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Michigan State University

African American Studies Research Guide: Documentary Films


A compilation of film resources about African Americans and featuring African Americans available in the MSU Libraries.   Note also check the Music tab for films and documentaries featuring African American singers and musicians.

Black Studies in Video Streaming videos

Visit the Electronic Resources Media page for a list of streaming video collections, including Black Studies in Video.   Black Studies in Video is a signature Alexander Street Press collection featuring award-winning documentaries, newsreels, interviews and archival footage surveying the evolution of black culture in the United States. In partnership with California Newsreel, the database provides unique access to their African American Classics collection, and includes films covering history, politics, art and culture, family structure, social and economic pressures, and gender relations.

Creating clips and playlists with Alexander Street Press products.

PBS Video Collection Streaming Videos

The PBS Video Collection (2015-2017 subscription) contains 8 streaming videos under the label Black Studies.

Indiana University (Bloomington) Black Film Center/Archive

Check out the Indiana University Black Film Center/Archive website for news, events, and recent acquisitions.

African Americans in Motion Pictures

The subject of African-Americans in Motion Pictures provides some of the most interesting studies along with the many controversial interpretations of the roles as actors they played on the silver screen. As far back as the silent films era, African-Americans have been featured in motion pictures playing roles depicting some aspect of acting and being purveyors of a black image. The messages or themes of these movies have over the years presented a mixture of images based upon what was thought to please the viewers of each particular film. Unfortunately, many of those films showed black characters in negative stereotypical roles which the average African-Americans would never truly identify as being like themselves. Since many of our American icons and heroes have come from our motion picture stars, we need to understand what this narrow view presented and compare it with what we presently see at our local cinema today. Click here to see some of the many books, internet resources, and films on African Americans in Motion Pictures.

Black Film Research Online.  University of Chicago portal to resources for researching Black film culture - from the works of early pioneers (Oscar Micheaux, Spencer Williams) to contemporary filmmaking from across the African Diaspora (Spike Lee, Ousmane Sembene, Euzhan Palcy); issues of Black film distribution, exhibition and spectatorship; and Black representation in cinema from the late 19th century to the present.

Black city cinema : African American urban experiences in film / Paula J. Massood.  Philadelphia : Temple University Press, 2003.  268pp.  Main Library Stacks PN1995.9.N4 M33 2003  (Also available as Ebook)   : In Black City Cinema, Paula Massood shows how popular films reflected the massive social changes that resulted from the Great Migration of African Americans from the rural South to cities in the North, West, and Mid-West during the first three decades of the twentieth century. By the onset of the Depression, the Black population had become primarily urban, transforming individual lives as well as urban experience and culture.Massood probes into the relationship of place and time, showing how urban settings became an intrinsic element of African American film as Black people became more firmly rooted in urban spaces and more visible as historical and political subjects. Illuminating the intersections of film, history, politics, and urban discourse, she considers the chief genres of African American and Hollywood narrative film: the black cast musicals of the 1920s and the race films of the early sound era to blaxploitation and hood films, as well as the work of Spike Lee toward the end of the century. As it examines such a wide range of films over much of the twentieth century, this book offers a unique map of Black representations in film.

Black Perspectives Film Series (Blog).  A new blog series that announces the release of new films in African American History.

The Movies, Race, and Ethnicity: African Americans. Courtesy of the University of California Berkeley, Moffitt Library, Media Resources Center.

Projecting ethnicity and race : an annotated bibliography of studies on imagery in American film / Marsha J. Hamilton and Eleanor S. Block.  Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2003.  294pp.  Main Library Stacks PN1995.9.M56 H365 2003 : This comprehensive annotated bibliography reviews nearly 500 English-language studies published between 1915 and 2001 that examine the depiction of ethnic, racial, and national groups as portrayed in United States feature films from the inception of cinema through the present. Coverage includes books, reference works, book chapters within larger works, and individual essays from collections and anthologies. Concise annotations provide content summaries; unique features; major films and filmmakers discussed; and useful information on related titles, purpose, and intended readership. The studies included range from specialized scholarly treatises to popular illustrated books for general readers, making "Projecting Ethnicity and Race" an invaluable resource for researchers interested in ethnic and racial film imagery. Entries are arranged alphabetically by title for easy access, while four separate indexes make the work simple to navigate by author, subject, gender, race, ethnic group, nationality, country, religion, film title, filmmaker, performer, or theme. Although the majority of studies published examine images of African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Asians in film, the volume contains studies of groups including Africans, Arabs, the British, Canadians, South Sea Islanders, Tibetans, Buddhists, and Muslims--making it a unique reference book with a wide range of uses for a wide range of scholars.

Celebrating African American Achievements in Film and TV

Celebrating African American Achievements in Film and TV. Beginning back as far as the early 1900s, African Americans have continuously pushed back barriers in film and television.

Feature Films

Looking for Feature Films?  Click on the tab at the top of the page or click here.

Selected Documentary Films, A

All African American documentaries are located in the Digital and Multimedia Center unless otherwise indicated.  Movies can be checked out unless reserved for a class. 

3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets / Ro*co Films Educational and Participant Media presents, in association with HBO Documentary Films ; a The Filmmaker Fund/Motto Pictures production, in co-production with Lakehouse Films and Actual Films, in association with Justfilms, Macarthur Foundation and Bertha, Britdoc ; produced by Minette Nelson, Carolyn Hepburn ; directed by Marc Silver.   [Beverly Hills, Calif.] : Participant Media, [2015]  1 DVD  videodisc (98 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  G. M. Kline MSU Digital Multimedia Center, 4 West,  KF225.D86 A13 2015 VideoDVD (Also available as streaming video via FilmPlatform) : On November 23, 2012, a black 17-year-old named Jordan Davis and three friends drove into a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida. Davis and his friends got into a verbal altercation with 45-year-old Michael Dunn, a white man who took issue with the volume of the teenagers’ rap music.  When Davis refused to turn down the music, Dunn opened fire on the car of unarmed teenagers. He fired 10 bullets, three of which hit Davis who died at the scene. Dunn fled, but was taken into custody the next day. He claimed that he shot in self-defense.  Filmed over a period of 18 months, "3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets" intercuts intimate scenes of Davis’ family and friends with footage from Michael Dunn’s trial and police interrogation, news reports and prison phone recordings between Dunn and his fiancée. Drawing on 200 hours of footage, the documentary aims to reconstruct the night of the murder, delving into the intricate web of racial prejudice in 21st century America and how such prejudices can result in tragedy.  "3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets" also details the journey of Jordan Davis’ parents from grief to activism and explores public opinion on Florida’s “Stand Your Ground Law.”  Director Marc Silver is particularly interested in examining the varying perceptions of Davis in life and death. “I was drawn to Jordan Davis’ story because it appeared to be the perfect storm of racial profiling, access to guns and laws that give people the confidence to use those guns with no sense of duty to retreat from the situation,” he says

4 Little Girls / HBO Home Video ; HBO Original Programming ; an HBO documentary film in association with 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks production ; a Spike Lee Joint ; director, producer, Spike Lee ; producer, Sam Pollard.  [Hollywood, Calif.] : HBO Home Entertainment ; Burbank, Calif. : Distributed by Warner Home Video, [2010]  1 DVD videodisc (102 min.) : sound, color with black and white sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  F334.B69 A24 2010 VideoDVD  : The Birmingham Campaign was launched in 1963. Martin Luther King Jr. and other activists were soon jailed, but it was the participation of the children that advanced the momentum of the Birmingham movement. They marched alongside the adults and were taken to jail with them as well. Because the 16th St. Baptist Church was close to the downtown area, it was an ideal location to hold rallies and meetings. On Sunday morning, Sept. 15, 1963, dynamite planted by the Ku Klux Klan, exploded in the building. Under the fallen debris, the bodies of four girls were found. Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley died because of the color of their skin. Features archival film footage, home photographs, comments by surviving family members, and interviews with local and national figures of the time.  (Also available as part of ROVI Film Collection)

10 days that unexpectedly changed America / All Productions in association with @Radical Media for The History Channel.  [Burlington, VT] : A&E Home Video ; New York : Distributed by New Video, c2006.  3 videodiscs (ca. 460 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 4 3/4 in. E178 .T46 2006 VideoDVD  1-3 : Acclaimed documentary filmmakers offer a fresh, compelling look at 10 pivotal moments in American history and their often unforeseen repercussions.  Note : Disc 3 contains a clip about Freedom Summer.  Disc 1. Massacre at Mystic ; Shays' Rebellion: America's first civil war ; Gold rush ; Antietam -- Disc 2. The Homestead strike ; Murder at the fair: the assassination of President McKinley ; Scopes: the battle over Americ's soul -- Disc 3. Einstein's letter ; When America was rocked ; Freedom summer.

14: Dred Scott, Wong Kim Ark and Vanessa LopezGraham Street Productions, 2014.  [San Francisco, California, USA] : Kanopy Streaming, 2016.  Streaming video file from Kanopy (Lease). : 14: Dred Scott, Wong Kim Ark and Vanessa Lopez explores the recurring question about who has the right to be an American citizen. 14 examines the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment through compelling personal stories and expertly-told history. Under the Fourteenth Amendment, All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. The story is told through the lives of three ordinary and extraordinary American families who changed history by their courageous challenges to the powerful status quo - Dred and Harriet Scott, Wong Kim Ark and Rosario and Vanessa Lopez. Descendants of Dred and Harriet Scott and those of Wong Kim Ark tell the stories of how their ancestors fought all the way to the Supreme Court and changed American history. Rosario Lopez and her daughter Vanessa are both activists in the immigrant rights youth movement. Born in the United States and a citizen under the 14th Amendment, Vanessa wants to be either an artist, a photographer, a lawyer, or a marine biologist and President of the United States. It is the citizenship of millions of children like Vanessa Lopez, born in the United States to undocumented parents, that is at stake now.

A. Philip Randolph  : For Jobs & Freedom / WETA-TV ; a film by Dante J. James ; produced by Dante J. James ; written by Juan Williams, Dante J. James. San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, c1996.  1 DVD videodisc (86 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 4 3/4 in  E185.97.R27 A83 1996 VideoDVD : Ask most people who led the 1963 March on Washington and they'll probably tell you Martin Luther King, Jr. But the real force behind the event was the man many call the pre-eminent black labor leader of the century and the father of the modern civil rights movement: A. Philip Randolph....Randolph believed that economic rights was the key to advancing civil rights. A. Philip Randolph: For Jobs and Freedom takes viewers on a tour of 20th-century civil rights and labor history as it chronicles Randolph's legendary efforts to build a more equitable society. ...Randolph was born in 1889 in the deeply segregated South. When he was reduced to performing menial labor despite an outstanding academic record, he headed north - to Harlem. The film traces Randolph's early years amid the fervor of the Harlem Renaissance where he encountered the socialism of Eugene Debs, became a renowned soapbox orator and, with Chandler Owen, founded the radical magazine The Messenger....In response to the race riots of 1919, Randolph and Owen formed the National Association for the Promotion of Labor Unionism Among Negroes. Soon a group of Pullman car workers asked Randolph to help them organize the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. The film revisits the group's bitter 12-year battle with the notorious Pullman Company, which tried repeatedly to destroy the union using spies and firings. The 1934 Wagner Act finally created a level-playing field, enabling the Brotherhood to win an organized contract in 1937, the first ever between a company and a Black union....The anti-Communist Brotherhood did not join the more radical CIO but the craft unions of the AFL. Randolph became the sole Black representative on the AFL's executive council, where he was often a lonely voice for civil rights....When WWII began, the federal government was still segregated and African Americans excluded from all but menial defense industry jobs. Randolph leapt onto the national stage when he called for a march on Washington in protest. According to CORE founder James Farmer, "Roosevelt could not take the chance that 25,000 people would be protesting in Washington when he was calling the U.S. the arsenal of democracy." Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8002 banning such discrimination and the march was called off....Later, as the Cold War heated up, President Truman announced the first peace-time draft. But he left the armed forces segregated. Randolph called on Black men to resist the draft until Truman relented, presaging the protests against the Vietnam War. Truman was furious, but in 1948 he issued an executive order integrating the military....In 1963, Randolph called again for a march on Washington. He was the only civil rights leader who could unite other leaders in the movement. 250,000 came in response. When he introduced Dr. King, "symbolically, the torch was passed from one generation of fighters to another."

The Abolitionists / written, produced and directed by Rob Rapley.  [United States] : PBS Distribution, c2013.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 180 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. E449 .A445 2013 VideoDVD : Radicals. Agitators. Troublemakers. Liberators. Called many names, the abolitionists tore the nation apart in order to create a more perfect union. Men and women, black and white, Northerners and Southerners, poor and wealthy-these passionate anti-slavery activists fought body and soul in the most important civil rights crusade in American history. What began as a pacifist movement fueled by persuasion and prayer became a fiery and furious struggle that forever changed the nation. Bringing to life the intertwined stories of Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Angelina Grimk, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and John Brown, The Abolitionists takes place during some of the most violent and contentious decades in American history. It reveals how the movement shaped history by exposing the fatal flaw of a republic founded on liberty for some and bondage for others. In the face of personal risks-beatings, imprisonment, even death-abolitionists held fast to their cause, laying the civil rights groundwork for the future and raising weighty constitutional and moral questions that are still with us today. Directed by Rob Rapley, The Abolitionists interweaves drama with traditional documentary storytelling, and stars Richard Brooks, Neal Huff, Jeanine Serralles, Kate Lyn Sheil, and T. Ryder Smith, vividly bringing to life the epic struggles of the men and women who ended slavery.  PBS is making a streaming video version of this series available for free during 2013.  Another link with supplementary materials.

Adam Abdul Hakeem: One Who Survived / 1993.  41 minutes  Streaming video from Filmakers Library.  : Twenty-year-old Adam Abdul Hakeem was the first person in American judicial history to be found innocent by reason of self defense in a police shooting case. This gripping documentary tells the story of Hakeem, (formerly named Larry Davis), who tried to extricate himself from a police-run drug ring in which he had participated for six years. In doing so, it examines the relationships between law enforcement agencies, the criminal justice system, and the African-American community....The police raided Hakeem's apartment without a warrant, claiming he was a suspect in the murders of four drug dealers in the Bronx. Hakeem shot six policemen and escaped. After a controversial trial, he was acquitted on the major charges, but sentenced to five to fifteen years for illegal possession of a weapon. While in prison, he endured continual beatings, to the point where his spine was severely injured and he remains paralyzed. While this film does not exonerate Hakeem, it points up an institutionalized form of prejudice and brutality within the criminal justice system. These issues are particularly timely in view of the racial strife that is erupting nationwide. Postscrpt: Adam Abdul Hakeem was kiilled in prison in 2008.   Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Adam Clayton Powell / directed by Richard Kilberg.  New York, NY] : Docurama, [2009]  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 54 min.) : sd., b&w and col. ; 4 3/4 in.  E748.P86 A33 2009 VideoDVD : A look at the most influential and flamboyant civil rights leader in America from the 1930s through the 1950s. From his emergence as a pastor of Harlem's Albyssinian Baptist Church, to his riotous political climb and eventual ruin. He had an illustrious but controversial career. He had multiple marriages, taunted the white establishment, his desegregation of Congress, and his shameful smearing of Martin Luther King Jr.

Adam Clayton Powell / 1989.  55 minutes  Streaming video from Filmakers Library.  : A film by Richard Kilberg. Narrated by Julian Bond.  This is a compelling portrait of the legendary African American leader, Adam Clayton Powell as well as a fascinating look at the beginning of modern black politics in this country. Handsome, brilliant and controversial, he was the pastor of America's largest Protestant congregation; an early champion in the Civil Rights movement, and the first African-American Congressman from a northeastern state....The film follows his political climb in the Harlem of the Depression 30s. As minister of Harlem's Abysinnian Baptist Church, Powell used his charismatic power in the battle for equal employment. Once in Congress, he fought persistently to deny federal funding to segregated facilities. Under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson he was instrumental in passing much of the social legislation known as "The Great Society." At the peak of his power, he was the most influential black man in America. Yet his meteoric rise to power ended in an abrupt fall as financial indiscretions and personal excesses caught up with him....The film pulls together facts, remembrances and opinions into a compelling narrative. Heard from are Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, writer Roger Wilkins, Professor John Henry Clarke, and family members. Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Adam Clayton Powell by Richard Kilberg  (Filmakers Library, 1989) 55 mins.  streaming video from Black Studies in Video

Adam Clayton Powell Jr. in Chronoscope (Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), 1954) 15:06 mins Streaming video from America History in Video.  Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Afraid of Dark : Exploring Black Masculinity / a Shoot Films, Not People production ; directed by Mya B ; written by Mya B.  DVD. [Brooklyn, NY] : Shoot Films, Not People Productions, 2014.  1 DVD-R videodisc (73 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.615 .A373 2014 VideoDVD : Why is everyone so afraid of black men?”  In her new documentary, “Afraid of Dark”, filmmaker Mya B. attempts to answer this question.  In examining two of the most prevalent stereotypes about the black man as the brute and as the Mandingo we are led on a journey to understanding how the fear of these stereotypes have contributed to the rates of violence and incarceration against black men.  We see how racism uses black on black crime and other unfortunate occurrences in black communities as justification for attacks on black males by police and citizen vigilantes alike.  The documentary challenges these stereotypes, and their resulting worldview, through candid interviews of black men -- who span the spectrum of age and background -- to illustrate through their own words and personal reflections the difference between how society perceives black men and how they define themselves. Mya B. also profiles three generations of black men in her family that offered alternative archetypes of what black men can be and are in this society.  The film ultimately shows us that black men are struggling to find love and meaningful identity in a world that mutes their individual stories and colors them all with one brush; and that the way towards healing means facing this dilemma head on, looking deep into it, and using our understanding and our love to transform the image and likeness we perceive of black men. (75 min.)

African American.  [Pasadena, Calif.] : Global Wonders, Inc., c2008.  1 videodisc (ca. 36 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. + foldout booklet ([6] p.)  ROVI Movie Collection CT6 D0105843 VideoDVD :  Juvenile film.  "Join twins Trey and Alisha and their friends Lee and Marisa on a play date of dreams and imagination! Watch them embark on an exciting 'treasure hunt' that transforms their playroom into a world of wonders, highlighted by the fascinating and influential culture of the African-American family. Discover the famous art of Horace Pippin, the groundbreaking music of Louis Armstrong, the monumental contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and so much more"

African American Art : past and present / Reading & O'Reilly Associates.   Wilton, Conn. : Reading & O'Reilly, c1992.  3 videocassettes (90 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. + 1 teacher's guide.  N6538.N5 A34 1992 Videocassette v.1-3 and guide :  Rare and historical photographs, beautiful reproductions of paintings, sculpture and crafts, and brilliant musical selections combine to make this an outstanding educational program for children and adults.

The African American holiday of Kwanzaa : a celebration of family, community & cultureLos Angeles, CA : African Cooperative Enterprises ; St. Albans, NY : distr. by The University of Sankore Press, c1988.  1 VHS videocassette (ca.50 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.  GT4403 .A57 1988 Videocassette : The seven-day (Dec.26-Jan.1)  African American holiday of Kwanzaa is based on African celebrations of first fruits and on a set of principles which contribute to the unity, preservation and development of the African family, community and culture.

African American Lives / a film by Kunhardt Productions ; executive producers, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., William R. Grant, Peter W. Kunhardt ; written by Henry Louis Gates. Jr. ; series producers, Graham Judd, Leslie D. Farrell ; a production of Kunhardt Productions, Inc. and Thirteen/ WNET New York.  [Alexandria, Va.] : PBS Home Video ; Hollywood, Calif. : distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment, [2006]  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 240 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.96 .A4462 2006 VideoDVD : A compelling combination of storytelling and science, this series uses genealogy, oral histories, family stories and DNA to trace roots of several accomplished African Americans down through American history and back to Africa.  Host: Henry Louis Gates, Jr.; features Oprah Winfrey, Chris Tucker, Quincy Jones, Sara-Lawrence-Lightfoot, Mae Jemison, T.D. Jakes, Ben Carson, Whoopi Goldberg.

African American Lives 2  / a film by Kunhardt Productions ; executive producers, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., William R. Grant, Peter W. Kunhardt ; written by Henry Louis Gates. Jr. ; senior producer, Graham Judd ; archival producer Lewanne Jones ; Leslie D. Farrell ; a production of Kunhardt Productions, Inc., Inkwell Films, and Thirteen/ WNET New York.  [Alexandria, Va.] : PBS Home Video, [2008]    1 DVD videodisc (ca. 240 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.96 .A4475 2008 VideoDVD  : The first African American Lives revealed the power in discovering one's family history. Now, Henry Louis Gates Jr. will guide a new group to discover their ancestry in African American Lives 2. The series will draw on DNA analysis, genealogical research and family oral tradition to trace the lineages of the participants, including Maya Angelou, Morgan Freeman, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Tina Turner, down through U.S. history and back to Africa.

African American War Heroes  : True Stories of Patriotism & Valor. [United States] : OnDeck Home Entertainment, [2005]  1 DVD videodisc (112 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  D810.N4 A393 2005 VideoDVD  : Through archival film footage, war veterans from all military branches recount their personal experiences to bring their true stories to life, honoring the remarkable contributions of all African Americans who served our country in all our wars.

The African Americans : many rivers to cross : an unprecedented journey through African Americans history / written and presented by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  [Arlington, VA] : PBS Distribution, [2014]  2 DVD videodiscs (approximately 360 min.) : sound, color with black and white sequences ; 4 3/4 in  E185 .A475 2014 VideoDVD  discs 1-2 (Also part of the ROVI Movie Collection)  : Explore with Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the evolution of the African-American people, as well as the multiplicity of cultural institutions, political strategies, and religious and social perspectives they developed forging their own history, culture and society against unimaginable odds.

Africans in America : America's Journey Through Slavery / a production of WGBH Boston ; executive producer, Orlando Bagwell ; writer, Steve Fayer.  WGBH Boston Video, c2000.  2 DVD videodiscs (ca. 6 hr.) E441 .A37 2000 VideoDVD  : This program follows the history of American slavery from its birth to the Civil War. Considers the contradictions that lie at the heart of the founding of the American nation. The infant democracy pronounced all men to be created equal while enslaving one race to benefit another. Portrays the struggles of the African people in America, from their arrival in the 1600s to the last days of the Civil War. Contents -  (1) The Terrible Transformation (1450-1750) -- (2) Revolution (1750-1805 -- (3) Brotherly Love (1791-1831) -- [(4)  Judgment Day (1831-1865).  This series exposes the truth through surprising revelations, dramiatic recreations, rare archival photography, riveting first-person accounts and defines the reality of slaver's past through insightful commentary.   Also available as 4 VHS videocassettes.

After Ten Years  : the Court and the Schools / CBS News ; producers, Philip Scheffler, William Peters ; directed by Norman Gorin.  Princeton, NJ : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 2003.  1 DVD-R videodisc (58 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in.  LC214.2 .A34 2003 VideoDVD : The 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka ruling made it clear that segregation would not be tolerated and that states must comply with federal law. In this program, filmed ten years after Brown, news correspondents report on the mixed progress made toward integrating public schools in Nashville, New Rochelle, New Orleans and Prince Edward County, Virginia. Stumbling blocks such as faculty segregation, busing and segregational zoning are examined. A discussion featuring Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Georgia Governor Carl Sanders and Ex-Secretary of the NAACP, Roy Wilkins concludes the program.

Against the Odds : the Artists of the Harlem Renaissance / producer/director, Amber Edwards. [Alexandria, VA] : PBS Home Video, 2006. 1 videodisc (60 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in. ROVI Film Collection CN3 D0061899 VideoDVD  : Explore the lives of visual artists who made the Harlem Renaissance during the 1920s and 1930s one of the 20th century's richest artistic moments. Archival footage, newsreels, and photographs recall the influential force of exhibitions, Harlem's vibrancy in the Roaring Twenties, and significant personalities such as William E. Harmon, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Alain Locke. Watch African-American artists triumph over formidable odds to create lasting beauty.  Also available as streaming video courtesy of the PBS Video Collection from ASP.

The Age of Slavery (1800-1860).  2013.  57 minutes.  Part of the African Americans Series.  : What made cotton so desirable? In the 1790s Americas oldest crops, like tobacco, were depleting farmland and dropping in value. At the same time, the textile industry in Great Britain was exploding, creating enormous international demand for cotton clothing. Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin, which easily separated cotton fiber from its seeds, was merely a motor for a global economic machine. Slavery was its fuel.... Many stakeholders benefited from the cotton economy -- plantation owners in the South, banks in the North, shipping merchants, and the textile industry in Great Britain. Cotton transformed the United States, making fertile land in the Deep South, from Georgia to Texas, extraordinarily valuable. Growing more cotton meant an increased demand for slaves. Slaves in the Upper South became incredibly more valuable as commodities because of this demand for them in the Deep South. They were sold off in droves. This created a Second Middle Passage, the second largest forced migration in America's history.... To feed "King Cotton," more than a million African Americans were carried off into the Deep South. That's two and a half times the number that were brought to the United States from Africa.

