View the award-winning special on 1950s racial inequality in the North Country

Fulton Fryar’s Closet: A Spotlight Special airs this holiday weekend

Viewers in the Mountain Lake PBS region will once again have the chance to explore the secrets of Fulton Fryar’s closet in an award-winning episode of Mountain Lake Journal this holiday weekend. 

Last year the New York State Broadcasters Association honored the program with an award for “Outstanding Specialty Programming.”  The episode focuses on a relatively unknown story of racial inequality in 1950s Adirondack culture, and how memories of it resurfaced when a building at Seagle Music Colony in Schroon Lake, New York, faced demolition.

The small building had housed a young singer named Fulton Fryar. He was the first African American singer to study at the colony. In 1957 his sleeping quarters were kept separate from those of the other singers on the campus.

The television program explored the reasons for the unequal treatment, even in a northern state, and the efforts to preserve Fryar’s sleeping quarters when the old building was about to be destroyed.

Spotlight producer Paul Larson says the program features an exclusive conversation with Fulton Fryar, interviews with administrators at Seagle Music Colony, historians from the North Country Underground Railroad History Society and Adirondack Architectural Heritage, and curators at the Adirondack Experience, where Fryar’s little building is now housed as a museum exhibit.

Fulton Fryar’s Closet: A Spotlight Special airs this Friday night at 8:00.  It repeats Sunday morning at 5:30 and 10:00.

Spotlight is made possible, in part, by the Glenn and Carol Pearsall Adirondack Foundation, dedicated to improving the quality of life for year-round residents of the Adirondack Park.  Spotlight is also supported by Hill & Hollow Music.

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