Constance Baker Motley, members of Hollowell’s legal team in the Holmes case and Federal Judge Horace T. Ward, the first person to challenge UGA’s discriminatory admissions policies and co-counsel in the Holmes lawsuit; and Judge William Bootle, the judge who handed down the desegregation decision. 

The documentary was developed in partnership with UGA’s Center for Teaching and Learning and the Russell B. Library for Political Research and Studies and was a signature event at the university’s 50th anniversary of desegregation, which was celebrated earlier this year.

The world premiere of the documentary was held at the Woodruff Fine Arts Center in Atlanta on April 15, 2010. The viewing was followed by a panel discussion featuring Jordan; Ward; Mary Frances Early, the first African-American UGA graduate; and the moderator for the evening, Judge Glenda Hatchett, star of the television courtroom series Judge Hatchett. Actress Jasmine Guy was the special guest host. Louise Hollowell, Donald Hollowell’s widow, also was honored at the event. 

The School of Social Work recently established a professorship named in honor of Hollowell, who died of heart failure in 2004. The Donald L. Hollowell Distinguished Professorship of Social Justice and Civil Rights Studies is the first distinguished professorship named for an African American at UGA. At the world premiere event, the school announced that the distinguished professorship had been fully endowed, and a search currently is underway to fill the position.

For more information on UGA’s Foot Soldier Project for Civil Rights Studies, see