Aida's Brothers and Sisters : Black Voices in Opera (2008) / a film by Jan Schmidt-Garre and Marieke Schroeder ; a production of Pars Media ... [et al.] in cooperation with DRS ... [et al.]  [Halle/Saale] : Arthaus Musik, [2009]  1 DVD videodisc (85 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in    ML400 .A53 2000 VideoDVD : An absorbing look, with fabulous archival footage, at the struggle of African-American singers to reach such stages as the Metropolitan, from Marian Anderson and Paul Robeson to Leontyne Price and Simon Estes.

Ain't Scared of Your Jails, 1960-1961 / a production of BlacksideVolume 3 of Eye of the Prize.  PBS Video, 2006.  E185.615 .E943 2006 VideoDVD  v.3   : College students begin to take a leadership role in the civil rights movement. Lunch counter sit-ins spread from Nashville, Tennessee, through the South, giving life to a new force within the movement -- the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). The following year, many of these students found themselves facing death trying to break down segregation in interstate bus travel below the Mason-Dixon line, on the Freedom rides initiated by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). 

Alex Haley / a production of RTSI Lugano ; written and directed by Matteo BellinelliCalifornia Newsreel, c1992.  1 VHS videocassette (43 min.)  E175.5.H27 A4 1992 Videocassette : This inspiring portrait recounts the transformation of a college dropout into one of America's most powerful writers. In one of the few in-depth conversations filmed before his death in 1992, Alex Haley describes the dynamic collaboration that produced The Autobiography of Malcolm X and the quest for identity that yielded Roots.    For more info, visit California Newsreel.

Alice Walker : a conversation with Alice Walker / RTSI-Swiss Television, producer ; director, Matteo Bellinelli.  San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, 1992.  Available as streaming video via Black Studies in Video. : Alice Walker discusses her life from her childhood in rural Georgia to her present home in northern California. She also speaks on contemporary America, the "womanist" perspective, and reads from her poetry.  In black and white : six profiles of African American authors ; 4

All of Us : Protecting Black Women Against AIDS / directed by Emily Abt.  2009.   81:43 mins.   Streaming video via Filmakers Library.   : This unique documentary goes beyond the statistics of the AIDS epidemic among black women. It is a deeply personal exploration of the bedroom politics that make black women, and in fact all women, especially vulnerable to infection....The film follows a young female doctor, Mehret Mandefro, working in the south Bronx, as she gives medical and emotional support to her afflicted patients. Mehret is battling not only the virus, but the social conditions that leave these women so vulnerable. Focusing on two women, Chevelle and Tara, she explores their lives and how their early experience of abuse contributed to their inability to demand protected sex of their mates . She forms a support group where women patients confide in and comfort one another....As Chevelle and Tara strive for more power in their lives and relationships, Mehret expands her research to include women across boundaries of race, class and country. She realizes that even she, a Harvard- educated physician, faces a dangerous power imbalance in the bedroom. A provocative film to use in many areas of the curriculum.  Trailer from YouTube.  Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

All Power to the People! : The Black Panther Party and Beyond.  / Lee Lew Lee, producer/director & Kristin Bell & Nico Panigutti, co-producers.  2000.  58:16 minutes.  Streaming video from Filmakers Library : Opening with a montage of four hundred years of race injustice in America, this powerful documentary provides the historical context for the establishment of the 60's civil rights movement. Rare clips of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Fred Hampton and other activists transport one back to those tumultuous times. Organized by Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton, the Black Panther Party embodied every major element of the civil rights movement which preceded it and inspired the black, brown, yellow, Native American and women's power movements which followed...The party struck fear in the hearts of the "establishment" which viewed it as a terrorist group. Interviews with former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, CIA officer Philip Agee, and FBI agents Wes Swearingen and Bill Turner shockingly detail a "secret domestic war" of assassination, imprisonment and torture as the weapons of repression. Yet, the documentary is not a paean to the Panthers, for while it praises their early courage and moral idealism. it exposes their collapse due to megalomania, corruption, drugs, and narcissism...Broadcast in 19 countries abroad and winner of 9 awards, the film is an important look at the turmoils of the 60's and its leading players.  Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

America Beyond the Color Line / Wall to Wall Television ; written and presented by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. ; directors, Dan Percival and Mary Crisp.  PBS Home Video, [2005]  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 225 min.) E185.615 .A444 2005 VideoDVD : Gates travels to the east coast, the deep South, inner city Chicago, and Hollywood to investigate modern Black America and interview influential Americans including Colin Powell, Quincy Jones, Samuel L. Jackson, Alicia Keys, Maya Angelou, Willie Herenton and others.

America By the Numbers / with Maria Hinojosa ; series producer, Charlotte Mangin ; produced by the Futuro Media Group in association with WGBH for PBS.  [Arlington, Va.] : PBS Distribution, [2014]  2 videodiscs (approximately 240 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  E184.A1 A498 2014 VideoDVD  :  This series explores the impact of the growing number of Asians, Latinos, African Americans, persons of mixed race, immigrants, women, youth and LGBTs whose influence over culture, commerce and the outcome of elections is affecting every aspect of the life in America.

America in Black and White. Racial Profiling and Law Enforcement / [produced by] ABC News.  Princeton, NJ : Films for the Humanities, [2000], c1998.  1 VHS videocassette (44 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. HV8141 .R33 2000 Videocassette : Focuses on racial profiling in law enforcement, investigating the issue from the victim's point of view as well as through the eyes of the police.

American Blackout  / a Guerrilla News Network production ; produced by Anastasia King ; directed by Ian Inaba.  Berkeley, CA : GNN, c2006.  1 DVD videodisc (86 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  JK1976 .A647 2006 VideoDVD : Whatever you think you know about our election systems or Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, this film will make you question further why the news media fails to accurately inform the public. Directed by GNN's Ian Inaba, creator of Eminem's "Mosh" music video, American Blackout critically examines the contemporary tactics used to control our democratic process and silence voices of political dissent. Many have heard of the alleged voting irregularities that occurred during the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004. Until now, these incidents have gone under- reported and are commonly written-off as insignificant rumors or unintentional mishaps resulting from an overburdened election system. American Blackout chronicles the recurring patterns of voter disenfranchisement from Florida 2000 to Ohio 2004 while following the story of Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. Mckinney not only took an active role investigating these election debacles, but has found herself in the middle of her own after publicly questioning the Bush Administration about the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Featuring: Congressional members John Conyers, John Lewis, Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, Bernie Sanders and jounalists Greg Palast and Bob Fitrakis.

American Cowboys / produced by Wildbill Productions ; in association with Oregon Public Broadcasting ; Native American Public Telecommunications.  Lincoln, NE : Distributed by Vision Maker Video, [2005?]  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 27 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  F596 .A475 2005 VideoDVD : American Cowboys tells the stories of George Fletcher and Jackson Sundown, the first African American and the first Native American to compete in the World Title at the Pendleton Round-Up. This documentary reveals the glory of being the best, the frustration of being ignored, and the rewards for not giving up on a dream. Trailer

American Cultural History  : African Americans.   Tallahassee, Fl. :, 2005.  1 DVD videodisc (70 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in  E185 .A443 2005 VideoDVD : When we look at America as a whole, we tend to see the enchilada- not its ingredients. We acknowledge that African Americans have made some significant contributions to American culture, but are blissfully oblivious to the fact that they are an inalienable part of the fiber of this country's democracy, language, sports and politics...not to mention the fact that the very foundations of the modern America were laid by slave labor. This DVD explores the social and cultural ancestry of African Americans in wide focus, and cannot fail to expand our mental horizons on this valuable segment of our national community.  A compilation of five instructional films on the subject of African Americans : (1) We work again: A tribute to the Work Projects Administration (WPA) in their efforts to find jobs for African-Americans during the great depression of the 1930s. (2) Negro colleges in war time: Documentary short film detailing the work on American black college campuses in response to the call for military recruits and trained workers. (3) The plantation system in southern life: Describes how the plantation system affected the economic and social patterns of the South before the Civil War, and how the lingering effects of this system are in evidence today. Recreates life on a typical plantation dominated by one crop--cotton.  (4) Palmour Street: Depicts events in the daily life of a Negro family living on Palmour Street in Gainesville, Georgia. Illustrates basic concepts on mental health, and points out the influences, both negative and positive, that parents can have upon the mental and emotional development of their children. (5) Teddy: Describes the experiences of a black teenager, focusing on his views of the system and showing his relationship with the church, school, and community.

American denial / a co-production of Vital Pictures and Independent Television Service ; a film by Llewellyn Smith, Christine Herbes-Sommers and Kelly Thomson.  [Boston] : Vital Pictures, [2014]  1 DVD videodisc (56 min.) : sound, color with black & white sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.61 .A637 2014 VideoDVD  : "In 1938, Swedish researcher and Nobel Laureate Gunnar Myrdal plunges into America's Jim Crow South. His resulting study, An American dilemma (1944), poses a profoundly unsettling question: How can a people devoted to the American creed of equality, justice and opportunity for all continue to erect obstacles to those ends based on race? Through Myrdal's story and contemporary racial dynamics, the film explores how denial, cognitive dissonance, and implicit bias persist and shape all of our lives"

American experience. 1964 / American Experience Films presents ; an Insignia Films production ; written and directed by Stephen Ives ; produced by Amanda Pollak ; WGBH.  [Arlington, Va.] : PBS Distribution, [2014]   1 DVD videodisc (approximately 120 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in. MSU ROVI Movie Collection AF2 D0010541 VideoDVD : 1964 was the year the Beatles came to America, Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali, and three civil rights workers were murdered in Mississippi. It was the year when Berkeley students rose up in protest, African Americans fought back against injustice in Harlem, and Barry Goldwater's conservative revolution took over the Republican Party. In myriad ways, 1964 was the year when Americans faced choices: between the liberalism of Lyndon Johnson or Barry Goldwater's grassroots conservatism, between support or opposition to the civil rights movement, between an embrace of the emerging counterculture or a defense of traditional values.

America's Black Soldiers / a Lou Reda Production ; produced by Mort Zimmerman ; directed by Don Horan ; written by Norman Stahl.  New Dimension Media, [1998?]  1 VHS videocassette (28 min.)  E185.63 .A64 1998 Videocassette : "It was a war without bullets and bombs, one that was silent and invisible to most Americans. This program reveals the story of Black Americans' long battle for the right to serve as equals in the US military. Facing discrimination, segregation, and sometimes outright hostility and rejection, Blacks nevertheless managed to honorably serve and often heroically fight in such conflicts as the Civil War, the Spanish American War, and World War I. However, it wasn't until their huge contribution to the American victory in World War II that Blacks finally won the military's acceptance and permanent surrender. Rare footage captures their inspiring battle - and provides students a rich insight into social history".

Amiri Baraka / production of Public Affairs Television, Inc. with Tatge/Lasseur Productions ; a presentation of Thirteen/WNET New York. Princeton, NJ : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c1999. 1 VHS videocassette (27 min.) sd., col. ; 1/2 in. PS3552.A583 Z6 1999 Videocassette : Artist/activist Amiri Baraka has managed to alter not merely the face of African-American writing, but its very sound and substance as well: among the first to promote Africanized English, he also introduced an element of jazz into poetry. In this program, Bill Moyers and Mr. Baraka discuss topics centering on the black experience in America.

Amos 'n' Andy : Anatomy of a Controversy (48:10). Streaming video courtesy of Hulu.  The CBS series is taken off the air in 1953 because of protests from civil rights groups; host George Kirby.

Andrew Young directed by Bill Buckley (Rediscovery Productions, 2011) 28:23 mins . Streaming video from American History on Film.  Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

The Angola 3  : Black Panthers and the last slave plantation / directed by Jimmy O'Halligan ; co-produced by Scott Crow and Ann Harkness.   Oakland, CA : PM Press, c2008.   1 DVD videodisc (109 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in  HV9481.A542 A54 2008 VideoDVD : elling the gripping story of Robert King Wilkerson, Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox, this book describes these men who have endured solitary confinement longer than any known living prisoner in the United States. Politicized through contact with the Black Panther Party while inside Louisiana’s prisons, they formed one of the only prison Panther chapters in history and worked to organize other prisoners into a movement for the right to live like human beings. This feature length movie explores their extraordinary struggle for justice while incarcerated in Angola, a former slave plantation where institutionalized rape and murder made it known as one of the most brutal and racist prisons in the United States. The analysis of the Angola 3’s political work, and the criminal cases used to isolate and silence them, occurs within the context of the widespread COINTELPRO being carried out in the 1960’s and 70’s by the FBI and state law enforcement against militant voices for change....In a partial victory, the courts exonerated Robert King Wilkerson of the original charges and released him in 2001; he continues the fight for the freedom of his two brothers. The ongoing campaign, which includes a civil case soon to come before the Supreme Court, is supported by people and organizations such as Amnesty International, the A.C.L.U., Harry Belafonte, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, Ramsey Clark, Sen. John Conyers, Sister Helen Prejean, (the late) Anita Roddick, Bishop Desmond Tutu and the ANC. Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox have now endured as political prisoners in solitary confinement for over 35 years....Narrated by Mumia Abu-Jamal, The Angola 3 features interviews with former Panthers, political prisoners and revolutionaries, including the Angola 3 themselves, and Bo Brown, Geronimo (ji Jaga) Pratt, Malik Rahim, Yuri Kochiyama, David Hilliard, Rod Coronado, Noelle Hanrahan, Kiilu Nyasha, Marion Brown, Luis Talamantez, Gail Shaw and many others. Portions of the proceeds go to support the Angola 3. For more information visit

The Angry Eye / [United States] : JaneElliott Educator, c2008.  1 DVD-R videodisc : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  34 and 51 minutes versions.  BF575.P9 A54 2008 VideoDVD : Documentary on Jane Elliott's blue-eyed/brown-eyed exercise in discrimination, involving college students forced to experience racist treatment minorities have received for years.  Originally produced as a documentary film in 2001.

Anita : Speaking Truth to Power / Chanlim Films ; American Film Foundation ; in association with Impact Partners and Artemis Rising Foundtion ; a film by Freida Mock ; director, writer, producer, Freida Mock. [New York, New York] : First Run Features, [2013]   1 DVD videodisc (77 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in. KF373.H46 A55 2013 VideoDVD (Also available as streaming video via Kanopy) : An entire country watched as a poised, beautiful African-American woman sat before a Senate committee of 14 white men and with a clear, unwavering voice recounted the repeated acts of sexual harassment she had endured while working with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Anita Hill's graphic testimony was a turning point for gender equality in the U.S. and ignited a political firestorm about sexual misconduct and power in the workplace that resonates still today. Against a backdrop of sex, politics, and race, Anita: Speaking Truth to Power reveals the story of a woman who has empowered millions to stand up for equality and justice. Directed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Freida Mock, the film celebrates Anita Hill's legacy and provides a rare glimpse into her private life and career.

Another America  : documentary / by Michael Cho.  National Asian American Telecommunications Association [distributor], 1996.  1 VHS videocassette (56 min.) E185.61 .A56 1996 Videocassette : Both the riots in Los Angeles and the murder of an uncle at his store in Detroit forced the filmmaker to start a personal investigation to examine the relationships between the Korean-American and Afro-American communities. Through his camera and many personal interviews, Cho reveals a rarely seen portrait of life in the inner city and takes a hard look at his own uncle's murder, telling how this crime affected not only his family, but the entire city.

Are We Different? / Produced by John Arthos.  1993.  27 minutes.  Streaming video from Filmakers Library : A tacit code of silence on matters of race perpetuates divisions. Are We Different? gives voice to African-American students around the country as they articulate issues of race, racism and race relations. It uncovers subjects that are generally taboo or difficult to express....The discussion ranges from whether stylistic differences between whites and blacks are superficial or profound, to the causes and nature of anger and frustration in the black community. The students question why "blackness" is suddenly so fashionable and why some white kids like to hang out in black neighborhoods. They talk about black culture with its special speech patterns and gestures that sets it apart. They talk about black spirituality and energy....As Cornel West, director of Princeton's Afro-American Studies program says, "The fundamental failure of this country is not to engage in a critical discussion about race." That is why this film is so important.  Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Arthur Ashe : Citizen of the World  / HBO Sports ; produced by Julie Anderson, Ross Greenburg ; directed by Julie Anderson ; written by Frank Deford.  [New York] : HBO Video, [2005]    1 DVD videodisc (approximately 60 min.) : sound, color with black and white sequences ; 4 3/4 in.     ROVI Movie Collection :   Presents the life and career of tennis great Arthur Ashe. Known for his sports skill, he was also a champion of civil rights and equality, such as his notable part in calling attention to South Africa's system of apartheid.

The Assasination of Martin Luther King, Jr., see Roads to Memphis.

Asylum / a film by Sandy McLeod and Gini Reticker.  New York, N.Y. : Filmakers Library, [2003]  1 DVD videodisc (20 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  GN484 .A8 2003 VideoDVD : Asylum is a powerful tale of a young Ghanian woman whose life suddenly changes when her father insists that she undergo a bloody, life-threatening circumcision and then marry an old man. Although traditional circumcision is now illegal in Ghana, it is still practiced....Baaba Andoh had a happy childhood, raised by her mother who sold vegetables in the market place. Baaba had sought out her long-lost father to seek his blessing for her marriage to the man of her dreams. To her horror, she learned of her father's plan and fled her village. Her father, a man of some means, pursued her....Having no recourse but to leave the country, she obtained a false passport and a ticket to the U.S. with the help of friends. The INS spotted the forgery immediately and arrested her at Newark Airport. She spends a nightmarish year in prison before she is successful in obtaining political asylum. Her chilling story is not unlike that of many of the 7,000 women immigrants now being held in detention, awaiting legal representation and hearings on their claims.

At the river I stand / a film by David Appleby, Allison Graham, Steven John Ross ; a production of Memphis State University, Department of Theatre and Communication Arts.  San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, 1993.   58 minutes.   Streaming video via Black Studies in Video. : Documentary of two 1968 events in the civil rights movement-- the sanitation workers strike in Memphis, Tennessee and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Shows how the black community, local civil rights leaders, and AFSCME mobilized behind the strikers in mass demonstrations and a boycott of downtown businesses.

August Wilson : a conversation with August Wilson / SSR-RTSI Swiss Television production ; producer & director, Matteo Bellinelli.  San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, 1992.  Available as streaming video via Black Studies in Video. : Playwright August Wilson talks about his roots in the black community, how his plays express the African-American experience, how the African heritage of Black Americans is both expressed and repressed in American society today, and the importance of blues as cultural expression.  In black and white : six profiles of African American authors ; 5

The Autobiography of Malcolm X  / produced by Lucky Pictures, Inc. for The Learning Channel ; producer/director, Lynn Dougherty ; writers, Lynn Dougherty, Sydnye White. Princeton, NJ : Films for the Humanities, c2001.  1 VHS videocassette (60 min.) ; sd., col. ; 1/2 in. E185.97.L5 A3 2001 Videocassette : Presents the life of Malcolm X, using interviews, excerpts from his speeches and archival films.

Awakenings : (1954-56) / produced by Blackside, Inc. and PBS Video.   PBS Video, 1986.  1 videocassette (U-matic) (60min.)  E185.615 .A93 1986 Videocassette :  Highlights two extraordinary acts by ordinary people that focused the eyes of the nation on Southern battlefields: first, the murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in Money, Mississippi and Mose Wright's courageous testimony identifying his nephew's killers; then, Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man, which triggered the 12-month-long bus boycott that ended segregation in the Montgomery, Alabama, city bus system.  Also shows southern race relations at mid-century and witnesses the awakening of individuals to their own courage and power. Part of the Eyes on the Prize collection.

Selected Documentary Films, B

All African American documentaries are located in the Digital and Multimedia Center unless otherwise indicated. Movies can be checked out unless reserved for a class.

BaadAssss Cinema  : a Bold Look at 70's Blaxploitation Films / Independent Film Channel presents a Minerva Pictures production ; directed by Isaac Julien ; produced by Paula Jalfon and Colin MacCabe.  Docurama : Distributed by New Video, c2002.  1 DVD videodisc (56 min.) PN1995.9.N4 B323 2002 VideoDVD : "In this groundbreaking documentary from the Independent Film channel, filmmaker Isaac Julien takes us back to the early 70s and the explosion of blaxploitation films, today one of American cinema's most beloved cult genres. The original guilty pleasure, these fun and energetic films had all the action, comedy, sex and groovy music you could want in two hours worth of entertainment."

Ballad of Henry Box Brown (7 min.) Streaming video courtesy of the Internet Archive. Gemini Ink Dramatic Readers Theater production of Black and Blue: 400 Years of Struggle and Transcendence "The Ballad of Henry Box Brown" tells the true story of a man who mailed himself to freedom. Playwright Sterling Houston -- through letters, stories, poems, songs, theatrical excerpts, and actual historical documents from the slavery and civil rights era --  reveals snapshots of the African-American journey.

Banished / written by Marco Williams and Maia Harris ; director-producer, Marco Williams ; co-producer, Maia Harris ; a co-production of the Center for Investigative Reporting and Two Tone Productions ; produced in association with ITVS and NBPC.  [San Francisco, Calif.] : California Newsreel, 2007.  1 DVD videodisc (84 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in    [New York?] : Two Tone Productions, Center for Investigative Reporting, Working Films, [2006?]  1 DVD videodisc (87 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.86 .B2638 2007 VideoDVD : Recounts the forgotten history of racial cleansing in America, when thousands of African Americans were driven from their homes and communities by violent racist mobs in the late 19th and early 20th centuries... The film places these events in the context of present day race relations, by following three concrete cases of towns that remain all-white to this day: Forsyth County, Georgia; Pierce City, Missouri; & Harrison, Arkansas"

Banished / a film by Marco Williams.  [New York?] : Two Tone Productions, Center for Investigative Reporting, Working Films, [2006?]  1 DVD videodisc (87 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  MSU College of Law Library Reserve B : Banished vividly recounts the forgotten history of racial cleansing in America when thousands of African Americas were driven from their homes and communities by violent racist mobs in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In fear for their lives, black people left these towns and never returned to reclaim their property. The film places these events in the context of present day race relations, by following three concrete cases of towns that remain all-white to this day (Forsyth County, Georgia; Pierce City, Missouri; Harrison, Arkansas). Banished raises the larger questions -- will the United States ever make meaningful reparations for the human rights abuses suffered, then and now, against its African American citizens? Can reconciliation between the races be possible without them? Banished follows a twisting trail through yellowed newspaper archives registries of deeds, photos from treasured family albums and dimly recalled stories of elders who lived through those traumatic events. The film features black families determined to go to any length to reconstruct their families past and gain some justice for their ancestors and themselves. It also interviews dedicated, local, newspaper reporters who braved community opposition to research the banishments in-depth and force their readers to confront their towns past and present.

The Barber of Birmingham : Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement  / a film by Gail Dolgin and Robin Fryday       [U.S.] : Purposeful Productions, c2011. 1 DVD videodisc (26 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.93.A3 B37 2011 VideoDVD : Academy Award-nominated The Barber of Birmingham movingly portrays the unsung "foot soldiers" of the civil rights movement through the personal story of 85-year-old barber James Armstrong, who carried the American flag in the epic 1965 "Bloody Sunday" Selma voting rights march, and spearheaded efforts to integrate public schools in Alabama....Armstrong was one of thousands of average Americans who risked jail and their lives in the fight for racial equality and the right to vote. "The worst thing a man can do is nothing," says Armstrong in the film....An Army veteran, he was the proprietor of Armstrong's Barbershop, a political and cultural hub in Birmingham, Alabama, for more than 50 years. Every inch of wall space in his shop was covered with inspirational clippings and photographs of his heroes, including Martin Luther King, Jr., who had his hair cut by Armstrong....In addition to participating in the Selma march and being jailed in other protests, Armstrong filed a ground-breaking lawsuit in 1957 that challenged school segregation and led to his two sons enrolling as the first black students at previously all-white Graymont Elementary in 1963. One of his sons reflects back on what it was like as a child during those difficult days....Notably in the film, Armstrong celebrates an event he never believed he'd see in his lifetime -- the election and inauguration of the first African-American president. "This is what I went to jail and marched for," he says....The Barber of Birmingham vividly illustrates the history and impact of the voting and civil rights movement through James Armstrong’s journey, supplemented by commentary from prominent civil rights veterans as well as historical footage from the 1965 Selma march, Armstrong's campaign for school integration, and Dr. King's famous "I've been to the mountain top" speech.

Beah : a black woman speaks / Clinica Estetico ; in association with HBO/Cinemax Documentary Films ; written & directed by LisaGay Hamilton ; produced by Neda Armian ... [et al.].  New York, NY : Distributed by Women Make Movies, 2003.  1 DVD videodisc (90 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. E185.97.R53 B43 2003 VideoDVD : Beah : A Black Woman Speaks, the directorial debut of actress LisaGay Hamilton, celebrates the life of legendary African American actress, poet and political activist Beah Richards, best known for her Oscar nominated role in Guess Who's Coming for Dinner. While Richards’ struggled to overcome racial stereotypes throughout her long career onstage and onscreen in Hollywood and New York, she also had an influential role in the fight for Civil Rights, working alongside the likes of Paul Robeson, W.E.B. DuBois and Louise Patterson. ...After performing with Richards in Jonathan Demme's Beloved, Hamilton was compelled to get her inspiring story on film, and began the project with Demme as co-producer. Hamilton’s intimate interviews capture Richards’ feisty passion and enduring elegance, and are woven together with a cache of archival material of her work as an actress and activist, including riveting performances of some of her most famous poems. Enlightening and moving, the film is a fitting tribute to Richard’s life of integrity, leadership and service to the two cultures she loved so deeply—the arts and the African American community.

Between Black and White / Produced by Giannella Garrett. 1994.  26 minutes. Streaming video from Filmakers Library : Between Black & White explores the impact society and history have on the perception of color in the United States, and questions whether race can be determined on face value. Are the categories of "black" and "white" still relevant in our evolving society?...Four men and women, each with a black and a white parent, are featured in this film. Each has been identified by society as being one race or the other, but rarely celebrated as being part of both. And each has his or her own definition of who and what they are....The issues of personal and social identity are examined through interviews, family photos and contemporary footage. Several of the young people interviewed have gone on to prestigious careers where issues of race have played a part. Omar Wasow is executive director of Black, an internet company that enables the community of the African diaspora to form meaningful business and personal relationships. He is also an internet analyst for WNBC. Danzy Senna, now a best selling novelist, explores in her book Caucasia the complexity of racial identity in an interracial family. Note : access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Biggie & Tupac : The Story Behind the Murder of Rap's Biggest Superstar (2001) / producer, Michele D'Acosta ; director, Nick Broomfield ; a Lafayette film produced for Channel 4.  [Santa Monica, CA] : Lafayette Films ; New York, NY : Distributed by Razor & Tie Direct, 2005.  1 DVD  (107 minutes) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  ML394 .B54 2002 VideoDVD : During the mid-'90s a deadly East Coast vs. West Coast rap rivalry erupted, fought between the New York-based camp of Sean "Puffy" Combs and his Bad Boy label, home to Brooklyn's Biggie Smalls (a.k.a. Notorious B.I.G., legally Christopher Wallace), and West Coast riders at Marion "Suge" Knight's Death Row records, home to Tupac Shakur. The feud quickly escalated from CD disses to real-life crime, and murder. On Sept. 7, 1996, Tupac Shakur, 25, was gunned down gangland-style at a traffic light in Las Vegas. On March 9, 1997, Wallace, 24, was sprayed with bullets while sitting in an SUV outside a Los Angeles music industry party. Neither crime has been solved; nobody has ever been arrested in connection with the killings. Documentarian Nick Broomfield plunges fearlessly into this milieu, believing that more is there than meets the eye. The resulting film is an unwieldy mixture of investigative journalism and awkward comedy, but as human drama, it is a revelation....Documentary on the deaths of tupac shakur and biggie smalls and the east coast/west coast hip-hop/rap rivalry that culminated in late 1996 and early 1997.  It would be an exaggeration to say that Nick Broomfield solved the murders of Biggie and Tupac. Nonetheless, he makes a convincing case as to who the perpetrators were and why they weren't brought to justice. Broomfield (Kurt and Courtney), who narrates and appears on camera, comes across like a scruffy Robin Leach, but he's done his homework and sniffs out the clues with the tenacity of a bloodhound. Time and again, he refuses to be intimidated--even when his life appears to be at stake. Fortunately, he was able to convince Voletta Wallace, beloved mother of Biggie Smalls (a.k.a. the Notorious B.I.G.), to cooperate, and that opened many doors. Unfortunately, Afeni Shakur, Tupac's mother, refused to participate or to allow access to his music. She had nothing to fear. Broomfield is fair to both rappers, although the soundtrack is all-Biggie. Easily one of the most fascinating documentaries of 2002.

Black American Conservatism : an Exploration of Ideas / South Carolina Educational Television ; produced by CERTPBS Video, c1992.  1 VHS videocassette (58 min.) E185.615 .B44 1992 Videocassette : Interviews with a number of successful Black business people and activists who discuss their views of Black conservatism. Self-help strategies and the results of some of those strategies on Black communities are also examined. 

The Black American Experience : Charles Drew - Revolutionized Medical Science, see Charles Drew - Revolutionized Medical Science.

The Black American Experience: Chester Himes - A Rage in Harlem, Internationally Acclaimed Writer, see Chester Himes - A Rage in Harlem, Internationally Acclaimed Writer.

The Black American Experience : Dr. Daniel Hale Williams - First Black Heart Surgeon in America, see Dr. Daniel Hale Williams - First Black Heart Surgeon in America.

The Black American Experience : Fannie Lou Hamer - Voting Rights Activist & Civl Rights Leader, see Fannie Lou Hamer - Voting Rights Activist & Civl Rights Leader.

The Black American Experience : Ida B. Wells - Crusader for Human Rights, see Ida B. Wells - Crusader for Human Rights.

The Black American Experience: Mary McLeod Bethune - Champion for Education, see Mary McLeod Bethune - Champion for Education.

The Black American Experience : Paul Robeson - 20th Century Renaissance Man, Entertainer & Activist, see Paul Robeson - 20th Century Renaissance Man, Entertainer & Activist.

The Black American Experience: Ralph Ellison - Invisible Man, Celebrated Writer, see Ralph Ellison - Invisible Man, Celebrated Writer.

The Black American Experience : Richard Wright - Native Son, Author & Activist, see Richard Wright - Native Son, Author & Activist.

The Black American Experience: Shirley Chisholm - First Black Congresswoman, see   Shirley Chisholm - First Black Congresswoman.

Black and blue : the story of Gerald Ford, Willis Ward, and the 1934 Michigan-Georgia Tech football game / Stunt3 Multimedia presents a Brian Kruger and Buddy Moorehouse film. [Grosse Point, MI] : Stunt3 Multimedia, c2011. 1 DVD videodisc (ca. 56 minutes) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. GV958.M43 B53 2011 VideoDVD : It was one of the most disgraceful incidents in Michigan football history - and ultimately, one of the most inspiring. This film tells the long-forgotten story of the 1934 game between Michigan and Georgia Tech - a story that's never been told on film before. When the Yellow Jackets agreed that season to come to Ann Arbor for a game, they insisted on one condition - Michigan had to sit out the lone African-American player on the team, a talented end from Detroit named Willis Ward. Many of Ward’s teammates were outraged when athletic officials at U-M agreed to the demand. The most outraged Wolverine was Ward’s roommate, a lineman from Grand Rapids named Gerald Ford. Ford threatened to quit the team in response to Ward’s benching - and changed his mind only after Ward convinced him that he had to play. The incident also galvanized the U-M student body and Ann Arbor community, which held loud and vocal protests against the decision to keep Ward out of the game. In the end, the Ward incident helped Michigan turn an important corner in race relations, and made an impact on Gerald Ford that stayed with him all the way to the White House, helping shape his views on civil rights and racial equality. Willis Ward and Gerald Ford also remained close friends for the rest of their days. Trailer.

Black Atlantic (1500-1800).  2013.  57 minutes.  Part of the African Americans Series.  :   Eplores the truly global experiences that created the African American people. Beginning a full century before the first documented slaves arrived at Jamestown, Virginia, the episode portrays the earliest Africans, both slave and free, who arrived on the North American shores. Soon afterwards, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade would become a vast empire connecting three continents.  Through stories of individuals caught in its web, like a 10-year-old girl named Priscilla who was transported from Sierra Leone to South Carolina in the mid-18th century, we trace the emergence of plantation slavery in the American South. The late 18th century saw a global explosion of freedom movements, and The Black Atlantic examines what that Era of Revolutions--American, French and Haitian--would mean for African Americans, and for slavery in America. 

Black by Popular Demand. Black and Blue : Black Women in Jazz and Blues Music / British Film Institute presentsBFI, [1990?]  1 VHS videocassette (90 min.)  VHS, PAL format, not compatible with American VCR players.  ML82 .B528 1990 PAL Videocassette : Features two American films that highlight black women's contribution to the blues and jazz. Tiny & Ruby, Hell Divin' Women (1988) reconstructs, through interviews, animation and home movies the lives of trumpeter Ernestine 'Tiny' Davis and pianist, bass player and drummer Ruby Lucas. Wild Women Don't Have the Blues (1988) shows rare footage of many blues women including Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters and other talking about the history of their contribution to American culture. 

Black Communities After the Civil War  : Echoes Across the Prairie / writer, director, producer, Ann Eskridge.  Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c1998. 1 VHS videocassette (17 min.) E185.2 .B525 1998 Videocassette :  "Historians trace the westward migration of former slaves to Oklahoma after the Civil War and examine their lives there as successful farmers and business owners. The focus is on the towns of Clearview and Boley. 

The Black Fatherhood Project  / Dream Chase Media presents a Jordan Thierry film ; written, directed, and produced by Jordan Thierry.  [Beaverton, Or.] : Dream Chase Media, 2013  1 DVD videodisc (73 min.) : sound, color with black   & white sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  HQ756 .T454 2013 VideoDVD : In The Black Fatherhood Project, filmmaker Jordan Thierry leads viewers through an honest and essential exploration of fatherhood in Black America, providing historical context and conversation for an issue at the core of the Black experience today....Nationwide, 67 percent of Black children live in single-parent families, predominantly with their mother, a ratio that has tripled since the 1960’s....In the first half of the film, Thierry begins by telling his own family story, then with the help of historians and others, traces the roots of the fatherless Black home, revealing a history much more complex and profound than is commonly known. The film digs deep to explore how Black families functioned in Africa before slavery, and how slavery, racism, and other recent challenges such as mass incarceration affect Black fatherhood. It looks beyond major historical events and discusses their psychological impacts, and calls into question traditional family roles and cultural adaptation....In the second half of the film, Thierry puts that history into contemporary perspective in a candid dialogue among a diverse group of Black fathers. These dads talk openly about their experiences and the value systems they employ to raise their own families. Their stories serve as positive role models for inspiring other dads to help break the cycle of fatherless families. Thierry closes the film by sharing insights and solutions to ensure the power of a father’s love is not lost on America’s Black children.

Black Greek Organizations. The Foundation  : A True Documentary / Block Party Entertainment presents ; producers, Keenan Walker, James Davis ; screenplay by Keenan Walker, Gabriel Hart, James Davis ; directed by James Davis.  [United States] : Passion River , [2008?]  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 56 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in  LC2781 .B553 2008 VideoDVD  :  Delve into the world of the Black Greek Organizations. A hidden culture teaming with a dynamic sense of brotherhood & sisterhood. A history that can be traced back to Ancient times to find its origin in the Masonic order. The first installment of the documentary trilogy will take you behind the veil to a place dimly known. With interviews of Greek Organization members, including Shaquille O'Neil, Sherryl Underwood, and featuring the last interview of the late, great Johnnie Cochran -perhaps his most intimate ever! This compilation of historical facts and personal accounts enlightens the viewer as to the source of the pride that reigns throughout the Black Greek Organizations. And also teaches us in great detail about - from whence they come.

Black Indians  : An American Story / Rich-Heape Films.  Dallas, Tex. : Rich-Heape Films, c2000.  1 VHS videocassette (60 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. E98.R28 B53 2000 Videocassette : Explores what brought Native Americans and African Americans together, what drove them apart, and the challenges that they face today.

Black Inventors: Black Men and Iron Horses directed by Bill Buckley (Rediscovery Productions, 2011) 18:21 mins.  Streaming video from American History in VideoAccess limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Black Is-- Black Ain't : a Personal Journey Through Black Identity / Independent Television Service ; Signifyin' Works ; producer/director, Marlon T. Riggs ; co-producer, Nicole Atkinson ; co-director/editor, Christiane Badgley.  California Newsreel, c1995.  1 VHS videocassette (88 min.)  E185.625 .B555 1995 Videocassette  : Also available as streaming video from Black Studies in Video :  American culture has stereotyped black Americans for centuries. Equally devastating, the late Marlon Riggs argued, have been the definitions of "blackness" African Americans impose upon one another which contain and reduce the black experience. In this film, Riggs meets a cross-section of African Americans grappling with the paradox of numerous, often contradictory definitions of blackness.  For more information, visit California Newsreel.

Black Israel / A film by Maurice Dores.  2002.  85 minutes.  Streaming video from Filmakers Library : This engaging film is a vibrant portrait of pluralistic 21st-century Jewish identities across the globe. It documents Africans and African-Americans who live in Israel and practice Judaism there. Africans from Nigeria, Togo, the Congo, Zaire, Lagos and Ethiopia have emigrated to Israel to work or to study Judaism. They were unable to study their religion at home since there was no one to teach them....In the Negev desert, several thousand black Americans who fled the urban slums in the 1960's have formed an independent community where they practice their own version of the Hebraic religion under the law of their leader Carter Ben Ami. Although they have been denied citizenship in Israel, they enjoy friendly relations with Israelis and believe Israel is "the kingdom of Paradise on Earth."...Many black Jews born in the Caribbean have moved to the U.S. to practice Judaism. One congregant of the Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation in Harlem, born in Trinidad, recalls that his father's family which had Sephardic roots, kept kosher and celebrated the Sabbath. We meet a diverse group of people from a Harlem rabbi who reveals his thoughts on the spread of Judaism in sub-Saharan Africa, to Rebecca Walker, the biracial daughter of civil rights activist Alice Walker and to an African learning Yiddish in Paris. As one Jew from Nigeria concludes "Judaism has no color." Note : access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Black Like Me / a Walter Reade/Sterling presentation ; presented by Victor Weingarten ; screenplay by Gerda Lerner, Carl Lerner ; produced by Julius Tannenbaum ; directed by Carl Lerner.   Toronto, Ont. : Video Service Corp., [2012]   2 videodiscs (105 min.) : sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet (11 pages : illustrations ; 19 cm)  ROVI Film Collection CY7 D0145392 VideoDVD  discs 1-2  : Originally released in 1964.  Based on the landmark memoir by John Howard Griffin, Black Like Me stars James Whitmore as Griffin, who medically altered his pigment and, with the help of a sunlamp, reinvented himself as an itinerant black writer navigating his way through Mississippi and Alabama. Along the way he experienced firsthand both crushing racism and the incredible life force of the Afro-American communities.

Black Like Who? / Directed by Debbie Williams.  Produced at USC School of Cinema & Television.  1997.  27 minutes  Streaming video from Filmakers Library : In this painfully honest documentary, filmmaker Debbie Reynolds explores themes of assimilation, internalized racism and self hatred....Debbie is a black student who grew up in a white neighborhood, went to white schools, had white friends, and did not think about being black. As she grew older and left home, her new friends at college noticed her inability to relate easily to other blacks. Debbie realized she had a troubling identity problem and she searched for its origins within her family....Interviewing her parents, she learns that her father's middle class aspirations led him to a tidy white suburb, safe from drugs and crime. Yet he recalls his amazement when six-year-old Debbie did not realize she was black. In retrospect, her mother mourns that they did not instill black pride in their children....Debbie questions her fellow black students about what it means to be black. "We are all searching," they say. Even those who grew up with a strong black identity are still not clear how they fit into the larger society. They each struggle to understand how their race and ethnicity shape their sense of self. This is a unique film to spark discussion on racial identity.  Access restricted to the MSU community and other subscribers.

The Black List. Volume 1 (2008) / HBO Documentary Films ; Freemind Ventures presents ; executive producers, Christopher McKee, Scott Richman, Tommy Walker, Payne Brown ; HBO executive producer, Sheila Nevins ; produced by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Elvis Mitchell, Michael Slap Sloane ; directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.  [New York] : FreeMind Ventures : Home Box Office, 2008, c2009.  1 videodisc (ca. 92 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.96 .B56 2008 VideoDVD : As a new chapter begins in this country, The Black List offers a dynamic and never-before-heard perspective from achievers of color. This series of inspired - and inspiring - observations on African-American life in the 21st century forms a roll call of some of the most compelling politicians, writers, thinkers and performers ever to tackle their fields of endeavor. Watch the interview-portraits and get a sharper snapshot of where this country has been and where it's headed. Directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders. Featuring : Slash, Toni Morrison, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Vernon Jordan, Faye Wattleton, Russell Simmons, Marc Morial, Serena Williams, Lou Gossett, Jr., Lorna Simpson, Mahlon Duckett, Zane, Al Sharpton, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Thelma Golden, Sean Combs, Susan Rice, Chris Rock, Suzan-Lori Parks, Richard Parsons, Dawn Staley, Colin Powell, Bill T. Jones.

The Black list. Volume 2  / HBO Documentary Films ; Freemind Ventures presents ; executive producers, Christopher McKee, Scott Richman, Tommy Walker, Payne Brown ; HBO executive producer, Sheila Nevins ; produced by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Elvis Mitchell, Michael Slap Sloane ; directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.  [New York] : Home Box Office, c2009.  1 videodisc (60 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.96 .B563 2009 VideoDVD : In this follow-up to the NAACP Image Award-winning The Black List: Volume One, interviewer Elvis Mitchell and director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders explore 15 new African-American lives on the cusp of this historic moment. Now more than ever, The Black List continues a riveting and singular work of video portraiture.  Featuring : Kara Walker, Rza, Barbara Harris, Tyler Perry, Patrick Robinson, Valerie Montgomery-Rice, Deval Patrick, Suzanne De Passe, T. D. Jakes, Maya Rudolph, Melvin Van Peebles, Majora Carter, Laurence Fishburne, Angela Davis, Charley Pride.

#BlackLivesMatter / producer, Matt Davis ; a Films for the Humanities & Sciences presentation.  New York, NY : Films Media Group, [2016]  1 DVD videodisc (58 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.615 .B473 2016 VideoDVD : Reporter Sally Sara takes to the streets of Baltimore and Chicago to investigate a reawakened civil rights movement that’s fighting to stop the killing of black Americans.  Contents:

  • Birth of a Mass Movement (02:15) : Black Lives Matter attempts to turn a social movement into a political force. One third of black men go to jail. (Credits)
  • Urban Upheaval and Opportunity (02:35) : Baltimore lost over 100,000 jobs in the past sixty years. Devin Allen photographs residents. Locals describe how they feel about the city.
  • Born in West Baltimore (02:13) : More than 20 of Allen's friends perished due to drug violence or gang shootings. Freddie Gray died from spinal injuries after being arrested. Allen photographed the subsequent riots and protests.
  • Police Brutality (02:16) : J. C. Faulk describes how some neighborhoods in Baltimore have been boarded up since the riots in 1968. African Americans are still fighting to be free.
  • Trayvon Martin (02:14) : When George Zimmerman was acquitted, the #BlackLivesMatter movement began. Riots erupted when Michael Brown was unarmed and shot by police. African Americans are twice as likely to be shot by the police.
  • Police Brutality (02:02) : Black Lives Matter uses social media to inform the public and exert political pressure. Marilyn Mosby indicted the six officers present during the death of Freddie Gray. Faulk describes how it gave hope for change to African Americans.
  • Indictment Rocked Police Force (01:59) : "Joe," an anonymous source working as an officer, describes how police are considered the scapegoats of the government, but admits some officers are bullies.
  • Unjust System (02:08) : Dr. Melina Abdullah explains the police system needs to be transformed. The Baltimore force agreed to pay Freddie Gray's family 6.4 million dollars. Tawanda Jones seeks justice for her brother's death.
  • A Father and Grandfather (02:56) : On July 18, 2013 Tyrone West was pulled over for acting suspiciously. Jones describes the incident. West was tasered, pepper sprayed and beaten; he died in handcuffs.
  • Justice in America? (02:55) : Faulk describes how African Americans feel uncomfortable in the United States. Michael Wood, a former Baltimore police officer, came forward after the death of Freddie Gray. He wonders why the police force is unwilling to modify its behavior.
  • Disadvantage Baltimore Neighborhood (02:08) : In Sandtown-Winchester individuals have a higher chance of going to jail than attending college. Over 450 people are currently incarcerated at a cost of 17 million dollars.
  • Role of Police in Baltimore (02:10) : Wood describes that his job was to send African American's to jail. Sandtown-Winchester residents explain how the "Ghetto Bird" (helicopter) circles overhead all day to monitor and watch them.
  • America Throws Black People Away (02:34) : Abdullah describes how difficult it is to be black mother. 2.2 million people are incarcerated costing taxpayers 80 billion dollars each year. Cory Booker explains why he wants to reduce prison sentences and rid former convicts of collateral consequences.
  • Race, Inequality, and Violence (02:57) : Most of the African Americans in Chicago reside in the south side. A victim dies from gun violence every three hours in the area.
  • Nortasha Stingley Remembers Her Daughter (02:39) : In June 2013 a gunman opened fire on a car Marissa Boyd-Stingley was traveling in. She was killed and the other passengers wounded. The shooter received two years and 21 days in prison.
  • Stingley's Neighbor Shot (02:06) : An unknown gunman killed Tyjuan Poindexter, 14, in a random drive by shooting. Crisis responder Michael Simmons explains that he has called upon eight shooting victims' families today alone. Stingley's son is only allowed to walk on his street.
  • Don't Come to Chicago (02:53) : Stingley describes the epidemic of gun violence within the community. Booker explains that regardless of race, all children are our responsibility. Mourners gather at the site of Tyjuan Poindexter's shooting.
  • Solving Scores on the Court (03:42) : Father Michael Pfleger runs a community outreach program where former gang members play basketball. Over the past weekend, three people were killed and 30 wounded from gun violence. He thinks Black Lives Matter is an excellent organization because it gives African Americans in the community hope.
  • 50 Shootings in One Weekend (02:02) : One of the members of Pfleger's basketball team is shot and killed in Chicago. Stingley explains that she does not only put the fear of God into her son, but also the "fear of me." African Americans are 14 times more likely to die from a homicide.
  • Sense of Hope (02:35) : Booker describes how Black Lives Matters aims to point out that black citizens are equally deserving of justice. Dr. Timuel Black came to Chicago from Alabama in 1919. The African American population was hopeful and optimistic during the first part of century in the south side.
  • Need to Keep Kids Engaged (02:31) : Black notes that he lost more students to gun violence on the streets of Woodlawn in the sixties than he did in the Vietnam War. Stingley describes how awful it is to close schools and resources, but and yet build a new prison to house them. A resident discusses how he can walk down the street and purchase a gun from a 13 year old.
  • American Dream and Income Discrepancy (04:52) : Abdullah explains how African Americans were told for decades to try to incorporate into society, but it has not worked. Faulk is not proud to be an American.

Black Panther  : San Francisco State: On Strike .  California Newsreel, [1998]  1 VHS videocassette (35 min.)  E185.615 .B537 1998 Videocassette : Black Panther: Interviews with founding members, Huey P. Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, and Bobby Seale, and documentary footage of the organization's meetings and marches reveal a pragmatic and still relevant outline for African American communities' self-determination and development. San Francisco State: onstrike: Recounts how students of color led a six month long strike in the fall of 1968 at San Francisco State to make their university's curriculum and admission policies more relevant and succeeded in creating the establishment of the first Ethnic Studies department in America.  For more information, visit California Newsreel.

Black Panthers : Vanguard of the Revolution /  written, produced and directed by Stanley Nelson ; produced by Laurens Grant ; a co-production of Firelight Films, Inc. and the Independent Television Service (ITVS) ; produced by Firelight Films, Inc.   [Arlington, Virginia] : PBS Distribution, [2016]  1 DVD videodisc (approximately 120 min.) : sound, color with black & white sequences ; 4 3/4 in.   E185.615 .B53 2016 VideoDVD   :  More than 40 years after the Black Panther Party was founded the group and its leadership remain powerful and enduring images in our popular imagination. This will weave together the voices of those who lived this story -- police informants journalists white supporters and detractors those who remained loyal to the party and those who left it.

Black Power mixtape  : 1967-1975 : a documentary in 9 chapters / wirtten and directed by Göran Hugo Olsson ; produced by Annika Rogell/Story AB ; co-produced by Joslyn Barnes, Danny Glover/Louverture Films, Axel Arnö/Sveriges Television.  New York : IFC Films ; MPI Media Group [distributor], c2011.  1 DVD videodisc (100 min.) : sd., col. and b&w; 4 3/4 in.  E185.615 .B5335 2011 VideoDVD : During the rise of The Black Power Movement in the 60’s and 70’s, Swedish Television journalists documented the unfolding cultural revolution for their audience back home, having been granted unprecedented access to prominent leaders such as Angela Davis, the SNCC's Stokely Carmichael, and Black Panthers founders Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale.  Now, after more than 30 years in storage, this never-before-seen footage spanning nearly a decade of Black Power is finally available. Director Goran Hugo Olsson presents this mixtape, highlighting the key figures and events in the movement, as seen in a light completely different than the narrative of the American media at the time.  Talib Kweli, Erykah Badu, Abiodun Oyewole, John Forte, and Robin Kelley are among the many important voices providing narration and commentary, adding modern perspective to this essential time capsule of African-American history.

The Black press : soldiers without swordsproduced and directed by Stanley NelsonSan Francisco, CA : California Newsreel [distributor], 1998.  1 videocassette (86 min.) : sound, color with black and white sequences ; 1/2 in.  PN4882.5 .B553 1998 Videocassette : Presents a history of African-American newspapers and journalism from the mid-19th century through the 20th century. Tells of the struggles against censorship and discrimination and for freedom of the press, with commentary by historians, journalists, and photojournalists.

The Black Press : Soldiers Without Swords / directed and produced by Stanley Nelson.  San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, 1998.  1 streaming video file (87 min.) via Black Studies in Video. : "Too long have others spoken for us". Presents a history of African-American newspapers and journalism from the mid-19th century through the 20th century. Tells of the struggles against censorship and discrimination and for freedom of the press, with commentary by historians, journalists, and photojournalists.  An interactive CD complements the video of the same title. "Includes bibliographic information, biographies, a time line, still photos, a study guide, and more. Useful with the video or as a stand-alone source of information about early Black journalism and journalists."  For more information, visit California Newsreel and PBS.  Also available as streaming video from Kanopy.

Black Soldier Blues  / Mark Chapman and Veronica Fury for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.  2006.  52 minutes.  Streaming video from Filmakers Library : When America established its Pacific supply base in Australia during World War II, Australia's Prime Minister warmly welcomed the estimated one million American servicemen and women stationed and passing through. The exception: black GIs....Because of the racist White Australia Policy the black troops were initially forbidden to be stationed on Australian shores. Between 1942 and 1945, Australia reluctantly agreed to let African American personnel enter, as long as they were separated from the rest of the population. The US high command embraced the policy and African Americans were stationed in strictly segregated zones where they were subjected to atrocious conditions, harsh treatment, racial hatred and even murder. The 96th Battalion rioted out of sheer desperation....In contrast to this official resistance, white Australians welcomed the black American soldiers who found they were often treated better by Australians than by their own countrymen. This acceptance infuriated some of the white soldiers and riots broke out in the streets of Brisbane between white and black American soldiers. The film is told by the American and Australian veterans who were there, now speaking sixty years after the war. The black Americans discuss growing up in a segregated society, joining a segregated army, and fighting for a freedom that they themselves did not yet possess.  Access restricted to the MSU community and other subscribers. 

Black Studies at the Crossroads  / produced by Cox, Matthews & Associates ; presented by Black Issues in Higher Education.  Fairfax, VA : Cox, Matthews & Associates, c1994.  1 VHS videocassette (120 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. E184.7 .B546 1994 Videocassette : In this program educators discuss Black Studies, focusing on 3 major themes: origins, current status and the future of Black Studies.

Black Studies  : From Kneegrow to Afrikana (also known as Black Studies USA) / directed by 'Niyi Coker, Jr. ; produced by 'Niyi Coker, Jr., Jean Bodon ; written by 'Niyi Coker, Jr / Niyi Coker; Jean-Richard Bodon; Theresa Bodon.  [Birmingham, Ala.] : Coker, c2005  1 DVD videodisc (31 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in  E184.7 .B533 2005 VideoDVD : Documentary on the origins of Black studies programs at American colleges and universities, including news footage of events of the 1960s and interviews with figures involved.

Black Theater : The Making of a MovementSan Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, 1978.   1 streaming video file (110 min.) available via Black Studies in Video. : Black Theatre: The Making of a Movement documents the birth of a new theatre out of the Civil Rights activism of the 1950s, '60s and '70s. It is a veritable video encyclopedia of the leading figures, institutions and events of a movement that transformed the American stage. Amiri Baraka, Ossie Davis, James Earl Jones and Ntozake Shange describe their aspirations for a theatre serving the Black community. Excerpts of A Raisin in the Sun, Black Girl, Dutchman and For Colored Girls ... reveal how these actors and playwrights laid the basis for the Black theater of the present.

The Black Unicorn  : Dudley Randall & the Broadside Press / written, produced and directed by Melba Joyce Boyd.  [Detroit, Mich.?] : Cinema Guild, c1995.  1 VHS videocassette (ca. 60 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.  Available at and from the Library of Michigan AV Collection Z232.B88 B53 1995 : Provides a history of the Broadside Press and a biography of its founder, Dudley Randall. Includes interviews with Mr. Randall and other authors involved with the press over a twenty-five year period.

Black Wheels / New Millennium Studios & Tim Reid present ; director, Omar Akil ; producers and writers, Byron Hunter, Omar Akil.  [Petersburg, Va.] : New Millennium Studios ; Studio City, CA : Distributed exclusively by Razor Digital Entertainment, [2006], ©2006.  1 DVD videodisc (47 min.) : sound, color with black and white sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  ROVI Movie Collection : Black Wheels highlights the contributions and achievements of African-Americans in motor sports from the 1920s to the present. Most race fans are unaware that among those moonshine runners driving like maniacs, outrunning the authorities transporting their "product" to the public were many African Americans, some of whom went on to form their own racing organization in 1924, the "Gold And Glory" circuit. Drivers profiled include Charlie Wiggins, Wendell Scott, Sr., Joie Ray, Randy Bethea, Willy T. Ribbs, and Bill Lester, along with many crewmembers, team owners, and NASCAR officials. The history of African-American competitors in American motor sports is proudly presented, while some current and future participants are introduced.

Black, White, and Blue : Police, Politics, and Race, a Documentary on Race in America.  Website   The film touches on police violence, civil unrest, the Trump presidential campaign, the Black Lives Matter movement and the Flint water crisis.  The 76-minute independent film includes discussions with locals, state Sen. Coleman A. Young II, public relations specialist Karen Dumas and evangelist Leslie Mathews of Michigan United.  Will order when available for sale.  "Black, White & Blue" is Scoon's first full-length film. He lives in Washington, D.C., and created a production firm called Top of the Food Chain Films. The director, Asia Norris, lives in Baltimore and is studying electronic media and film at Towson University.  There will be a showing of the film at the Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit on February 2, 2018.

Black Women in the Civil Rights Movement / C-SPAN ; National Cable Satellite Corp. ; organized by the Georgetown University African American Studies Program ; co-sponsored by the Georgetown University Women's Center.  C-SPAN Archives, c2006.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 105 min.)  E185.86 .B536 2006 VideoDVD : Symposium on the legacy of four Black American women who were instrumental in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960's in the United States: Vivian Malone Jones, Judge Constance Baker Motley, Dr. C. DeLores Tucker and Mrs. Rosa Parks.

Selected Documentaries, B continued

Blacking Up : Hip Hop's Remix of Race and Identity / California Newsreel presents ; Corporation for Public Broadcasting ; a film by Robert A. Clift ; producer/director/videographer/editor, Robert A. Clift ; production of Robert A. Clift, Limbic Productions, Inc., in association with WTIU and the Independent Television Service (ITVS).   San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, [2010]  1 DVD videodisc (57 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  ML3918.R37 B53 2010 VideoDVD : Hip-Hop was created by urban youth of color more than 30 years ago amid racial oppression and economic marginalization. It has moved beyond that specific community and embraced by young people worldwide, elevating it to a global youth culture. The ambitious and hard-hitting documentary Blacking Up: Hip-Hop’s Remix of Race and Identity looks at the popularity of hip-hop among America’s white youth. It asks whether white identification is rooted in admiration and a desire to transcend race or if it is merely a new chapter in the long continuum of stereotyping, mimicry and cultural appropriation? Does it reflect a new face of racial understanding in white America or does it reinforce an ugly history?...The film presents a diverse group of white rap fans (often referred to by derogatory terms such as “wannabe” or “wigger”) and performers with very different ways of expressing their relationship to Hip-Hop music and culture. Against the unique backdrop of American popular music, Blacking Up explores racial identity in U.S. society – how do white youth define and express themselves culturally? Why would creating an alternative persona be attractive to white suburban youth? What does “authenticity” mean in reference to Hip-Hop, an art form often based on “sampling” music from other performers? How does this type of performance affect the communities being emulated? How do white performers impact interracial dialogue and the cultural landscape? These questions are examined in fascinating vignettes featuring: (1) A tense Hip-Hop battle between white and black students at Indiana University-Bloomington; (2) A backlash against "wiggers" in a Midwestern white community; (3) A revealing analysis of how rapper Vanilla Ice was marketed to mainstream audiences; (4) Performers whose use of racially-charged symbols beg comparison to minstrelsy; and (5) A black-owned New York bus tour that specializes in bringing outsiders into the neighborhoods where Hip-Hop was first invented - replete with complimentary "bling"...The documentary places the issues of cross-cultural appropriation and desire in historical context, drawing parallels between the figure of the white Hip-Hop fan and previous incarnations of white identification with black culture. Blacking Up addresses the legacy of blackface performers such as Al Jolson (introducing us to the contemporary Al Jolson Fan Club). In addition, jazz figures like the "hipster" and rock and roll icons like Elvis Presley and the Rolling Stones are considered within a broader context of white appropriation of black cultural expression. The film posits that identifying with black culture has offered white performers and consumers a means to lift inhibitions, and in the case of Hip-Hop has given white men license to act aggressively masculine....Throughout the documentary there is insightful commentary by African American cultural critics such as Amiri Baraka (who draws parallels to the beatnik era), Nelson George, Greg Tate, comedian Paul Mooney and Hip-Hop figures Chuck D, Russell Simmons, M1 of Dead Prez, and DJ Kool Herc. Blacking Up will be a useful resource for courses in Media Studies, Cultural Studies, Sociology, African American Studies, Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Dialogue as well as for Student Services programs.

Blacks & Jews  / Snitow-Kaufman Productions ; producers, Bari Scott, Deborah Kaufman and Alan Snitow.  San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, c1997.  1 DVD videodisc (85 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  E184.36.A34 B53 1997 VideoDVD : Early in the 20th century black and Jewish Americans joined forces against bigotry and for civil rights but in the late 1960's each group turned inward and the coalition fell apart. This film examines the history of this collaboration and recent racial conflicts between Afro-Americans and Jews and attempts at understanding and reconciliation, with particular emphasis on events in New York City and Oakland, California.

Bloody Island directed by Thomas Gibson (Filmakers Library, 1998) 42 mins.  Streaming video from American History in VideoAccess limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Bloody Island : The Race Riots of East St. Louis / produced and directed by Thomas Gibson.  New York, NY : Filmakers Library, [1998]  1 DVD-R videodisc (42 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. E185.86 .B5566 1998 VideoDVD : In the early part of the century, thousands of African Americans migrated from the rural South in search of a better life in the northern industrial cities. This black migration was an important event in U.S. history. It fueled the factories of the North, but hurt an already weakened southern economy....In East St. Louis, Ill., trouble was brewing as black workers were being hired to replace striking white workers. It all came to a head on the night of July 1, 1917 when two white men shot randomly into homes in a black neighborhood. As the riot escalated, the militia was called in. When the dust settled, thirty-nine people were officially reported dead and many more were injured. The black community was convinced that these numbers were low, but President Wilson refused to permit a federal inquiry. In the ensuing trials, black rioters were punished more severely than their white counterparts....Using testimonies of eye witnesses, commentary by academics and journalists, this powerful film brings alive a violent chapter of American history.

Bloody Island : The Race Riots of East St. Louis / Produced and directed by Thomas Gibson. 1989.  42 minutes.  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : In the early part of the century, thousands of African Americans migrated from the rural South in search of a better life in the northern industrial cities. This black migration was an important event in U.S. history. It fueled the factories of the North, but hurt an already weakened southern economy....In East St. Louis, Ill., trouble was brewing as black workers were being hired to replace striking white workers. It all came to a head on the night of July 1, 1917 when two white men shot randomly into homes in a black neighborhood. As the riot escalated, the militia was called in. When the dust settled, thirty-nine people were officially reported dead and many more were injured. The black community was convinced that these numbers were low, but President Wilson refused to permit a federal inquiry. In the ensuing trials, black rioters were punished more severely than their white counterparts....Using testimonies of eye witnesses, commentary by academics and journalists, this powerful film brings alive a violent chapter of American history.  Access restricted to the MSU community and other subscribers. 

Blue Eyed  / Denkmal Filmproductions ; produced by Claus Strigel and Bertram Verhaag ; written and directed by Bertram Verhaag ; in cooperation with Jane Elliott.  San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, c1996.  1 VHS videocassette (93 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 1/2 in. + 1 guide (11 p. ; 28 cm.)  BF575.P9 B48 1996 Videocassette : Hailed as "a fascinating revisit" to the famous 1968 Blue-Eyes/Brown-Eyes Exercise in discrimination by Jane Elliott, this film documents the effects of racial prejudice with startling force and emotional intensity....Taking pigmentation - in this case, eye color - as an arbitrary dividing line, Jane Elliott builds a microcosm of contemporary American society, compelling her more privileged blue-eyed participants to live in another world for the longest two and a half hours of their lives.  Online facilitator's guide.

Booker T. Washington / [United States] : Smith Show Entertainment, 2010.   videodisc (23 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.97.W4 B65 2010 VideoDVD : This program documents the life of Booker T. Washington.  It also shows how he went to school in Franklin County, not as a student, but to carry books for one of James Burrough's daughters.  It was illegal to educate slaves.

Boycott  : Montgomery, Alabama, 1955 (2001) / HBO Films presents a Norman Twain production in association with Shelby Stone Productions ; producer, Preston Holmes ; screenplay writers, Herman Daniel Farrell III, Timothy J. Sexton ; director, Clark Johnson.  New York, NY : HBO Home Video, [2002], c2001.  1 DVD videodisc (113 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. F334.M79 B69 2001 VideoDVD : When Rosa Parks was arrested in 1955 for refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white man, the Reverend Martin Luther King was but a modest young Baptist minister suddenly thrust into the leadership of local bus boycott. What started as a one-day protest of unfair bus laws turned into the 381-day boycott that gave birth to the civil rights movement. This riveting, rousing made-for-cable drama meticulously recounts the challenges the protest faced. Jeffrey Wright (Basquiat) is excellent as King, capturing his charisma and rousing speeches while grounding his heroism in human vulnerability and fear, but Boycott reminds us that he was only one of the thousands of ordinary people roused into extraordinary action in the name of equality and social justice. That portrait of everyday heroes changing the course of history remains the film's most rousing message. Want more info?  Try Movie Review Query Engine

Brick by Brick : A Civil Rights Story / Bill Kavanaugh.  [San Francisco, Calif.] : California Newsreel, c2008.  1 DVD-R videodisc (53 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  HD7288.76.U52 Y66 2007 VideoDVD  : This documentary shows that segregation has been as virulent and persistent in the North as in the South and that it too has resulted from deliberate public policies based in deep-rooted racial prejudice. The film uses the bitter struggle over equal housing rights in Yonkers, New York during the1980s to show the "massive resistance" the Civil Rights Movement confronted when it moved north. Brick by Brick is not only a brilliant legal history of one of the most important cases in civil rights law, it narrates through the passionate experiences of Yonkers residents on both sides of the issue. The film demonstrates how courageous citizens and dedicated lawyers can enforce the constitutional rights of African Americans in the face of dangerous demagogues fomenting racial hatred.  For more information and an online instructor's guide, visit California Newsreel.

Bridge to Freedom  (1965) / produced by Blackside, Inc. and PBS Video, 1986.  1 videocassette (U- matic) (60 min.)  E185.615 .B753 1986 Videocassette : Ten years after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama bus and nearly twenty years after the Supreme Court decreed that "separate but equal" was unconstitutional, black Americans were still fighting for equality. But millions had now joined the movement and in Selma, Ala. thousands of blacks and whites came together to march fifty miles for freedom.  The final program of the initial Eyes on the Prize series, the lesson of the decade are brought to bear in the climactic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. Even as the movement began to break up into factions, the Voting Rights Act became federal law.

Bring Your A Game streaming video from SnagFilms : To generate a national conversation on the plight of Black men and boys, the Twenty-First Century Foundation (21CF) has partnered with actor–director Mario Van Peebles and producer Karen Williams to create BRING YOUR A GAME — a groundbreaking documentary film that, in Van Peebles’ words, “sheds light on the resilience and influence of Black males.” BRING YOUR A GAME is a film that will use screenings accompanied by community discussions as a catalyst to transform the lives of urban youth. Using a cinematic style influenced by popular culture and employing innovative technologies, the film details strategies that have improved the lives of Black men and boys. It underscores how essential educational achievement and high school graduation are to survival and success in today’s world. Interviewees include such Black male icons as Richard “Dick” Parsons, Chris Rock, Spike Lee, Dr. Cornel West, Ice Cube, Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Russell Simmons, Kevin Liles, Lou Gossett Jr., Lupe Fiasco, Hill Harper, Damon Dash, Kevin Powell, Melvin Van Peebles, Geoffrey Canada, Bruce Gordon and former NBA star Alan Houston, among others.

Bringing King to China / producer, writer and director, Kevin McKiernan.  Santa Barbara, California : Access Productions, [2011]    1 DVD (85 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in..  JC599.C6 B76 2011 VideoDVD : A documentary directed by award-winning filmmaker and journalist Kevin McKiernan (foreign correspondent for ABC, NBC and CBS), and filmed by the acclaimed cinematographer Haskell Wexler....This feature-length documentary offers a unique opportunity to view Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the U.S. civil rights struggle - and the United States itself - from the perspective of another culture through the story of Caitrin. This young American scholar, who teaches in Bejing, is determined to "show another face" of her country to those who view American foreign policy in Iraq as violent and aggressive. Believing it is possible to build a bridge between Chinese and American society by talking about peaceful struggle and universal rights, she initiates a collaboration with the National Theater of China to bring Martin Luther King's dream of nonviolent change to China. The project becomes a fascinating microcosm of the differences between east and west as Caitrin's efforts to translate Dr. King's vision of global peace to a Chinese audience turn rocky and she struggles to find common ground with her collaborators.  Trailer.

Broken on all sides : race, mass incarceration & new visions for criminal justice in the U.S. / a documentary by Matthew Pillischer ; produced, directed and edited by Matthew Pillischer.. [United States] : [Distributed by] Matthew Pillischer, [2012] 1 DVD videodisc (68 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.. HV9471 .B765 2012 VideoDVD: The documentary centers around the theory put for­ward by many, and most recently by Michelle Alexander (who appears in the movie), that mass incarceration has become "The New Jim Crow." That is, since the rise of the drug war and the explosion of the prison population, and because discretion within the sys­tem allows for arrest and prosecution of people of color at alarmingly higher rates than whites, pris­ons and criminal penal­ties have become a new ver­sion of Jim Crow. Much of the discrimination that was legal in the Jim Crow era is today illegal when applied to black people but perfectly legal when applied to "criminals." The prob­lem is that through subjective choices, people of color have been tar­geted at significantly higher rates for stops, searches, arrests, prosecution, and harsher sentences. So, where does this leave criminal justice? ... Through inter­views with people on many sides of the criminal justice system, this documentary aims to answer questions and provoke questions on an issue walled-off from the public's scrutiny. Check out the website.

Bronx Princess a documentary film / ITVS ; CPB ; POV ; directed and produced by Yoni Brook and Musa Syeed.  [New York?] : Highbridge Pictures ; San Francisco : Independent Television Service, c2009  1 DVD videodisc (38 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in  E184.G4 B76 2009 VideoDVD  : Rocky Otoo is the Bronx-bred teenage daughter of Ghanaian parents, and she's no pushover. She is a sassy high-achiever bound for college. With freedom in sight, Rocky rebels against her mother's rules. When their relationship reaches a breaking point, Rocky flees to her father, a chief in Ghana. What follows is captured in Bronx Princess, a tumultuous coming-of-age story set in a homeland both familiar and strange. Her precocious — and very American — ideas of a successful, independent life conflict with her father's traditional African values. Reconciling her dual legacies becomes an unexpected chapter in this unforgettable young woman's education. A co-production with the Independent Television Service (ITVS).  Trailer

Brother Outsider : The Life of Bayard Rustin / producers/directors, Nancy Kates, Bennett Singer ; a presentation of the Independent Television Service in association with the National Black Programming Consortium.  [California?] : California Newsreel, c2002. 83 min. : sd., col.  Streamin video via Kanopy : Bayard Rustin was a key figure in the civil rights movement for over 40 years. He brought non-violent resistance to a new level in the American Civil Rights movement. The film captures Rustin's commitment to justice and human rights, his brilliant intellect and charismatic personality, as well as the public scorn he faced from both black and white because of his openness about his sexual orientation. Presents a fascinating look at the role race, politics, and orientation play in American radicalism.

Brother Outsider : the Life of Bayard Rustin / produced in association with the Independent Television Service and the National Black Programming Consortium ; produced by Question Why Films LLC.  [New York, N.Y.] : Question Why Films, [2008]  1 DVD videodisc (84 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.   E185.97.R93 B73 2008 VideoDVD : A documentary examining the life of Bayard Rustin who, although one of the first "freedom riders," an adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and A. Philip Randolph, and an organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, was forced to play a background role in landmark civil rights events because he was gay.

Brotherly Love in Africans In America Episode 3 (Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), 1998) 85:45 mins.  Streaming video from American History in VideoAccess limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Building the Alaska Highway in American Experience (Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), 2005) 55:03 mins.  Streaming video from American History in VideoAccess limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

By River, By Rail/ the Hearst Corporation Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 1998.  1 VHS videocassette (22 min.) E185.6 .B97 1998 Videocassette : African-Americans recount the story of the early 20th century migration of blacks to the Northern states with a backdrop of songs, art and music of the era. They tell of separated families, of the hardships, prejudice, and struggle for acceptance in the North that resulted in disillusionment. Black luminaries include authors James Cameron and Lucille Clifton, Jacob Lawrence, artist and creator of the Black Migration series, Dr. Julius Garvey, son of Marcus Garvey, poet Maya Angelou and NAACP president Kweisi Mfume.

Selected Documentary Films, C-D

All African American documentaries are located in the Digital and Multimedia Center unless otherwise indicated.  Movies can be checked out unless reserved for a class.

Cab Callaway : Sketches available as streaming video during 2013 courtesy of PBS. In the context of the Harlem Renaissance and segregationist America, Cab Calloway: Sketches explores the jazz legend’s beginnings and musical milestones, using archival footage, animation based on caricatures, and interviews. Delve into the life of this pioneering musical legend that charmed fans and audiences with his showmanship, charisma, and talent. A singer, dancer and bandleader, Cab Calloway led one of the most popular African-American big bands during the jazz and swing eras of the 1930s-40s, with Harlem’s famous Cotton Club as his home stage. He influenced countless performers, including Michael and Janet Jackson, and many of today’s contemporary artists.

The Call of the Jitterbug / Produced by Tana Ross, Jesper Sorensen and Vibeke Winding. Featuring Frankie Manning, Norma Miller, Dizzy Gillespie, Mama Lu Parks & Sugar Sullivan-Niles.  1989.  36 minutes  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : In the early 30's a dance craze swept the nation. Some called it Jitter-bug, some called it the Lindy Hop and some called it Swing dancing. Its center was Harlem's Savoy Ballroom. Here the musical giants, such as Count Basie, Benny Goodman and Cab Calloway played, while legendary dancers like Al Minns, Normal Miller and Frank Manning danced. It was the first art form that broke through the color barrier. At the Savoy, blacks and whites danced together, probably for the first time in America. Interviews with musicians and dancers, plus lively vintage footage, brings back the sights and sounds of this bygone era. The performers remember how dance was an antidote to the economic depression outside. Others recall bitter moments on the road where prejudice denied them a place to eat or spend the night.  This engaging film vividly evokes the rich past of this dance form.  Access available to the MSU community and other subsribers.

Casting Calls / produced by Running Down Dreams Productions for Discovery Times Channel ; producer/writer, Lauren F. Cardillo.  Princeton, NJ : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c2004.  1 DVD videodisc (47 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.V47 C37 2003 VideoDVD : "Does Hollywood's portrayal of villains reinforce racial stereotypes or does the industry give the public what it wants? This program explores the history of film's ethnic 'bad guy,' looking at sociopolitical and economic forces that create, perpetuate, and rehabilitate these characters. Special attention is paid to current depictions of Muslims onscreen [along with an historical survey of film depictions of African-Americans, Asians, and Native Americans]. A wide range of ilm clips from 'Birth of a Nation' to 'The Sopranos' provides many examples, along with commentary from critics, directors and actors ..."

Celebration : A Caribbean Festival / Produced and directed by Karen Kramer.  1992.  30 minutes  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : This joyous, upbeat film explodes with the color, music, and pride of Carnival in America's largest Caribbean community. Modeled after the one held "back home" in the islands, this has become an annual event in New York, bringing together Caribbean immigrants from virtually every island in the West Indies. It is filled with striking visual displays of costumed performers, infectious calypso music, steel bands, a mosaic of tropical food, and rocking and jumping crowds....But the film shows more than simply the Caribbean capacity for celebration. It captures the thoughts and feelings of expatriate West Indians, as they are interviewed during preparations leading up to the Carnival. As we go behind the scenes to watch the step-by-step making of the elaborate (and enormous) sculpture-like costumes, we learn how the Carnival is a way of maintaining a sense of identity and continuity of cultural tradition. Access restricted to the MSU community and other subscribers.

The Central Park Five / a film by Ken Burns, David McMahon, Sarah Burns ; a Florentine Films production ; written by Sarah Burns & David McMahon & Ken Burns ; produced by David McMahon, Sarah Burns, Ken Burns ; produced in association with WETA, Washington, DC. Arlington, Va.] : PBS : Distributed by PBS Distribution, ©2013. DVD videodisc (120 min.) : sd., color ; 4 3/4 in.  HV6568.N5 C457 2013 VideoDVD (Also available as part of ROVI Movie Collection) : In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City's Central Park. The Central Park Five tells the story of that horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories and an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice

A Century of Black Cinema  / Passport International Productions.  North Hollywood, CA : Passport Video, c1997.  2 VHS videocassettes (ca. 120 min.)  PN1995.9.N4 C467 1997 Videocassette  : The program takes you on an illuminating journey through the careers of the finest Afro-American entertainers ever to grace the silver screen.

Charles Drew : Revolutionized Medical Science / adaptation and re-editing produced and edited by Brian Stewart.  Venice, CA : TMW Media Group, c2009.  1 DVD-R (29 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.97.D74 C47 2009 VideoDVD : Chronicles the life of Dr. Charles Drew, an African-American physician who discovered a method for preserving the plasma portion of blood for use in blood transfusions. He was assistant director of the national program for blood procurement for the American Red Cross, where he fought racism. He was also the first Black surgeon to serve as an examiner on the American Board of Surgery.  Part of the Black American Experience series.

The Charles Drew Story directed by Bill Buckley.  Westport, CT : Rediscovery Productions, 2011. 1 streaming video file (18 min.).   from Black Studies in VideoAccess limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.  : A study of the life of Dr. Charles Drew, from his determined hurdling of racial barriers, through his graduation from Amherst with honors, his research in blood plasma, to the time when he established the first blood banks for the American Red Cross.

Charles Johnson / a California Newsreel release of a SSR-RTSI Swiss Television production ; producers, Matteo Bellinelli, Larry Adelman.  San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, 1992.  Available as streaming video via Black Studies in Video. :  Charles Johnson describes his over-arching literary objective--to explore classic, metaphysical questions from eastern and western philosophies against the backdrop of African American life and history.  In black and white : six profiles of African American authors ; 1

Cheating the Stillness: The World of Julia Peterkin - A Southern White Woman Writes of Gullah Culture / A film by Gayla Jamison. Narrated by Elisabeth Omilami.  2010.  57 minutes.  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : Chronicles the life of a remarkable woman who rebelled against what was expected of a Southern woman in the early part of the 20th century. As a young woman, Peterkin had married and moved to Lang Syne in South Carolina, a 1500-acre plantation in the South Carolina midlands where 400 black workers farmed cotton. At age 40, she began writing startling tales about these struggling black families and their Gullah culture. This was in the nineteen-twenties, the era of Jim Crow, but also of the Harlem Renaissance. These touchstones are brought to life in the film through dramatizations of Peterkin's literature, haunting images of the South Carolina countryside, evocative archival photographs, and through interviews with writers, scholars and those who knew the writer in her later years....Peterkin persistently sent samples of her writing to the critic H.L. Mencken. He introduced her work to the literary world, and in 1924 Alfred Knopf published her first book Green Thursday. The novel met with critical acclaim, and some wondered if the author was black or white. W. E. B. DuBois described her as a Southern white woman who had "...the eye and the ear to see beauty and to know truth." Her third novel, Scarlet Sister Mary, won the 1929 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The gritty tale of a fiercely independent single mother set in a South Carolina black farming community was a bestseller at a time when American readers - white or black - were ostensibly not interested in rural African American life. With fame came a double life, as a sought-after writer at New York cultural events and as the plantation mistress who many in South Carolina felt had betrayed her race, class and gender. She felt she had to choose between these two radically different worlds, and the choice she made tells much about what it meant to be black or white, male or female, in 20th century America.  Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Chester Himes : A Rage in Harlem, African American Novelist / adaptation and re-editing produced and edited by Brian Stewart. Venice, CA : TMW Media Group, c2009.  1 DVD-R (27min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  PS3515.I713 Z67 2009 VideoDVD : Chester Himes (1909-1984) -- who spent eight years wrongfully incarcerated -- channeled his rage into incisive writings about racism and helped raise consciousness about what it means to be black in America.   Part of the African American Experience series.

A Child Shall Lead Them  : Two Days in September 1957 / Magellan Press/Films ; written and produced by John Egerton, Terrie Lawrence and Rachel Lawson.  New York, N.Y. : Filmakers Library, c2008  1 DVD-R videodisc (ca. 23 min.) : col., with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  LC214.23.N34 C47 2008 VideoDVD : Eleven African-American first-grade children initiated the desegregation of previously all-white elementary schools in Nashville, Tennessee, on Sept. 9 and 10, 1957. Nashville was one of the first cities in the South to act on the Supreme Court 1954 decision, Brown vs. The Board of Education. The film compares the Nashville story with events that took place the same week at Little Rock (Arkansas) High School. Three of those children, now grown, and their parents discuss the events of those days, including the bombing of the Hattie Cotton school, and the courage required to respond to the Court's landmark decision. The story is told through the use of first-person narratives, and archival photos and footage.

A Child Shall Lead Them: The Desegregation of Nashville Public Schools, 1957 by Magellan Press (Filmakers Library, 2008) 23:01 mins  streaming video from Black Studies in Video.  : Eleven African-American first-grade children initiated the desegregation of previously all-white elementary schools in Nashville, Tennessee on Sept. 9 and 10, 1957. Nashville was one of the first cities in the South to act on the Supreme Court 1954 decision, Brown vs. The Board of Education. The film compares the Nashville story with events that took place the same week at Little Rock High School. Some of their parents discuss the events of those first two days, including the bombing of one of the schools, and the courage required to respond to the Court's landmark decision. The story is told through the use of first-person narratives, and archival photos and footage.  Access availabale for the MSU community and other subscribers.

Children of the Struggle / Written and directed by John B. Benitz., With Dick Gregory, Andrea Marcellus and Brian Wimmer.  2001.  30 minutes.  Streaming video from Filmakers Library : Based on real events that took place during the Civil Rights struggle, this short dramatic film will bring to life for the next generation the passion and heroism of the movement. Superbly acted, with Dick Gregory in the role of the aging activist, it tells a story of a friendship between races that took place in the sixties and the commitment of those two young people to the cause of justice in the South....The story line is affecting. When prominent attorney John Glass receives a letter from a dying gentleman in Alabama, he embarks on a journey to discover the truth about this mysterious man’s connection to his deceased mother. John’s search takes him back to 1964’s Freedom Summer and the heart-wrenching truth of who his mother was and why she died, that had been hidden from him by his father....This beautifully crafted story about friendship, love, family and sacrifice set against the turbulent times of the Civil Rights struggle will enable young adults today to realize that the sacrifices made in the sixties paved the way for important changes in this country.  Access restricted to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Chisholm '72 : Unbought & Unbossed / Lantern Lane Entertainment presents a Realside Production produced in association with P.O.V./American Documentary, Inc., Independent Television Service, National Black Programming Consortium with funding provided by Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a Rock the Vote Film partner ; producer, Phil Bertelsen ; directed and produced by Shola Lynch.  Beverly Hills, CA : 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, [2005].  1 DVD videodisc (77 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 4 3/4 in.  E840.8.C48 C55 2004 VideoDVD  : Shirley Chisholm, a Democrat from New York, was the first black woman elected to the United States Congress (in 1969), and then--long before the likes of Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton--the first African American of either gender to seek a major party's presidential nomination, an effort recounted in Unbought & Unbossed. Chisholm, who died in January 2005 (the 76-minute documentary was produced the previous year), undoubtedly knew that her chances of winning her party's 1972 nomination, let alone the general election, were nil; she ran, she said, to "shake up the system." But while her quest may have been hopeless (as it turned out, so was that of George McGovern, the eventual nominee, who lost to incumbent Richard Nixon in a landslide of historic proportions), it was hardly quixotic. Well-educated, articulate, and tough, Chisholm faced plenty of opposition, including from women and other black politicians; she was even physically attacked on the "Chisholm Trail," as she called her campaign ('72 was also the year that Alabama governor George Wallace, another would-be Democratic nominee, was shot and paralyzed). But she stayed the course all the way up to the Democratic convention in Miami, when she finally released her delegates to McGovern, and continued serving in the House of Representatives until 1983. Whether or not Shirley Chisholm met her goal of becoming "a catalyst for change," as she planned, is arguable. But that she had guts and the strength of her convictions is beyond debate. Film trailer.

Citizen King / a ROJA Productions film for American experience ; in association with the BBC and WGBH Boston ; produced, directed and written by Orlando Bagwell and W. Noland Walker.  Alexandria, VA : PBS Home Video, c2004.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 120 min.) : sd., col., b&w ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.97.K5 C58 2004 VideoDVD : This story begins on the steps on the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963 when a 34-year-old preacher galvanized millions with his dream for an America free of racism. It comes to a bloody end almost five years later on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee. In the years since those events unfolded, the man at the center, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., has become a mythic figure, a minister whose oratory is etched into the minds of millions of Americans, a civil rights activist whose words and image are more hotly contested, negotiated and sold than almost anyone else's in American history.  Interviews with: Andrew Young, Walter Fauntroy, Roger Wilkins, Harris Wofford.

City of Proud Memories (Inc. Audio Productions, 1934) 9:53 mins.  Streaming video from American History in VideoAccess limited to the MSU community and other subscribers. 

Civil Rights : Oh, Freedom! / by Bill Buckley.  Westport, CT : Rediscovery Productions, 1970.  1 streaming video file (27 min.).  Streaming video from American History in Video.    : Traces the Black civil rights movement from 1955 when a Black woman refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man, to the cry for Black power nearly a decade later. Explores the movement and its impact through the words of the people involved, and through examinations of the concept of Black Power.

Classified X / La Sept ARTE, Les Films d'Ici, Ecoutez Voir, Yeah Inc. in association with Channel Four ; a film by Melvin Van Peebles.  1 VHS videocassette (50 min.)  PN1995.9.N4 C55 1998 Videocassette : Examines the treatment of black characters throughout the history of American cinema, using examples from classic films beginning with footage by Thomas Edison in 1903 to the present, tracing how Hollywood has aided and abetted the public perception of the African-American. From its earliest days, Hollywood reflected society's fear of blacks and countered with wish-fulfilling images of African-Americans as servile, ignorant, superstitious, or untrustworthy.

The Cloth Sings To Me : African American Quilting / Directed and produced by Linda Roennau & Esperanza Martinez.  1998.  17:20 minutes.  Streaming video from Filmakers Library : In this video, we meet the ebullient women quilters who display their colorful creations. Many of the women incorporate African fabrics into their work, thus enhancing their connection to their roots. Here is an art form made from remnants, where every scrap of fabric has its history....Textile historian Dr. Floris Cash reflects on how quilts are interwoven with the lives of black women in America. Those artists that depict narrative scenes in fabric are continuing the storytelling tradition that is such an integral part of their cultural heritage. Willis "Bing" Davis, Chairman of the Art Department of Central State University, speaks of the spirituality of these works which come from the hearts and memories of their creators.  Access restricted to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Coal Black Voices.  : a documentary / by Media Working Group ; produced and directed by Jean Donohue and Fred Johnson. [Covington, Ky.] : Media Working Group, [2001], ©2001.  1 DVD videodisc (56 min., 45 sec.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  PS591.N4 C63 2001 VideoDVD   A groundbreaking and award-winning documentary about black poets exploring African American history, their heritage and rural roots while encompassing themes of the African diaspora, racism and black identity. It features Nikky Finney, winner of the 2011 National Book Award for Poetry; Frank X Walker, 2014 recipient of the Lannen Foundation Poetry Award, NAACP Image Award and Kentucky State Poet Laureate; Crystal Wilkinson author of "Blackberries, Blackberries" and "Birds of Paradise;" and Kelly Norman Ellis author of "Tougaloo Blues."  This ensemble of writers draws on traditions of the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement and writing of the Southern Mountains of Appalachia.   Classroom Guide.

Color Adjustment  / Signifyin' Works ; producers, Marlon Riggs and Vivian Kleiman ; director Marlon Riggs.   San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, [1991].  1 DVD videodisc (87 min.) : sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.615 .C64 1991 VideoDVD   : Analyzes the evolution of television's earlier, unflattering portrayal of blacks from 1948 until 1988 where they are depicted as prosperous, having achieved the American dream, a portrayal that is inconsistent with reality.  For more information, visit California Newsreel.

Color Adjustment by Ruby Dee & Marlon Riggs, directed by Marlon Riggs (California Newsreel, 1991) 79:56 mins. streaming video from Black Studies in Video

The Color of Justice, by Bill Buckley  & Dwight D. Eisenhower, directed by Bill Buckley (Rediscovery Productions), 23:30 mins.  Streaming video from Black Studies in Video.

The Conflict Begins, Disc 2< in Civil War Journal (A&E Television Networks) 91:50 mins.   Streaming video from American History in Video.

Conservative African-Americans and Leadership  / C-SPANC-SPAN Archives, c2009.  1 DVD videodisc (95 min.)  E185.615 .C6585 2009 VidoeDVD : Participants talked about black leadership in America and how to improve moral leadership within the black community. They also talked about the conservative movement in politics, how conservative ideals could help the African American community, and providing leadership in the future. Following their remarks they answered questions from the audience.

The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson  / a Von Zerneck-Sertner Films production ; produced by Julie Anne Weitz ; teleplay, L. Travis Clark ... [et al.] ; directed by Larry Peerce. [S.l.] : Turner Home Entertainment, c1991. 1 VHS videocassette (ca. 94 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.  KF7642.R63 C68 1991 Videocassette : This made-for-TV film covers the early life of the future baseball star. Young college athelete Jackie Robinson learned early on not to bow his head to racist attacks. When he is drafted in World War II and stationed at a small-town Texas training camp, this trait gets him into trouble. Jackie is brought forward on a court-martial for insubordination when he refuses the orders of a white bus driver to go to the back of the bus.

Crime after crime  / a Life Sentence Films LLC production ; produced and directed by Yoav Potash.  Sausalito, CA : Ro*co Films Educational, c2011.  1 videorecording (93, 58 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  HV8738 .C75 2011 VideoDVD   Also available as part of Rovi Movie Collection  : Crime After Crime tells the dramatic story of the legal battle to free Debbie Peagler, an African-American woman imprisoned for over a quarter century due to her connection to the murder of the man who abused her. Two rookie attorneys step forward to take her case and through their perseverance, they bring to light long-lost witnesses, new testimonies from the men who committed the murder, and proof of perjured evidence. Their investigation ultimately attracts global attention to victims of wrongful incarceration and abuse, and takes on profound urgency when Debbie is diagnosed with cancer. Filmmaker Yoav Potash methodically documented this story as it unfolded with exclusive access to Debbie Peagler and her attorneys, allowing his film to tell an unforgettable story of a relentless quest for justice.

Crisis at Central High / Time-Life Productions.  [New York?] : Time-Life Productions Stamford, CT : Lightning Video [distributor], c1985.  1 VHS videocassette (120 min.) sd., col. ; 1/2 in.  PN1995.9.N4 C74 1985 Videocassette : Based on a true story - the integration of American schools in 1957 led to bomb threats, demonstrations and the intervention of State troopers. This is one teacher's powerful tale of the crisis at Central High.

Crisis in Levittown (1957) (32 min.) Streaming video courtesy of the Internet Archive. The Black upper middle-class Myers family moves into all-white Levittown, PA in August, 1957, and are snubbed and mistreated, in this powerful landmark documentary showcasing racism in the United States.  Source : Academic Film Archive of North America.

Dance Black America  / Pennebaker Associates ; producers, D.A. Pennebaker, Chis Hegedus.  Highstown, NJ : Dance Horizons Video, 1990, c1984. 1 DVD videodisc (87 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  GV1624.7.A34 D36 1990 VideoDVD  :  Documents a four-day festival of dancers and dance companies held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The festival presented the oldest and the biggest to the newest and smallest Black companies and celebrated the evolution of Black dance from the sly parody of plantation quadrilles known as the Cakewalk to the contemporary sophistication of the Alvin Ailey Company.

Dark Girls / Duke Media and Urban Winter Entertainment present ; Dark Girls, LLC ; produced by D. Channsin Berry and Bill Duke ; co-produced by Brandinn French ; directed by Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry. Chatsworth, Calif.] : One Village Entertainment : Distributed by RLJ Entertainment, c2013. Bethesda, MD] : RLJ Entertainment, [2013]    1 DVD videodisc (approx. 71 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  HQ1161 .D37 2013 VideoDVD : A fascinating and controversial film that goes underneath the surface to explore the prejudices dark-skinned women face throughout the world. It explores the roots of classism, racism and the lack of self-esteem within a segment of cultures that span from America to the most remote corners of the globe. Women share their personal stories, touching on deeply ingrained beliefs and attitudes of society, while allowing generations to heal as they learn to love themselves for who they are.

Dark Passages /(Arlington, VA: Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), 1995).  Available as streaming video to the MSU Community from PBS Video Collection. 50:20 mins. : It started with chains and treachery. Travel to West Africa and Virginia to see the impact of the Atlantic slave trade. Via interviews, slave narratives, and dramatization, travel from the Door of No Return in the House of Slaves on Goree Island off the coast of Dakar, Senegal, to the village of Jufurreh on the Gambia River. Jufurreh is the ancestral home of Alex Haley of Roots fame.

The Darker Side of Black / Directed by Issac Julien for Arts Council Films.  1996.   59 minutes.  Streaming video from Filmakers Library : Gangsta chic, violence and nihilism, the hard edge of Rap and Reggae increasingly dominates the image of black popular culture. This is an intelligent and provocative investigation of the complex issues raised by the genre, such as ritualized machismo, misogyny, homophobia, and gun glorification. Noted experts on black history, such as Cornel West of Princeton University, and Michael Manly, former prime minister of Jamaica, analyze the phenomenon and give insights into its development and meaning....Filmed in dance halls, hip hop clubs, and using interviews and music video clips, The Darker Side of Black takes us to London, Jamaica and the USA. Directed by award winning filmmaker Issac Julien who made Looking for Langston, the film brings together diverse musicians as Buju Banton, Shabba Ranks, and Britain's Moni Love. It is a long overdue examination of the "darker" side of contemporary black music.  Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Daughters of the Dust / a Geechee Girls production ; produced, written, and directed by Julie DashKino International [distributor], c1992.  1 VHS videocassette (113 min.) E185.6 .D38 1992 L Videocassette  :  Story of a large African-American family as they prepare to move North from the Sea Islands off the coast of Georgia at the dawn of the 20th century.

Detroit Civil Rights Trilogy.  [Big Rapids, Mich.] : Rye Productions, [2010]  1 DVD videodisc : sound, color with black and white sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.93.M5 D473 2010 VideoDVD : Presents three personal stories that chronicle black history in Michigan. Sara Elizabeth Haskell has been known as the "Rosa Parks of the Boblo Boat," but she actually led the way for Rosa Parks on the banks of the Detroit River in 1945. Duane Gerlach was the master of ceremonies for black face minstrel shows that were staged for over 10 years in a Detroit suburb. Film clips from the 1959 are included in the documentary. In 1932 during the Great Depression, Dave Moore marched to appeal for jobs, but he witnessed the brutality that caused five deaths at the borderline of Dearborn and Detroit. Dave discusses how the experience changed his life. Two extras are Raw footage in the Union Hall, in which Dave Moore guides a tour detailing numerous photographs in the hallway of UAW Local 600 in Dearborn, and Mount Clemens Hi-12 minstrel show, period footage of the 1959 black face musical variety show, with nonsync sound.

Detropia / Loki Films presents, in association with Ford Foundation/Just Films and ITVS ... a film by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady.  Oley, PA : Bullfrogfilms, c2012.  1 DVD videodisc (86 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  F574.D4 D463 2012 VideoDVD : "Detroit's story has encapsulated the iconic narrative of America over the last century... the Great Migration of African Americans escaping Jim Crow; the rise of manufacturing and the middle class; the love affair with automobiles; the flowering of the American dream; and now, the collapse of the economy and the fading American mythos. With its vivid, painterly palette and haunting score, Detropia sculpts a dreamlike collage of a grand city teetering on the brink of dissolution."

Didn't We Ramble On : The Black Marching Band / Produced by Billy Jackson. Narrated by Dizzie Gillepsie.   1992.  14 minutes  Streaming video from Filmakers Library : This joyful film will delight people of all ages. It shows how the spirit and soul of the West African people has been passed down, generation by generation, through the black marching band. As long as seven hundred years ago, the Yorubas had musical processions at funerals to celebrate the passage of the spirit into the next world. By the l7th century, African musicians were seen in Turkish marching bands and their skill was admired by the monarchs of Europe. In the United States, black fife and drum bands played during the revolutionary war to keep up the spirit of the troops....In modern times, the tradition of the black marching band continues on the football fields of America. Dizzy Gillespie proudly introduces us to the skillfully orchestrated maneuvers of the Florida A&M Marching Band. He points out that this contemporary band is the direct fulfillment of an ageless ancestral idea. In New Orleans today, a jazz procession is an integral part of the funeral observance. No matter how rich or how poor, the deceased is celebrated with a grand and festive send off. Even the children have learned to use the music of their bodies and dance to the spirit within. They will pass this tradition on to their children.  Access limited to the MSU Community and other subscribers.

A Distant Shore: African Americans of D-Day / produced by Flight 33 Productions for The History Channel ; A & E Television Network ; written, produced, and directed by Douglas J. Cohen.  New York : A&E Home Video : Distributed by New Video, 2010, c2007.  1 DVD videodisc (47 min.) : sd., b&w with col. sequences ; 4 3/4 in. D756.5.N6 D57 2010 VideoDVD : In WWII 75% of all US Army Transportation Corps units were composed of segregated black troops. Almost two thousand African-Americans took part in the Normandy invasion. Yet, few people are aware of this. The war was rough on everyone, but these black troops had the added challenge of serving in a segregated army. With so little written about the black experience in WWII, this film is a must-see.

Doing as they can : slave life in the American South / American Social History Project ; directed by Joshua Brown and Stephen Brier ; written by Josh Brown New York : American Social History Project, [2006?] 1 videodisc (approximately 25 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 viewer's guide (12 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.) E449 .D65 2006 VideoDVD DVD & guide : The harsh realities of slavery on a cotton plantation in the antebellum period are brought to life in this documentary, told from the point of view of an escaped slave. On the plantation, time and work are dictated by the master. Still, slaves strive to make life in the quarters independent of his control. The narrator escapes to the North, only to discover that her former master’s power extends even to New York City because of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law.  Viewer's guide and trailer.

Dorothy Dandridge : an American Beauty   North Hollywood, Calif. : Passport Video, c2003.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 60 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. PN2287.D256 D676 2003 VideoDVD : Dorothy Dandridge was both goddess and trailblazer. Here is the Dorothy you haven't been introduced to, a close-up look at her triumphant and tragic life.  Cast : Halle Berry, Brock Peters, Fayard Nicholas, Joe Adams, Jasmine Guy, Laurence Fishburne.

The Double Dutch Divas! / A film by Nicole Franklin, produced by Epiphany Productions2001 .  39 minutes.  Available as streaming video from Filmakers Library. : Women with names like Smooth, Heart, Sassy, and Lady Di are the core of the Double Dutch Divas, a team that has mastered the art of jumping and dancing double Dutch during their twenty years together. They are a real life example of sisterhood at its best. Giving show stopping performances in the US and abroad, they bring fitness and fun to a multitude of people of all ethnicities....The game of double Dutch is an urban game where two ropes turn simultaneously in egg-beater fashion and one or more persons jump in the middle. Practiced and performed by both women and men, it is still a game where women shine. Age doesn't stop a Double Dutch Diva. The oldest jumper is forty-nine. They're married, they're single, they're mothers, they're stress-ridden career people - nothing keeps them from enjoying their sense of "can-do" and fun that inspires audiences everywhere....The original full length version I Was Made to Love Her is also available as well from Filmakers Library

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams  : First Black Heart Surgeon in America / adaptation and re-editing produced and edited by Brian Stewart.  Venice, Calif. : TMW Media Group, c2009.  1 DVD-R videodisc (44 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. (DVD)  E185.97.W5555 D6 2009 VideoDVD : Biography of the African American surgeon, Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, who was the first person to successfully perform an operation on the human heart. Covers his life and career and his heart operation that gave him critical acclaim in 1893. He also founded the nation's first interracial hospital, Provident Hospital in Chicago.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. : A Historical Perspective / producer, Melissa Wegman ; directed and written by Thomas Friedman.  Santa Monica, CA : Xenon Entertainment Group : Xenon Home Video, c1993.  1 VHS videocassette (60 min.) : sd., b&w ; 1/2 in. E185.97.K5 D75 1993 Videocassette  : Historical overview of the struggle for racial equality in America. Focuses on the extraordinary life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. using rare film footage and photographs.

Dr. Toer's Amazing Magic Lantern Show  / American Social History Project ; written by Bret Eynon ; executive producer, Steve Brier.     1 DVD videodisc (ca. 21 min.) : sd., b&w with col. sequences ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 guide.  E337.5 .W628 2006 VideoDVD : In the aftermath of the Civil War and Emancipation, southern African Americans struggled to realize the promise of equality. Told by J. W. Toer and his company of traveling players who performed for audiences of recently freed slaves, this program chronicles the many ways African Americans sought freedom in the face of growing repression and violence. Viewer's guide and trailer.

Dreams of Obama / Michael Kirk.  Frontline.   Arlington, Va. PBS, 2009.  56 minutes.  Available as streaming video to the MSU Community via PBS Video Collection :  As Barack Obama assumes the presidency on January 20th, 2009, FRONTLINE tells the story of how a little known state senator rose from obscurity to the White House in just over four years. Dreams of Obama draws on interviews with those closest to Obama to provide insight into how he might lead the country. A personal and political biography, the film examines the key moments that shaped Obama, and asks what his election says about America.

DuSable to Obama : Chicago's Black Metropolis (2010)  (1:29 min) . Streaming video courtesy of PBS and WTTW.   The history of Chicago's African-American community told like never before -- through the voices of its leading citizens, scholars, artists, politicians, and business leaders.  WTTW documentary. 

Select Documentary Films, E

All African American documentaries are located in the Digital and Multimedia Center unless otherwise indicated.  Movies can be checked out unless reserved for a class.

The edge of each other's battles : the vision of Audre Lorde / producer, director, writer, Jennifer Abod ; Profile Productions.  New York, NY : Distributed by Women Make Movies, 2002.  1 VHS videocassette (59 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.  PS3562.O75 Z58 2000 Videocassette : Documents black lesbian poet and activist Audre Lorde's (1934-92) social vision, using footage from the four-day conference: I am your sisters: forging global connections across differences, held in Boston in 1990. At the conference 1,200 men, women and young people from 23 countries examined the issues of the relations between race, class, gender and sexuality through Lorde's work. Interviews with the organizers of the conference are intercut with conference footage, including performances, controversies and speeches.

Electric Boogie / A film by Tana Ross and Freke Vuijst.  1983.  30 minutes. Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : The street culture of America's African-American and Hispanic neighborhoods has captivated much of the country. In this film, hailed as "magical" at the London Film Festival, we meet four boys from the Bronx who live, eat and sleep Electric Boogie. They perform anywhere, anytime. For them dancing becomes a way of coping with the harsh realities of their environment....Captured here is more than the razzle-dazzle of a dance fad. Revealed are the longings and attitudes of four inseparable friends -- kids who have not been hardened by street life.  Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Endgame: AIDS in Black America / produced, directed and written by Renata Simone.  [United States] : PBS Home Video : PBS Distribution, [2012]   1 DVD videodisc (120 min) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. RA643.83 .E53 2012 VideoDVD : This powerful Frontline documentary examines "one of the country's most urgent, preventable health crises." According to devastating statistics, nearly one-half of persons infected with HIV in the U.S. are African Americans. Writer and director Renata Simone solemnly narrates as doctors, researchers, activists, and, most memorably, those diagnosed with HIV share information, knowledge, and experiences. Offering an intimate and expansive view of the AIDS crisis, the film tracks events beginning 30 years ago, when it was mistakenly believed that the virus primarily afflicted white, gay males, many of whom lived in San Francisco. Meanwhile, across the bridge in Oakland, silence and fear in the black community kept the word from spreading. “You don’t tell people your business,” notes one black leader. The documentary delineates how the crisis was exacerbated by the crack-cocaine epidemic; examines the ill-conceived war on drugs; and reveals the failure of schools, churches, and advocacy groups (“I didn’t do what I could have done,” remarks Julian Bond) to address the issue. But it is the personal journeys that resonate most strongly. Sixty-three-year-old Nel tells how she discovered her husband, a church deacon, was HIV positive when she found the test results in his Bible. Retired NBA star Earvin “Magic” Johnson speaks honestly about his diagnosis and treatment, with the film asserting it took a celebrity “to break the silence.” This important program sheds light on the ongoing battle to “turn the tide of the epidemic.”

Ethnic Notions (1986) / producer, director, writer, Marlon T. Riggs [San Francisco, Calif.] : California Newsreel ; [Berkeley, Calif.] : Signifyin' Works, c2004. 1 DVD videodisc (58 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. E185.61 .E77 2004 VideoDVD : Released in 1986 before the pervasiveness of documentaries on TV, this biting expose was largely unnoticed outside the academic community. Narrated by Esther Rolle, it studies the roots of racial stereotyping by uncovering 150 years of vicious portrayals of African Americans in art, film, and even Saturday morning cartoons. It’s both convicting and enraging but it’s a film everyone should watch. For more information, visit California Newsreel.

Ethnic Notions by Marlon Riggs and Esther Rolle, directed by Marlon Riggs (California Newsreel, 1987) 57:46 mins.  Streaming video from Black Studies in Video.

An Evening with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater / co-production, DR/ZDF/RM Arts in association with ORF ; produced and directed by Thomas Grimm. [S.l.] : Image Entertainment, 2000. 1 DVD videodisc (61 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. GV1786.A42 A48 2000 VideoDVD : Presents two ballet performances by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Divining: A dance evoking a strong feeling for African tribal ritual set to hauntingly rhythmic drum music. Revelations: Expresses Ailey's intense feelings for his roots in the South. Here is Ailey's vivid "blood memories" of the blues, spirituals, gospel music, ragtime and folk songs as well as the hard life of the Southern black during the Depression.

Eyes on the Prize/ a production of Blackside, Inc. ; [creator and executive producer, Henry Hampton].  PBS Video, [2006]  7 DVD videodiscs (120 min. each)  E185.615 .E943 2006 VideoDVD : Vols. 1-6 tell the story of America's civil rights years from 1954 to 1965; vols. 7-14 examine the new America from 1966 to 1985, from community power to the human alienation of urban poverty.  Contents - Vol. 1. Awakenings, 1954-1956 -- v. 2. Fighting back, 1957-1962 -- v. 3. Ain't scared of your jails, 1960-1961 -- v. 4. No easy walk, 1962-1966 -- v. 5. Mississippi: Is this America?, 1962-1964 -- v. 6. Bridge to freedom, 1965.-- v. 7. The time has come, 1964-1966 -- v. 8. Two societies, 1965-1968 -- v. 9. Power! 1967-1968 -- v. 10. The promised land, 1967-1968 -- v. 11. Ain't gonna shuffle no more, 1964-1972 -- v. 12. A nation of law? 1968-1971 -- v. 13. The keys to the kingdom, 1974-1980 -- v. 14. Back to the movement, 1979-mid 1980s.  Check out the Interviewees Index under development by Washington University Film and Media Archive.

Eyes on the Prize II  :  America at the Racial Crossroads 1965-1985, see vols. 4-14 of Eyes on the Prize.  Eyes on the Prize II takes viewers from the streets of Malcolm X's Harlem to Oakland and the birth of the Black Panthers; from the frustrations of rioters in Detroit and Miami to the victory celebration for Harold Washington, Chicago's first black mayor; from ringside with Muhammad Ali to the "Mountain Top" speech of Martin Luther King on the eve of his assassination.  Check out the subject index provided by Washington University Film and Media Archive.

Selected Documentary Films, F

All African American documentaries are located in the Digital and Multimedia Center unless otherwise indicated.  Movies can be checked out unless reserved for a class.

Faces of America (2010)  : with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. / PBS ; a film by Kunhardt McGee Productions and Inkwell Films in association with Ark Media ; written by Henry Louis Gates Jr. ; senior producers, Barak Goodman and Sue Williams ; executive producers, Henry Louis Gates Jr., William R. Grant, Peter Kunhardt, Dyllan McGee ; a production of Kunhardt McGee Productions, Inkwell Films and THIRTEEN for WNET.ORG.  [New York, NY] : Thirteen/WNET ; [Alexandria, VA] : Distributed by PBS Distribution, 2010.   1 DVD videodisc (ca. 240 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  CS47 .F33 2010 VideoDVD : What made America? What makes us? These two questions are at the heart of the new PBS series Faces of America. Building on the success of his series African American Lives  (called by The New York Times the most exciting and stirring documentary on any subject to appear on television in a long time ) and African American Lives 2, Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. turns again to the latest tools of genealogy and genetics to explore the family histories of 11 renowned Americans. Looking to the wider immigrant experience, Professor Gates unravels the American tapestry, following the threads of his guests lives back to their origins around the globe. Along the way, the many stories he uncovers of displacement and homecoming, of material success and dispossession, of assimilation and discrimination illuminate the American experience. Professor Gates guests include poet Elizabeth Alexander, who composed and read the poem at President Barack Obama's inauguration, chef Mario Batali, comedian Stephen Colbert, novelist Louise Erdrich, writer Malcolm Gladwell, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, film director Mike Nichols, Her Royal Highness Queen Noor, actress Eva Longoria, actress Meryl Streep and figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi.

The Faces of #BlackLivesMatter  The Atlantic, January 12, 2015.  2:13 minutes.   Last December, thousands of protesters crowded onto New York City's streets to march against police brutality in America. The protest, a part of the #BlackLivesMatter movement sparked by the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, was one of many that have occurred across the country. Filmmakers Jared Rosenthal and Luca Repola were on hand to capture the powerful mood of the day. In this short documentary, they cut together a series of vignettes from within the crowd....  Rosenthal produced this documentary with itsbongoboy, a Manhattan-based production company. Rahul Sharma was the cinematographer. Additional footage was filmed by Luca Silveira. The song that accompanies the footage is "Lindisfarne," provided courtesy of Moses Sumney. The score was created by Xander Rodzinski.

Fade to Black / Rizz Produgs/C.B.B. video ; direction, Tony Cokes.  Third World Newsreel, c1990.  1 VHS videocassette (33 min.)  E185.61 .F334 1990 Videocassette : Re-examines racism in everyday life. Juxtaposing archival movie footage with quotations in the form of texts and voice-overs, this work explores the ideological implications of the rhetoric between blacks and whites.

Famous human rights crusaders  : Ida B. Wells & Fannie Lous Hammer / by Rex Barnett.  Venice, CA : TMW Media Group, 1999.  1 streaming video file (79 min.). from Black Studies in Video.  :  Ida B. Wells: A community organizer and grass roots leader who was a precursor of the modern Civil Rights movement. Fannie Lou Hammer: An inspiration to anyone who has ever faced oppression & a powerful reminder of what one individual is capable of achieving in the face of adversity. One of the true icons of the Civil Rights movement.

Fannie Lou Hamer  : Voting Rights Activist / adaptation and re-editing produced and edited by Brian Stewart.  Venice, CA : TMW Media Group, c2009. 1 DVD-R videodisc (31 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.97.H36 F366 2009 VideoDVD  : A famous black woman who spoke out against injustice and became a key force in securing African Americans the right to vote. Part of the Black American Experience series.

Faubourg Tremé : the untold story of Black New Orleans / a co-production of Serendipity Films LLC, WYES-TV/New Orleans, Louisiana Public Broadcasting, and National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) ; in association with Independent Television Service (ITVS) ; a documentary by Lolis Eric Elie and Dawn Logsdon ; directed by Dawn Logsdon ; written & co-directed by Lolis Eric Elie ; produced by Lucie Faulknor, Lolis Eric Elie, Dawn Logsdon.  1 DVD videodisc (68 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  F379.N55 F28 2008 VideoDVD : Long ago during slavery, Faubourg Tremé was home to the largest community of free black people in the Deep South and a hotbed of political ferment. Here black and white, free and enslaved, rich and poor co-habitated, collaborated, and clashed to create much of what defines New Orleans culture up to the present day. Founded as a suburb (or faubourg in French) of the original colonial city, the neighborhood developed during French rule and many families like the Trevignes kept speaking French as their first language until the late 1960s. Tremé was the home of the Tribune, the first black daily newspaper in the US. During Reconstruction, activists from Tremé pushed for equal treatment under the law and for integration. And after Reconstruction's defeat, a "Citizens Committee" legally challenged the resegregation of public transportation resulting in the infamous Plessy vs. Ferguson Supreme Court case. New Orleans Times Picayune columnist Lolis Eric Elie bought a historic house in Tremé in the 1990s when the area was struggling to recover from the crack epidemic. Rather than flee the blighted inner city, Elie begins renovating his dilapidated home and in the process becomes obsessed with the area's mysterious and neglected past. Shot largely before Hurricane Katrina and edited afterwards, the film is both celebratory and elegiac in tone.

The FBI's War on Black America  : A Documentary / Maljack Productions.  [Orland Park, IL] : Maljack Productions, 2009. 1 DVD-R videodisc (ca. 50 min.) : sd., col., b&w ; 4 3/4 in. HV8144.F43 F35 2009 VideoDVD : A look at the FBI's Cointelpro (Counter Intelligence Program) operations. Contains rare footage of the influential black leaders of the times, such as: Geronimo Jijaga Pratt, Fred Hampton, Stokley Charmichael, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Adam Clayton Powell, g Huey P. Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, and Kathleen Cleaver.

Fear of a Black Republican (2012) / a Shamrock Stine production ; written, directed & edited by Kevin J. Williams ; produced by Tamara E. Williams, Kevin J. Williams.  Trenton, N.J. : Shamrock Stine Productions, c2011.   1 DVD videodisc (ca. 111 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in  E184.5 .F43 2011 VideoDVD : This documentary begins with the simple question... Does the Republican Party really want more African Americans? Independent filmmaker Kevin J. Williams takes a non-partisan journey over four years and two Presidential Elections to find out why there are so few Black Republicans and what that means for the future of the Two-Party Political System in America. From the Civil War to the Great Depression, the GOP was the Party for many African-Americans, but today barely 10% consider themselves Republican and Urban areas are no longer competitive parts of America's Election map. Beginning in his hometown, Williams speaks with BOTH Democrats and Republicans as he takes a personal and humorous look at his own Republican Party's efforts in Urban areas versus the Suburbs, the Democratic Party's success in retaining the African American vote and what this all means for America. The film includes conversations with scholars Professors Cornel West and Howard Taylor; Presidential candidates Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Jim Gilmore and John McCain; political leaders like fmr. Maryland Lt. Governor and RNC Chairman Michael Steele and fmr. Chairman Ken Mehlman; fmr. New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman; Conservative thinkers Newt Gingrich, Grover Norquist and Ann Coulter; Commentators Tavis Smiley and Michelle Malkin; and the first and last Black Republican Senator popularly elected since Reconstruction, former Senator Edward Brooke of Massachusetts. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Senator and President-Elect Barack Obama, President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney also appear. The film also examines the History of the Republican Party and includes rarely seen archival footage of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Vice-President Richard M. Nixon and Jackie Robinson. Fear of a Black Republican gives audiences of all demographics and political persuasions a ground-breaking and moving view of American Politics unlike any they have ever seen.

February One / California Newsreel, c2004. 1 DVD videodisc : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  F264.G8 F73 2004 VideoDVD : February One tells the inspiring story of four remarkable young men who initiated the lunch counter sit-ins in Greensboro, NC on February 1, 1960. Based largely on first hand accounts and rare archival footage, the film documents one volatile winter in Greensboro that not only challenged public accommodation customs and law in North Carolina, but served as a blueprint for the wave of non-violent civil rights protests that swept accross the South and the nation throughout the 1960's".   For more information, visit California Newsreel.

Fenceline: A Company Town Divided, directed by Slawomir Grunberg.  New York, NY : Filmakers Library, 2003. 53 mins. Streaming video from Filmakers Library : Polluting industries have a history of locating in low-income, minority communities, impacting health and leaving residents to fight for environmental justice. Fenceline follows the struggle of an African-American neighborhood known as the Diamond Community to be relocated because of the pollution from the Royal Dutch/Shell Oil Company....When Shell bought out Diamond in the 1940's to build a petrochemical industry, the company said nothing about potential health hazards, instead promising high paying jobs with generous benefits. Sixty years later, Norco, a company town which includes Diamond, is divided. Residents of the Diamond Community say they receive no economic benefits, yet inherit health problems ranging from asthma to cancer. The majority of white residents work for Shell and view the company as a benevolent employer. They reject the health problems of their neighbors as the result of poor lifestyle choices. Meanwhile, Shell depicts itself as a "good neighbor," carefully monitoring chemical emissions and offering employment to the community....This film helped to resolve the conflict in Norco; in June 2002, the publicity caused by the impending national broadcast of Fenceline on PBS prompted Shell to offer to buy out all four streets of the Diamond Community.  Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Fighting Back, 1957-1962 / a production of Blacksides. Produced and directed by Judith Vecchione.  PBS Video, c1986.  1 VHS videocassette (60 min.)  E185.61 .E947 1986 Videocassette  : Highlights the 1957 collison between states' rights loyalists and federal authorities over the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, and James Meredith's 1962 challenge to the white-only enrollment policy of the University of Mississippi. In both instances, Southern governors squared off with US presidents, but integration of the schools was carried out.  Examines the political, social and psychological implications both of school segregation and desegregation programs.   Part of the Eyes on the Prize collection.

Finally Got the News (1970) / Black Star Productions ; Stewart Bird ... [et al.] with the cooperation of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers.  Brooklyn, NY : First Run/Icarus Films, [2003?]  1 DVD videodisc (55 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 4 3/4 in.  HD8081.A65 F55 2003 VideoDVD : A documentary presenting the workers' view of working conditions inside Detroit's auto factories. It focuses on the activities of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers in their efforts to build an independent African American labor organization which, unlike the United Auto Workers, would respond to the racism and dangerous working conditions faced by African American workers in the industry. It also explores the educational "tracking" the role of African American women in the labor force, and racial relations between workers.  Also available on VHS videocassette and on YouTube (last checked 01/11/13).

Flyers (1988) : In Search of a Dream / produced by Philip Hart, UCLA and WGBH. [Virginia] : Distributed by PBS Home Video, [2009]  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 60 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 4 3/4 in. TL545 .F69 2009 VideoDVD :  This program celebrates the unsung African-American pioneers of aviation. It includes the stories of Bessie Coleman, Hubert Julian, and James Herman Banning. Coleman was a Texas woman who trained in France in 1921. She became the first African-American to receive a pilot's license, and enjoyed a career as a stunt pilot. Banning was the first black male to receive a pilot's license. Partnering with another black aviator, Thomas C. Allen, Banning flew from Los Angeles to Long Island, NY, in 1932. They were the first black pilots to fly coast to coast.

Focus Reparations  Princeton, N.J. : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c2001.  1 VHS videocassette (ca. 15 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.  KF4757 .F6 2001 Videocassette  :  In this program, NewsHour correspondent Elizabeth Bracket reports on a Chicago resolution in support of reparations to descendants of African American slaves. The segment includes interviews with proponents, Dorothy Tillman, a Chicago Alderman who sponsored the resolution and Rep. John Conyers who has sponsored a congressional bill to form a presidential commission to study the concept. Also interviewed are economist Walter Williams who opposes the resolution, as well as Alderman Brian Doherty, the only board member to dissent.

For Colored Boys Who've Considered Homicide / written, directed & produced by Narcel G. Reedus. Columbus, Ohio : Distributed by National Black Programming Consortium, [1994]  1 VHS videocassette (27 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. HV6515 .F67 1994 Videocassette : Looks at the reasons why black youth are killing each other.

For Love of Liberty : The Story of America's Black Patriots (2010)  / Frank Martin, producer and director.  PBS.  [United States] : Distributed by Eleventh Day Entertainment, Inc., c2010.   3 DVD videodiscs (514 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in+ 1 guide (6 p.).   E185.63 .F67 2010 VideoDVD : If prevalent and accepted accounts of American History – both scholarly and those portrayed by Hollywood – are to be believed, the face of the United States Armed Services was white....The truth is over 5,000 Black soldiers fought in the American Revolution. And though most were not recognized as citizens or even free man, more than 200,000 took up arms in the Civil War. Over 380,000 African-Americans served in WW I and more than 2,000,000 defended this country in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Yet most accounts of their valiant actions are absent from history books and contemporary film....For Love Of Liberty: The Story Of America's Black Patriots finally, and for the first time, sets the record straight. Its theme, the price of liberty, is relevant to all Americans....Ten years in the making, the 4 hour, 2 part PBS documentary is introduced by Colin Powell, hosted on-camera by Halle Berry and features a cast that includes Morgan Freeman, Bill Cosby, John Travolta, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Robert Duvall, Danny Glover, Sam Elliot, Delroy Lindo, Walter Cronkite, Angela Bassett, John Amos, Kris Kristofferson, Ice-T, Donald Sutherland, Blair Underwood, Cliff Robertson, Courtney B. Vance, Alan Rickman, Jesse L. Martin, Alfre Woodard, Robert Townsend, Mel Gibson, Charles Dutton, Michael Clark Duncan, Chris Cooper, Louis Gossett Jr. and many, many others....This amazing cast reads from a collection of letters, diaries, speeches and military records that document and acknowledge the sacrifices and accomplishments of African-American service men and women since the earliest days of the republic. The story spans the Revolution to Afghanistan and examines why, despite enormous injustice, these heroic men and women fought so valiantly for freedoms they themselves did not enjoy.  YouTube film clips.

For my people : the life and writing of Margaret Walker / written, directed, and produced by Judith McCray.  San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, 1998.  1 streaming video file (27 min.). available via Black Studies in Video.  : Through interviews with writers, scholars, and Walker herself, this documentary examines the life and work of Margaret Walker focusing on the influence that her writing had on Black women writers.  Also available as streamng video via Kanopy.

A Fragile Freedom : African American Historic Sites / produced by Northern Light Productions for the History Channel ; producer-director-writer, Judy Richardson.   A & E Home Video, c2002. 1 DVD videodisc (50 min.)  E185 .F73 2002 VideoDVD : From stops on the Underground Railroad to the sites where the grand drama of the Civil Rights Movement played out, this video tours the nation to tell the story of Black America. The eight stops take us from New York City to Jacksonville, Florida, visiting famous landmarks and overlooked sites, and exploring the significance of each with the help of local experts and other scholars. What emerges is a fascinating tapestry of the African-American experience from the 18th century to the present day.

Framing an execution  : ABC News & the case of Mumia Abu Jamal / Media Education Foundation ; director, Sut Jhally ; producers, Sut Jhally, Tom Gardner.  Northhampton, MA : Media Education Foundation, c2002.   1 DVD videodisc (49 min., 56 sec.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. KF224.A354 F73 2002 VideoDVD : The case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, a journalist on Pennsylvania's death row in connection with the death of a police officer, had become by the late 1990s a global symbol of inequities in the U.S. judicial system. The mainstream media could no longer ignore it, but how would they cover such a hotly disputed case and the questions of judicial bias that it raises?  Narrated by Danny Glover.  Full-length preview

Frederick Douglass : when the lion wrote history / co-produced by WETA-TV and ROJA Productions.  Atlanta, GA : Turner Home Entertainment, 1994.  1 VHS videocassette (90 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 1/2 in.  E449.D75 F74 1994 Videocassette : Archival materials and Douglass' autobiographical writings are used to present the story of his life.

Free Angela and all political prisoners / producers, Carole Lambert ... [et al.] ; writer/director, Shola Lynch.  Santa Monica, CA : Lionsgate, [2013]  1 DVD videodisc (approximately 102 min.) : sound, color with black and white sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.97.D23 F74 2013 VideoDVD  : This film chronicles the life of young college professor Angela Davis, and how her social activism implicates her in a botched kidnapping attempt that ends with a shootout, four dead, and her name on the FBI's 10 most wanted list.

Free at Last : Civil Rights Heroes / World Almanac Video ; TLC ; Discovery Channel.  Chatsworth, CA : Distributed by Image Entertainment, [2005]  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 95 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 4 3/4 in  E185.61 .F839 2004 VideoDVD : The incredible stories of Emmett Till, Medgar Evers, The Birmingham Four, Viola Liuzzo, Jimmy Lee Jackson, Rev. James Reeb and more! The civil rights movement in the United States is usually understood in terms of its leadership such as Martin Luther King, Jr. or its dramatic events such as the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. But often the catalysts for progress were people who fought from within a larger group or performed individual, seemingly small acts or heroism - some even victims who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now see the stories of those whose fates stirred the nation and forged an amazing new path.

Freedom Bags / Produced by Stanley Nelson and Elizabeth Clark-Lewis.  1991,  33 minutes.  Streaming video from Filmakers Library : Freedom Bags is the story of African-American women who migrated from the rural south during the first three decades of the 20th century. Hoping to escape from the racism and poverty of the post-Civil War South, they boarded segregated trains for an uncertain future up North. Having had limited education, most could find jobs only as houseworkers....With spirit and humor, the women remember their tactics for self preservation in the homes of their employers, where they often faced exploitation and sexual harassment. After hours they relished their independence and enjoyed good times with friends and family. Their stories are interwoven with rare footage, still photographs, and period music to create a portrait of the largest internal migration in U.S. history. These were proud women who kept their dignity and sense of worth through difficult times.  Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Freedom Flyers of Tuskegee : The Tuskegee Airmen. EPF Media, Inc, 2011. 49 minutes.  Streaming video from Kanopy : Before there was a Civil Rights Movement in the Unites States of America, there were the actions of the Tuskegee Airmen. Many African American men and women were aviators in the early 1930's, but established military policy forbade them from flying. However, as World War II loomed, there was heavy pressure from black organizations and leaders such as the NAACP, A. Phillip Randolph (head of the Brotherhood of Sleeping-Car Porter's Union), Dr. W.E.B. DuBois, and some journalists to offer U.S. Army pilot training to black United States citizens.... Over 950 African American men became fighterpilots at the Tuskegee Army Airfield during World War II. By war's end,the Tuskegee Airmen were awarded 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 744 Air Medals and Clusters, numerous Legions of Merit, the Red Star of Yugoslavia and a Presidential Unit Citation. This is the story of their struggle to be accepted as World War II United States Army Air Corps pilots, and their fight to defend a country that denied them some of their rights and civil liberties.

Freedom Never Dies - The Legacy of Harry T. Moore directed by Dickson, Sandra & Roberts, Churchill (Documentary Educational Resources). Release date : 2000.   90 mins.  Streaming video from Ethnographic Video Online. : In 1951 after celebrating Christmas Day, civil rights activist Harry T. Moore and his wife Harriette retired to bed in their white frame house tucked inside a small orange grove in Mims, Florida. Ten minutes later, a bomb shattered their house, their lives and any notions that the south's post-war transition to racial equality would be a smooth one. Harry Moore died on the way to the hospital; his wife died nine days later. ...Freedom Never Dies: The Legacy of Harry T. Moore explores the life and times of this enigmatic leader, a distinguished school teacher whose passionate crusade for equal rights could not be discouraged by either the white power structure or the more cautious factions of his own movement. Although Moore's assassination was an international cause celebre in 1951, it was overshadowed by following events and eventually almost forgotten.  For more information, visit this PBS web pageAccess limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Freedom on My Mind  / produced and directed by Connie Field and Marilyn Mulford ; written and edited by Michael Chandler.  Clarity Educational Productions, c1994. 1 VHS videocassette (110 min.)   E185.615 .F74 1994 Videocassette : The Academy Award nominated and Sundance Grand Jury Prize winning classic film Freedom on my Mind vividly chronicles the complex and compelling history of the Mississippi voter registration struggles of 1961 to 1964: the interracial nature of the campaign, the tensions and conflicts, the fears and hopes. It is the story of youthful idealism and shared vision, of a generation who believed in and fought for the principles of democracy. The film provides a sweeping panorama of a turbulent time: a time that tested America's purpose and its commitment to democracy. The legacy of that time, the achievements and failures, remain with us today. Freedom on my Mind will enable viewers of all backgrounds to better understand and appreciate this uniquely American legacy.

Freedom Riders / a Firefly Media production ; written, produced and directed by Stanley Nelson ; produced by Laurens Grant.  [United States] : PBS Distribution, c2011.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 120 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.   E185.61 .F743 2011 VideoDVD  (Also available as part of the ROVI Film Collection):    Part of the American Experience series by PBS.   This inspirational documentary is about a band of courageous civil-rights activists calling themselves the Freedom Riders. Gaining impressive access to influential figures on both sides of the issue, it chronicles a chapter of American history that stands as an astonishing testament to the accomplishment of youth and what can result from the incredible combination of personal conviction and the courage to organize against all odds.  In 1961, segregation seemed to have an overwhelming grip on American society. Many states violently enforced the policy, while the federal government, under the Kennedy administration, remained indifferent, preoccupied with matters abroad. That is, until an integrated band of college students--many of whom were the first in their families to attend a university--decided, en masse, to risk everything and buy a ticket on a Greyhound bus bound for the Deep South. They called themselves the Freedom Riders, and they managed to bring the president and the entire American public face to face with the challenge of correcting civil-rights inequities that plagued the nation. Veteran filmmaker Stanley Nelson's inspirational documentary is the first feature-length film about this courageous band of civil-rights activists. Gaining impressive access to influential figures on both sides of the issue, Nelson chronicles a chapter of American history that stands as an astonishing testament to the accomplishment of youth and what can result from the incredible combination of personal conviction and the courage to organize against all odds. This documentary is based partly on Raymond Arsenault's acclaimed book Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice.  For the moment, you can watch Freedom Riders online.

Freedom Summer / video produced by Marco Williams.  Los Angeles, CA : A&E Television Networks, 2006.  1 DVD electronic resource (45 min.).  Available via American History in Video from Alexander Street Press.  : Over 10 memorable weeks in 1964 known as Freedom Summer, more than 700 student volunteers from around the country joined organizers and local African Americans in a historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in what was one of the nation’s most viciously racist, segregated states.  Trailer and more information from PBS.

The Freedom Train  / Kingberry Productions in association with WDIV-TV.  New York : Filmakers Library, [200-?]  1 DVD videodisc (28 min.) : sd., col., with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. E185.61 .F843 2000z VideoDVD : The National Negro Labor Council, formed in 1951, was a forerunner of the civil rights movement that followed in the '60's. It grew out of the auto factories of Detroit, the packinghouses of Chicago and the sweat of black laborers across the country. Its mission was to advance blacks in the workplace and eliminate racism inside the unions. During the red scare of the 50's this was considered a radical agenda and the NNLC came under the scrutiny of the House Un-American Activities' Committee....Little has been written about the NNLC and its history can only be found in the collective memory of the surviving members. In this film they recall their first convention for which it was difficult to find a Cincinnati hotel that would house them. At that convention it was decided to fight for black women in the work force as well as men, and to open up jobs currently barred from black workers. Paul Robeson's presence inspired the members. During the course of the next years, the NNLC organized a boycott of Sears, petitioned Truman in behalf of an effective fair employment act, and put pressure on union officials to put blacks on their boards....Although the Council was ultimately disbanded due to pressure from HUAC, its efforts were not in vain. Ten thousand people got jobs as a result of its activities and the torch was passed on to the '60's activists.

Freedom Train / Kingberry Productions in Association with WDIV-TV.  1996 30 minutes.  Streaming video from Filmakers Library : The National Negro Labor Council, formed in 1951, was a forerunner of the civil rights movement that followed in the '60's. It grew out of the auto factories of Detroit, the packinghouses of Chicago and the sweat of black laborers across the country. Its mission was to advance blacks in the workplace and eliminate racism inside the unions. During the red scare of the 50's this was considered a radical agenda and the NNLC came under the scrutiny of the House Un-American Activities' Committee....Little has been written about the NNLC and its history can only be found in the collective memory of the surviving members. In this film they recall their first convention for which it was difficult to find a Cincinnati hotel that would house them. At that convention it was decided to fight for black women in the work force as well as men, and to open up jobs currently barred from black workers. Paul Robeson's presence inspired the members. During the course of the next years, the NNLC organized a boycott of Sears, petitioned Truman in behalf of an effective fair employment act, and put pressure on union officials to put blacks on their boards....Although the Council was ultimately disbanded due to pressure from HUAC, its efforts were not in vain. Ten thousand people got jobs as a result of its activities and the torch was passed on to the '60's activists. Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Freedom's Call /  film by Richard Breyer.  2007.  43 minutes Streaming video from Filmakers Library : Two African-American journalists who covered the events of the civil rights movement in the fifties and sixties return to the deep South where it all took place. The journalists are Dorothy Gilliam,who later became first female African American reporter at The Washington Post, and Ernest Withers, renowned photographer whose photos were published in the black press, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. Their journey brings back memories of those turbulent times....They travel to Memphis, Little Rock, Oxford, Jackson and the Mississippi Delta. Along the way they stop to meet with Minniejean Brown Trickey, one of The Little Rock Nine, and James Meredith, the first African-American to attend The University of Mississippi....Photographs, newspaper clips and eyewitness accounts brings the heroic struggle alive, a struggle in which these two courageous journalists participated and recorded for posterity. Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Freedom's Land : Canada and the Underground Railroad /  A film by William Cobban for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.  2004. 42 minutes.  Not yet released.  Streaming video from Filmakers Library : Told through manuscripts, letters and dramatic reconstructions, this is the story of the incredible exodus of thousands of African-Americans to Canada in the 1850's. Based largely on the journal of Henry Bibb, a slave from Shelby County, Kentucky, it gives a vivid picture of the suffering of slave life. There were over 4 million African slaves laboring in the richest agricultural economy in the world. Henry Bibb was to become the first former slave to publish a newspaper in Canada....Many of the slaves came up through the Ohio River, through Ripley, Ohio where they were helped by Quakers, Christians and free blacks. Some crossed the Great Lakes to Manitoba. Alexander Ross, a young Canadian physician posed as a birdwatcher and risked his life in the American south to help escaping slaves. John Brown began his famous campaign in Canada to overthrow slavery, which ended in bloodshed at Harper¹s Ferry and became known as the first shot in the Civil War. The film describes how the publication of Uncle Tom¹s Cabin in 1852 roused anti-slavery passions in the States....Elise Harding-Davis, Curator at the North American Black Historical Museum, and Dr. Afua Cooper, author and historian, are among the experts providing perspective. Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

From Poverty to Purpose : The Ben Carson Story.  Brian Stewart, 2016.  19 minutes.  TMW Media.  Available as streaming video from Kanopy.  : How does an inner city African American kid with a self-proclaimed violent temper, become a world renowned brain surgeon, an inspiring role model for disadvantaged youth, a medical innovator and achieve success... against all odds? In 2001, CNN and Time Magazine named Ben Carson one of the nation's 20 foremost physicians and scientists. His mother was his most influential inspiration, changing Ben from worst to first. He gained respect as he soared to the top of his class. He applied himself, stayed focused on achievement, studied hard and graduated from Yale with a degree in psychology; where he met his future wife, mother of his children and life partner, Candy.... Carson earned his M.D. at the University of Michigan Medical School and later at the age of 33, was appointed the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, the youngest person ever to hold that position. He was the first brain surgeon to successfully separate twins conjoined at the back of the head. Ben Carson has been granted 67 honorary doctorate degrees and the United States' highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His beliefs are integral to his achievements. Ben Carson's story is an amazing inspiration. It will continue, not only because of what he has achieved, but because his final chapters are yet to be written.

Fruitvale Station  / Weinstein Company presents a Significant production ; produced by Forest Whitaker, Nina Yang Bongiovi ; written and directed by Ryan Coogler.  Beverly Hills, California : Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2014.   1 DVD videodisc (85 minutes) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 inPN1995.9.B55 F785 2014 VideoDVD : Winner of both the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic feature and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, director Ryan Coogler’s FRUITVALE STATION follows the true story of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who wakes up on the morning of December 31, 2008 and feels something in the air. Not sure what it is, he takes it as a sign to get a head start on his resolutions: being a better son to his mother (Octavia Spencer), whose birthday falls on New Year’s Eve, being a better partner to his girlfriend Sophina (Melonie Diaz), who he hasn’t been completely honest with as of late, and being a better father to Tatiana (Ariana Neal), their beautiful four year-old daughter. Crossing paths with friends, family, and strangers, Oscar starts out well, but as the day goes on, he realizes that change is not going to come easily. His resolve takes a tragic turn, however, when BART officers shoot him in cold blood at the Fruitvale subway stop on New Year’s Day. Oscar’s life and tragic death would shake the Bay Area – and the entire nation – to its very core.

"Fundi"--The Story of Ella Baker (1980)  / produced, directed, written by Joanne Grant.  [New York, N.Y. : First Run/Icarus Films, 1986]   1 VHS videocassette (63 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. + 1 discussion guide (26 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.) E185.97.B214 F96 1986 Videocassette : Shows the work of Ella Baker, a little-known organizer in the civil rights movement of the past fifty years. She served in the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, often when women were not always given equal status within these organizations. Documents the struggle of Black people for justice and equality.  Additional film review.

Furious flower I : conversations with African American poets, 1960-1995San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, 1998.  1 streaming video file (112 min.). available via Black Studies in Video.

Furious flower II / producer, Judith McCray.  San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, 2005.  1 streaming video file (215 min.).  available via Black Studies in Video.  "This 3-part program provides the definitive teaching tool for exploring the world of today's black poetry. Providing a more focused, ambitious approach than its 1998 predecessor, Furious flower II presents outstanding critical scholarship on black contemporary poetry's origins and trends, its conflicts and consonances. Throughout, notable authors share insights and offer inspiration to fledgling poets about the creative process, and about daily life as a published writer. Interspersed with these critical conversations are impassioned readings of the most representative poems of each poet. Viewers can watch as one of America's most exciting cultural movements evolves before their eyes and ears. Program I - Roots and First Fruits traces black literary traditions from African American folklore to the Blues Aesthetic to Hip Hop, and illuminates their impact on poetry. Program II - Cross-Pollination in the Diaspora reflects upon the reciprocal influence between black American poets and writers from the African literary Diaspora. Program III - Blooming in the Whirlwind locates black poets within their historic moment and contextualizes them within relevant political movements - Civil Rights, Black Nationalism, post-colonialism and multiculturalism."

Selected Documentary Films, G

All African American documentaries are located in the Digital and Multimedia Center unless otherwise indicated. Movies can be checked out unless reserved for a class.

The game of change : documenting the 1963 Mississippi State vs. Loyola (Ill.) basketball game / The NCAA presents ; a Pathway Productions documentary ; producer/director, Jerald Harkness ; writers, Michael Husain, Jerald Harkness.  [S.l.] : NCAA ; distributed by Team Marketing, c2008.     1 DVD-R videodisc (59 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.. GV885.59.N33 G36 2008 VideoDVD : NCAA Centennial 25 Most Defining Moments. Loyola (Illinois) faces Mississippi State in a 1963 men's basketball tournament regional semifinal. Mississippi State, an all-white team, sneaks out of town in the middle of the night -- despite protests from the governor and state police of Mississippi -- to play a Loyola team that features four black starters. Mississippi State overcame an unwritten Mississippi rule against playing integrated teams with a cloak-and-dagger flight to the North just one step ahead of a court injunction. Loyola beats Mississippi State and goes on to win the national title. Cover.

The Geography of Hope in Ken Burns's The West Episode 7 (Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), 1996) 86:25 mins. Streaming video from American History on Film. Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Ghosts of Amistad : in the footsteps of the rebels / directed by Tony Buba.  Pittsburgh, PA : University of Pittsburgh, 2014.  streaming video file (57 min.)   Available online as part of American history in video.  Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers. :  This documentary chronicles the journey of author Marcus Rediker as he retraces the path of the brave Africans who rebelled against their captors and seized the slave schooner Amistad in 1839, leading to a watershed US Supreme Court decision that sparked Abolitionist action leading to the Civil War. Based on Rediker's ground-breaking book The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom, the film travels to present day Sierra Leone to visit the home villages of Sengbe Pieh (Joseph Cinqué) and the other captives who were held on the Amistad, interviewing elders about local memory of the case and searching for the long-lost ruins of Lomboko, the slave trading factory where their cruel transatlantic voyage began. The film uses the knowledge of villagers, fishermen, and truck drivers to recover the lost history of the Amistad, told from a seldom-voiced perspective in the historical struggle against slavery.

The Gift in Ken Burns's Jazz Episode 2 (Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), 2000) 109:58 mins. Streaming video from American History on Film. Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers. 

Girls in White Dresses / A film by Ronisa Wilkins Shoate. 2010. 27 minutes. Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : It is startling in this day and age to find teenage girls willing to come out as debutantes. Yet, as we see in this delightful film, young middle-class African-American women in Oxnard, California (as in 150 other communities) happily participate in this ritual from another era. The debutante ball is a highlight of the social season. As we follow the preparations for the event we learn of the history of the tradition in this African-American community. One might wonder whether this is still a valid "rite of passage." ... Organized by the older women in the Onyx Club, the balls uphold their ideals of proper etiquette and conduct for middle-class young ladies -- sometimes conflicting with the opinions of the teenage girls. The debs must learn proper table manners and how to formally present themselves and their escorts. They go shopping with their mothers for "appropriate" dresses that are more modest than the girls would like. Besides the lessons in social graces, the girls are encouraged to participate in community service. This ball, for example, raised $400,000 for college scholarships. Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Gloria Naylor : a conversation with Gloria Naylor / SSR-RTSI Swiss Television production ; producer & director, Matteo Bellinelli.  San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, 1992.  Available as streaming video via Black Studies in Video. : Gloria Naylor, writer, speaks on the influence of other black women writers, the influence of a southern background, early involvement with religion, learning to articulate one's experience, writing in different voices, and writing to explore one's beliefs.  In black and white : six profiles of African American authors ; 2

God Grew Tired of Us / Newmarket Films in associaiton with Silver Nitrate, a National Geographic Films and Lost Boys of Sudan Inc. production of a film by Christopher Quinn and Tommy Walker ; produced by Molly Bradford Pace, Christopher Quinn, Tommy Walker ; written by Christopher Quinn ; co-directed by Tommy Walker ; directed by Christopher Quinn. Culver City, Calif. : Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 2007. 1 DVD videodisc (ca. 90 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. HV640.5.S9 D29 2007 VideoDVD : Explores the indomitable spirit of three "Lost Boys" from the Sudan who are forced to leave their homeland due to a tumultuous civil war. Chronicles their triumph over seemingly insurmountable adversities and a relocation to the United States, where the Lost Boys build active and fulfilling new lives but remain deeply committed to helping friends and family they have left behind.

God is Angry : The Black Power Movement / produced by Birgitta Svensson & Sveriges Television, Stockholm, Sweden. 1007. 58 minutes. Streaming video from Filmakers Library : In October 1995, over a million black men gathered in Washington, D.C. in a huge demonstration of solidarity. Organized by Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, it was a controversial event, viewed with suspicion and hostility by the white establishment....God Is Angry looks at what Farrakhan means to black society and how he came to his leadership role. In tracing the history of the black struggle for power, the film interviews Stokely Carmichael (who now lives in Africa) and other activists of the sixties. Through archival footage the film traces the history of the painful struggle for civil rights and political power. We see the leaders as they were then -- idealistic and angry young men -- and learn what has become of them. Some are still in prison, some have died, some were absorbed into the middle class, and some became Muslims....There are many who dismiss Farrakhan as a racist and an anti-Semite. This film puts him and the movement into historical context and shows how he may continue to play a major role in effecting social change. Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

God is Angry: The Black Power Movement by Birgitta Svensson & Sveriges Television, Stockholm, Sweden (Filmakers Library, 1997) 58:05 mins. streaming video from Black Studies in Video.

God's Alcatraz : Reconstructing A Community in Despair. Directed by Boris Stout. 1996. 36 minutes. Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : New Lots, a little north of Howard Beach in East Brooklyn, NY was a community plagued with unemployment, drug abuse and violence. Two generations of fractured African-American families, children who had never met their fathers, never had jobs, had been written off as a community of despair....Eighteen years ago, Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood arrived in New Lots - God's Alcatraz - to infuse new life into the community through his parish, St. Paul's Village. Here, the charismatic preacher taught his congregation about dignity and black pride and helped them cure themselves of self hate. Reverend Youngblood does not mince words. He has little tolerance for "white oppressors" and little patience for blacks who neglect their own heritage....The film takes us to St. Paul's retreat where a group of men recall with tears and anger the pain of growing up neglected by their fathers. This powerful film takes us beyond sociological cliches into the heart of a community. Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Goin' to Chicago / George King & Associates and The Center for the Study of Southern Culture and the Afro-American Studies Program at the University of Mississippi present ; a film by George King ; produced and directed by George King ; writer, Lou Potter. [San Francisco, Calif.] : California Newsreel, [2006?] 1994. 1 DVD videodisc (71 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. E185.6 .G55 2006 VideoDVD : Chronicles one of the most momentous yet least heralded sagas of American history - the great migration of African Americans from the rural South to the cities of the North and West after World War II. Four million black people created a dynamic urban culture outside the South, changing America forever....Goin' to Chicago traces this history through the personal stories of a group of older Chicagoans born mostly in the Mississippi Delta. They share their bitter recollections of sharecropping - owing half of each crop to the landowner, each beginning back-breaking labor in the fields at ten. A steelworker, newspaper editor, blues musician and others movingly recall their journeys up Hwy. 61 to Chicago in search of comparatively well-paying factory jobs. On the South Side they built a vibrant city-within-a-city of thriving black businesses and civic institutions, proudly referred to as "Bronzeville."...They recall that after World War II increasingly self-assertive and prosperous blacks led a bitterly resisted struggle to open up fair housing opportunities outside the ghetto. But just as the American Dream was coming into reach for some, the steel mills and stockyards closed, leaving newer immigrants trapped in decaying public housing projects and inner-city despair....Goin' to Chicago is a moving tribute to a generation of African Americans who struggled - and triumphed - over odds as great or greater than other immigrant groups. Trailer.

Good Hair (2009)/ Chris Rock Entertainment [and] HBO Films ; produced by Jenny Hunter, Kevin O'Donnell, Jeff Stilson ; written by Lance Crouther, Chris Rock, Chuck Sklar, Jeff Stilson ; directed by Jeff Stilson. Santa Monica, Calif. : Lionsgate, [2010] 1 DVD videodisc (95 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. TT972 .G66 2010 VideoDVD : When one of Chris Rock's young daughters asked him an innocent question about having "good hair," the comedian probably had no idea just how complicated the answer would be. Fortunately for us, he decided to find out, and the result is this funny, informative, and highly entertaining documentary of the same name. Turns out that for a great many African-American women (and quite a few men, too), "good hair" means "white hair"--i.e., straight and lanky--while the natural or "nappy" look is bad. And oh, the lengths and expense women will go to in order to get "good hair"! In the course of the film, which was directed by Jeff Stilson and cowritten by Rock and several others, Rock first travels to Atlanta, home of the Bronner Brothers Hair Show, where thousands of folks buy and learn how to use new products (the show is also the site of the outrageous and climactic Hair Battle Royale, in which four stylists compete for money and fame). It's there that he learns about sodium hydroxide, better known as hair "relaxer," the "nap antidote," or the "creamy crack" (as effective as the chemical substance is for straightening hair, it can also be highly dangerous). In Harlem and Los Angeles, he investigates the extraordinary popularity of hair weaves, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars annually to create and maintain; Rock even goes to Madras, India, source of most of the hair used in weaves (for Indian women, tonsure, or shaving their heads, is a ritual act of self-sacrifice). Along the way, Rock interviews a great many young women with fabulous hair (including actresses Nia Long, Raven-Symoné, and Kerry Washington, and rappers Salt-N-Pepa), but he also talks to the esteemed poet Maya Angelou, as well as men like rapper-actor Ice-T and the Reverend Al Sharpton. Sharpton, who is very amusing (he's referred to as "the Dalai Lama of relaxed hair"), is about the only celeb who touches on racial issues, pointing out that while it's African Americans who use the overwhelming majority of these hair products, the companies who sell them tend to be owned by Asians. Some viewers may object to the film's lack of a strong socio-political stance, but others will no doubt prefer the lighter touch, including a hilarious discussion at a barber shop about dating women with hair weaves (basically, it's "hands off the hair, pal")

A great day in Harlem / Castle Hill Productions ; a Jean Bach production ; written by Jean Bach, Susan Peehl, Matthew Seig. The spitball story / a film by Jean Bach. Salt Lake City, Utah : BWE Video, c1998. 1 VHS videocassette (83 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. ML3508.8.N5 G73 1998 Videocassette : (A great day in Harlem) A documentary about a photograph taken in 1958 by Art Kane of the jazz greats of the period. Includes home movie footage of that day of the musicians arriving and greeting each other the morning of the shoot. Also includes conversations with musicians and archival performance footage (62 min.). (The spitball story) A short film about Dizzy Gillespie's antics as a performer in Cab Calloway's band. Includes interviews with Milt Hinton, Dizzy Gillespie, and Jonah Jones, as well as archival performance footage (21 min.)..

Greensboro : Closer to the Truth / A Film by Adam Zucker. 2009. 59 minutes. Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : This documentary explores the Greensboro Massacre of 1979 and its aftermath. Members of the Communist Workers Party massed for a “Death to the Klan” rally in Greensboro, North Carolina when a caravan of Ku Klux Klan and American Nazis arrived. As the police assigned to protect the rally inexplicably disappeared, the Klansmen opened fire, killing five demonstrators and injuring eleven others. Now, a quarter of a century later, the survivors have finally come upon a way to get to the heart of what really happened by mounting a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2004-2006)....The film focuses on five of the survivors of the attack, examining the paths they have taken since 1979. These activists have each struggled to stay true to their ideals. Two of the Klan figures – one a former Grand Dragon who is now repentant, the other still an Imperial Wizard and staunchly unrepentant—weave their own interpretation on the events and their aftermath. They all converge at the Truth Commission, the first time such an initiative has been utilized in the United States. Against the backdrop of a city which would largely like to forget the attack and pretend it never occurred, the participants come together exploring possibilities of truth, understanding and forgiveness. Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Gumbo in Ken Burns's Jazz Episode 1 (Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), 2000) 86:46 mins. Streaming video from American History on Film. Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Guts, Gumption, and Go-Ahead : Annie Mae Hunt Remembers  / a Media Projects Inc. production in association with WFAA-TV.   Dallas, Tex. : Media Projects, Inc., [2006?]   1 DVD videodisc (24 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 4 3/4 in.. E185.93.T4 G87 2006 VideoDVD : Her grandmother was a slave. She worked in other women’s houses. Through self-determination , an indomitable spirit, and a belief in her own abilities, she achieved her goal of personal and economic independence. Historical images, vibrant music and Annie Mae’s own words create a unique portrait of a remarkable woman who overcame racism and sexism....Based on I Am Annie Mae, collected and edited by Ruthe Winegarten from personal interviews with Annie Mae Hunt.  Background info.

Selected Documentaries, H

All African American documentaries are located in the Digital and Multimedia Center unless otherwise indicated. Movies can be checked out unless reserved for a class.

Harmonica Breakdown : The Blues as Social History / produced by Singh Production. 1997. 15 minutes Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : Part documentary, part dance performance, this film was inspired by the music of Blues harmonica player Sonny Terry. His Harmonica Breakdown , as choreographed by Jane Dudley, is a timeless statement of the hardship and courage of ordinary people. Harmonica Breakdown is deeply rooted in its social and historical context, which is vividly depicted by Dorothea Lange's black and white photographs of the sharecroppers in the deep south during the Depression. Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Harlem Renaissance : the Music & Rhythms That Started a Cultural Revolution / [presented by] Northshore Entertainment ; written and directed by Marino Amoruso. West Long Branch, NJ : Kultur Video, c2004. 1 DVD videodisc (75 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. NX512.3.N5 H375 2004 VideoDVD : A fabulous look at Harlem and its greatest musicians of the 20s, 30s and 40s: with extraordinary archival, full song performances by Fats Waller (This Joint Is Jumpin', Ain't Misbehaving, Your Feets Too Big), Bill "Bojangles" Robinson (Let's Scuffle), Dorothy Dandridge (Easy Street), Cab Calloway (We The Cats Will Hep You), Mills Brothers (Caravan, Cielito Lindo), Tiny Grimes (Romance Without Finance), Duke Ellington (Cottontail, Satin Doll) , Count Basie (The Start of Something Big, Take Me Back Baby)), Dizzy Gillespie (Salt Peanuts), Sidney Bechet (Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen), Nat King Cole (Frim Fram Sauce, I'm A Shy Guy, That's My Girl, Calypso Blues), Louis Armstrong (Swingin' On Nothin') and others. Featuring commentary by distinguished historians and the performers themselves, this program traces the roots of the music of the Harlem Renaissance, its social impact on society and its eventual acceptance in mainstream culture.

Hate crimes in the heartland / directed by Rachel Lyon.  Cincinnati, OH : Lioness Media Arts Production, 2014.  1 streaming video file (52 min.)  Available online as part of Filmakers Library Online : Hate Crimes in the Heartland is an award-winning documentary film and community outreach project that explores our national epidemic of hate crimes through the lens of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Emmy-winning producer Rachel Lyon explores two stories, over 90 years apart, that both dissect current issues of civil rights and the media's impact on justice. The film begins in Tulsa in 2012, where two white men drove through the African-American Greenwood neighborhood targeting blacks at random, killing three and leaving two others in critical condition. The film follows the murders, the ensuing social media uproar, the manhunt, and ultimate prosecution and death penalty sentencing of two suspects. The film ties this crime back to the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot, an event that left 300 dead, 10,000 homeless, and 35 square blocks of the African-American community burnt to cinders. Sadly, the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot and the 2012 murders are not merely events of the past, but current events that we see echoed in society today, from Ferguson's Michael Brown to Florida's Trayvon Martin. This powerful documentary depicts how racial animosity has defined much of American culture for more than 90 years, and asks important questions about media, race, crime, and punishment.

Herskovits at the heart of blackness / Vital Pictures, ITVS ; directed and produced by Lllewellyn M. Smith ; producer & director of research, Vincent Brown ; executive producer, Christine Herbes-Sommers. [Berkeley, Calif.] : California Newsreel, c2009. 1 DVD videodisc (57 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. GN21.H47 H477 2009 VideoDVD : This documentary traces the career of Melville J. Herskovits, the pioneering American anthropologist of African Studies and controversial intellectual who established the first African Studies Center at an American university and authored, The Myth of the Negro Past. Rarely seen archival footage, provocative animation, and unique photo montage re-enactments propel the story and interviews from leading scholars of race and culture forward.

Hidden colors : the untold history of people of aboriginal, Moor & African descent / King Flex Entertainment in association with Labnoise Films ; a Tariq Nasheed film. [Los Angeles] : King Flex Entertainment ; Labnoise Films, 2011. 1 videodisc (109 min., 46 sec.) : sd., col. 4 3/4 in. 109 minutes. HT1581 .H53 2011 VideoDVD : Hidden colors is a documentary about the real and untold history of people of color around the globe. This film discusses some of the reasons the contributions of African and aboriginal people have been left out of the pages of history. Traveling around the country, the film features scholars, historians, and social commentators who uncovered such amazing facts about things such as: the original image of Christ; the true story about the Moors; the original people of Asia; the great west African empires; the presence of Africans in America before Columbus; the real reason slavery was ended; and much more.

Hip-hop : beyond beats & rhymes / a film by Byron Hurt ; produced, directed and written by Byron Hurt ; co-produced by Sabrina Schmidt Gordon ; a co-production of God Bless The Child Productions, Inc. and the Independent Television Service (ITVS).  Northampton, MA : Media Education Foundation, [2006]  1 DVD videodisc (61 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. ML3531 .H57 2006 VideoDVD : Provides a riveting examination of manhood, sexism, and homophobia in hip-hop culture....Director Byron Hurt, former star college quarterback, longtime hip-hop fan, and gender violence prevention educator, conceived the documentary as a "loving critique" of a number of disturbing trends in the world of rap music. He pays tribute to hip-hop while challenging the rap music industry to take responsibility for glamorizing destructive, deeply conservative stereotypes of manhood....The documentary features revealing interviews about masculinity and sexism with rappers such as Mos Def, Fat Joe, Chuck D, Jadakiss, and Busta Rhymes, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, and cultural commentators such as Michael Eric Dyson and Beverly Guy-Sheftall....Critically acclaimed for its fearless engagement with issues of race, gender violence, and the corporate exploitation of youth culture. Sections: Introduction | Everybody Wants to be Hard | Shut Up and Give Me Your Bone Marrow | Women and Bitches | Bitch Niggaz | Manhood in a Bottle. More info from MEF and full-length preview.

Historic Civil Rights & Black History Films. [Asheville, NC] : Quality Information Publishers, 2006. 1 DVD videodisc (102 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in. E184.65 .H577 2006 VideoDVD : (1) Integration report (1960) : Features speeches by numerous famous African Americans and civil rights leaders, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Bayard Rustin, Maya Angelou (voice only), and Jackie Robinson. Shows important video and pictures from the history of the civil rights movement in America, including footage of sit-ins and marches from Brooklyn, Washington D.C., and Montgomery. (2) Negro colleges in war time (1944) : Short film from the United States Office of War Information, Bureau of Motion Pictures. Shows the racist treatment of African American soldiers in WWII and African American military culture and history. Watching the segregated military practices of this time period shows why the civil rights leaders, both during the Korean War and the Vietnam War, were very concerned with the mass enlistments of young African Americans. (3) Social class in America (1957): This documentary follows three boys from three different social classes in the United States. A fascinating look at the history of socioeconomic determinism in the US. (4) Harlem revue (1930's) : A "soundie" film (the first versions of music videos), Harlem revue is full of the typical Black entertainer stereotypes from the early 20th century. This rare video is a great historical find that unfortunately feeds into so many of the racist African American stereotypes of the era. (5) Teddy (1971) : A social seminar film that picks the brain of Teddy, a politically concious teenage African American male. Teddy talks about police brutality, war, the Watts community of L.A., The Black Panthers and "The System." (6) All the way home (1957) : Demonstrates how cultural integration can be beneficial to society. The beginnings of the "melting pot" theory can been seen in this video classic, which seems to indicate that a real shift in American cultural propaganda was occurring in the mid-1950s. (7) What about prejudice? (1959): A look towards the social benefits of keeping an open mind and embracing all cultures, regardless of color, religion or creed. This film encourages teens to look within themselves, as opposed to listening to the racist teachings of society, to find the sources and reasons behind prejudice.

A History of Black Achievement in America / produced by Centre Communications, Inc. for Ambrose Video Publishing. Distributed by Ambrose Video Pub., c2005. 4 DVDs. E185 .H577 2005 VideoDVD : This original eight-part series on four dvds documents black achievement in American history, its defining role in the growth of the country, and its influence on current events. The series highlights the many contributions of black Americans that have influenced and shaped the history of the United States. Contents : Disc 1 Settling the New World and founding the United States of America -- Emergence of the black hero -- Disc 2. The Fight for freedom -- Blacks enter the Gilded Age -- Disc 3. The Foundation for equality -- Depression and war -- Disc 4 Civil rights -- A New age.

Home of the Brave / Counterpoint Films ; Public Media, Inc. ; directed by Paola di Florio. [United States] : Home Vision Entertainment, [2005] 1 DVD videodisc (74 min.) : sd., col. & b&w ; 4 3/4 in. E185.98.L58 H66 2005 VideoDVD : Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Paola di Florio directs Home of the Brave, a documentary about the impact of Viola Liuzzo's murder. Detroit housewife and mother of five, Liuzzo was a civil rights activist who went to Alabama to help with voter registration in 1965. She was in town during the pivotal march organized by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which ended in violence at the Edmund Pettus Bridge near Selma. While trying to transport the tear-gased marchers in her car, she was shot by three members of the Ku Klux Klan. Suspects Eugene Thomas, Collie Leroy Wilkins Jr., and William Orville Eaton were found guilty of civil rights violations and later acquitted. The film also explores the FBI investigation in the aftermath of her death, as well as the reaction in the Liuzzo home. Narrators, Stockard Channing, Gloria Steinem.

Honored Deferred (2006) / produced and directed by Nick Brigden ; produced by Al Roker Entertainment for the History Channel ; executive producer Susan Werbe. [U.S.] : A&E Television Networks : Distributed by New Video, c2008. 1 DVD videodisc (50 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 4 3/4 in. E185.63 .H666 2008 VideoDVD : African-Americans have fought bravely for America throughout our history. But sadly, until recently, they didn't receive deserved commendations. This is the story of seven men who deserved the Medal of Honor for their valor during WWII, but only recently received their medals--six had already died. More than a million African-Americans served within the army's segregated ranks. Despite their bravery and courage, not one of the 432 Medal of Honors awarded went to a black soldier. Was the army racist? Did African-Americans receive appropriate training? We explore all these issues and more in breathtaking recreations as we document the stories of the seven black Congressional Medal of Honor winners. Vernon Baker is the last living awardee. Witness as President Clinton presents these medals to Baker and the proud family members of the other six.

Hoop Dreams / Fine Line Features ; a production of Kartemquin Educational Films and KTCA TV ; produced by Fred Marx, Steve James, Peter Gilbert ; directed by Steve James. [Chicago, Ill.] : Criterion Collection, c2005. 1 DVD videodisc (171 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. + booklet (40 p. : ill. ; 19 cm.) GV884 .H657 2005 VideoDVD 1 disc, 1 booklet. : This completely absorbing three-hour documentary follows the lives of two inner-city African American teenage basketball prodigies as they move through high school with long-shot dreams of the NBA, superstardom, and an escape from the ghetto. Taking cues from such works as Michael Apted's 35 Up, director Steve James and associates shot more than 250 hours of footage, spanning more than six years, and their completed work actually moves like an edge-of-the-seat drama, so brimming with tension, plot twists, successes, and tragedies that its length--170 minutes--is never an issue. Yet, what makes the film more impressive is how James moves his scope beyond a competitive sports drama (although the movie has plenty of terrific, nail-biting basketball footage) and addresses complex social issues, creating a scathing social commentary about class privilege and racial division. The film opens by introducing William Gates and Arthur Agee, two Chicago hopefuls, as they are being courted and recruited by various high schools to play ball, and continues until the pair are college freshmen. James allows the audience the experience of not only watching their journeys and daily routines (it's a sobering portrait of inner-city life), but also witnessing their maturation. Each takes a separate path along the way, stumbling over several obstacles (William suffers injuries, Arthur fails to meet his coach's high expectations); but James takes particular care to stress the importance and strong commitment of each character's family along the way, giving the film a essential center. The parents and siblings emerge with as much depth and complexity as the two main "characters," and turn Hoop Dreams into an unforgettable film experience.

How To Become Sheriff... when born poor and black in segregated Mississippi / A film by Donald Blank. 2002. 49 minutes Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : For two centuries, Mississippi blacks have had to endure slavery, poverty, discrimination, and violence. Finally in the 1960's, the civil rights campaign in the South brought real change. Mississippi now has thirteen elected black sheriffs. This film tells the story of one of them: Sheriff Frank Davis and how he gained acceptance by the community of Port Gibson as its major law enforcer....Frank was one of eleven children of Mary Triplett, whose mother and grandmother had been victims of Jim Crow. Mary could not vote or eat in a restaurant of work as a clerk in a store. His father was a mechanic and although they never missed a meal, the Tripletts were very poor, attended segregated schools and lived in shabby houses on unpaved streets. In 1965, the Port Gibson branch of the NAACP organized the first non-violent civil rights marches and boycotts there. When young Frank attended the first civil rights rally, he was immediately fired from his job in a white-owned supermarket. Frank was drafted and sent to Korea. On his return, he was hired as Deputy Sheriff by Port Gibson's white sheriff, with one piece of advice, "Be fair." He was then elected to the office, becoming one of the first three black sheriffs elected in Mississippi since Reconstruction. Thanks to Federal civil rights legislation and enforcement, along with the brave efforts of its black citizenry, this town has come a long way. Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Hoxie : the First Stand / University of Memphis ; directed by David Appleby. San Francisco, Calif. : California Newsreel, 2003. 1 DVD videodisc (56 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. LC214.23.H68 H69 2003 VideoDVD : How many people know that the first battle to implement the Brown vs Board of Education school desegregation decision was fought in the small, rural town of Hoxie, Arkansas? Or that it became a flashpoint because it offered a peaceful alternative to the bloody Massive Resistance campaigns of the next decade? Hoxie sparked the first deployment of federal agents in support of integration and the first court order overturning state segregation laws. But it also showed that unscrupulous politicians would fan unfounded fears into violent anti-government fury, all too reminiscent of similar movements today....In 1955, school superintendant, K.E. Vance and his all-white school board, decided to integrate the Hoxie schools because "it was the law of the land and right in the sight of God." The schools opened without protest and teachers and parents reminisce about the ease with which black and white students mixed. A reporter from Life magazine did a photo essay to show that integration could work in the South....Ironically, this stirred up local malcontents who sought the help of the White Citizens Councils springing up in response to the Brown decision. The film vividly documents the vitriolic racism and blatant incitement to violence of notorious politicians like George Wallace, Strom Thurmond and Ross Barnett which will shock anyone who didn't live through the Civil Rights struggle. Warning of "mongrelization" and Communism, these demagogues spread the doctrine of Massive Resistance, States Rights and Nullification across the South; some predicted a second Civil War....White supremacist groups sent a lawyer and "outside agitators" to Hoxie, launching the first white school boycott, calling for the recall of the school board, threatening the superintendant's life and shooting into the houses of black schoolchildren. But the school board refused to be intimidated and the NAACP sent an organizer to encourage black parents to keep their children in school. Now middle-aged, these students still recall their fear but also their determination not to surrender their newly-won rights....Superintendant Vance enlisted one of the few liberal lawyers in the area who had friends in the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. The Eisenhower administration was reluctant to enforce the Supreme Court's decision but as the face-off in Hoxie became critical, it felt compelled to assert federal authority. FBI agents were sent to stop the harassment and the federal courts repeatedly upheld the school board's decision. The boycott failed and the schools of Hoxie remain integrated to this day....The situation in Hoxie proved just a rehearsal for what was to come in nearby Little Rock two years later. By then, defiance to integration had become a litmus test for every Southern politician, including Arkansas' Orville Faubus. But Hoxie: The First Stand shows there could be an alternative when principled people, despite great political and personal risk, stood firm against the racism around them. Hoxie was the "road not taken" for the South; it need not be for us today. Trailer.

Hughes' dream Harlem / A New Heritage Films and D. Hutson L.L.C. production ; directed and produced by Jamal Joseph ; produced by Darralynn Hutson ; written by Darralynn Hutson, Jad Joseph, Jamal Joseph.  San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, 2002.  1 streaming video file (60 min.). available via Black Studies in Video. :  Langston Hughes was one of the most prominent figures of the Harlem Renaissance and is often referred to as Harlem's poet laureate. This film shows how Hughes successfully fused jazz, blues and common speech to celebrate the beauty of Black life. This multi-layered documentary consists of spoken-word sessions, roundtable discussions and a tour of Hughes' Harlem hang-outs.  Also available as streaming video via Kanopy.

Hurricane Katrina News Coverage / C-SPAN. West Lafayette, IN : C-SPAN Archives, c2009. 1 DVD videodisc (238 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. P94.5.A372 U63 2009 ViCeoDVD : Participants including activists, representatives of independent media, recording artists, and social critics, talked about race relations, depictions of minorities in the media, diversity in main stream media newsrooms, as well as the impact of news coverage of recent hurricane damage to Gulf Coast communities on public perceptions of racial minorities. They also talked about methods of reaching the black community through non-traditional media outlets and articulating a voice for African American concerns. Following their remarks, participants responded to questions and comments from the audience.

Selected Documentary Films, I

All African American documentaries are located in the Digital and Multimedia Center unless otherwise indicated.  Movies can be checked out unless reserved for a class.

I am a man  : Black masculinity in America / produced by God Bless the Child Productions in association with the National Black Programming Association.   Northampton, MA : Media Education Foundation, c2006    1 DVD videodisc (60 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.86 .I25 2006 VideoDVD : Award-winning filmmaker Byron Hurt explores what it means to be a black man in America. Traveling to more than fifteen cities and towns across the country, Hurt gathers reflections on black masculinity from men and women of a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds and a host of leading scholars and cultural critics. What results is an engaging and honest dialogue about race, gender, and identity in America. Features bell hooks, Michael Eric Dyson, John Henrick Clarke, Kevin Powell, Andrew Young, Dr. Alvin Poussaint, MC Hammer, Jackson Katz, and many others.

I Am Not Your Negro / Velvet Film, Inc. (USA), Velvet Film (France) present in coproduction with Artémis Productions, Close Up Films in coproduction with ARTE France, Independent Lens, RTS Radio Télévision Suisse, RTBF (Télévision belge), Shelter Prod ; written by James Baldwin ; directed by Raoul Peck ; produced by Rémi Grellety, Raoul Peck, Hébert Peck ; a Raoul Peck film.  New York, NY : Kino Lorber Edu, [2017]  1 DVD videodisc (95 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.61 .I36 2017 VideoDVD (Also available as streaming video via Kanopy) : An examination of racism in America through the lens of James Baldwin's unfinished book, Remember This House. Intended as an account of the lives of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr., each of whom James Baldwin personally knew, only a 30-page manuscript of the book was ever completed. Combining Baldwin's manuscript with footage of depictions of African-Americans throughout American history, I Am Not Your Negro uses Baldwin's words to illuminate the pervasiveness of American racism and the efforts to curtail it, from the civil rights movement to #BlackLivesMatter. Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, I Am Not Your Negro explores the continued peril America faces from institutionalized racism.

I Was Made To Love Her / A film by Nicole Franklin.  2001.   92 minutes.  Available as Streaming Video from Filmakers Library Online. : Women with names like Smooth, Heart, Sassy, and Lady Di are the core of the Double Dutch Divas, a team that has mastered the art of jumping and dancing double Dutch during their twenty years together. They are a real life example of sisterhood at its best. Giving show stopping performances in the US and abroad, they bring fitness and fun to a multitude of people of all ethnicities....The game of double Dutch is an urban game where two ropes turn simultaneously in egg-beater fashion and one or more persons jump in the middle. Practiced and performed by both women and men, it is still a game where women shine. Age doesn't stop a Double Dutch Diva. The oldest jumper is forty-nine. They're married, they're single, they're mothers, they're stress-ridden career people - nothing keeps them from enjoying their sense of "can-do" and fun that inspires audiences everywhere....The featured groups of jumpers include Stan’s Baby Pepper Steppers, The McDonald’s Dynamos, and The Double Dutch Divas as well as scenes from Skip Blumberg’s film "Pick Up Your Feet: The Double Dutch Show." And interviews with Ulysses F. Williams, Vy Higginsen and Kyra D. Gaunt, Ph.D. examine the Double Dutch phenomenon....An edited version, Double Dutch Divas, is available as well from Filmakers Library.  Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Ida B. Wells : a Passion for Justice / a film by William Greaves ; [presented by] WGBH Educational Foundation, WNET/Thirteen ; writer, William Greaves ; producers, William Greaves, Louise Archambault.   New York : William Greaves Productions, c1989.  1 VHS  videocassette (53 min.)  E185.97.B26 I3 1989 Videocassette : Chronicles the life of Ida B. Wells, an early Afro-American activist who protested lynchings, unfair treatment of Afro-American soldiers, and other examples of racism and injustice toward Afro-Americans around the turn of the century. A second VHS copy is also available.  Part of the Black American Experience series.

Ida B. Wells : Crusader for Human Rights.  [United States] : Tmw Media Group, 2009.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 20 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.   E185.97.W55 I33 2009 VideoDVD : Ida B. Wells was a teacher, journalist, and human rights activist who brought worldwide attention to the brutality of lynching in the South. Documented is her walk from the long road of slavery to freedom and equality. She is remembered today as a strong woman, tireless crusader, and a true American hero.  Part of the Black American Experience series.

Identity, voice & community among new African immigrants to Kansas  / a project of the Kansas African Studies Center with support of the Kansas Humanities Council.  [Lawrence, Kansas]: Kansas African Studies Center, [2006]  1 DVD videodisc (40 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  F690.A24 I43 2006 VideoDVD : Highlights the emergence in metropolitan Kansas of multiple and unique African communities--from Somalia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Zanzibar, and elsewhere. Looks at questions of identity (who are we in this new place?), voice (who speaks for us?), and community (how do we relate to American at large and to other African immigrants? How do we keep alive our traditions?)

Immigrant from America directed by Bill Buckley (Rediscovery Productions, 2011) 21 mins.  Streaming video from American History in VideoAccess limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

In Black & White / a Russ Karel film ; based on a suggestion by Jeremy Isaacs ; written by Russ Karel and Gordon Parks ; produced by Sarah Patterson.  [S.l.] : BBC Worldwide Americas, 1992 ; Princeton, NJ : Distributed by Films for the Humanities, c1997.  1 VHS videocassette (92 min.)  PN1995.9.N4 I53 1997 Videocassette  : Using archival newsreel and feature film footage, this program explores the inception, struggle, suppression, and survival of the Black Cinema from the 1920s through the 1950s.  Also see longer (151 minute) 6 VHS videocassette set. In part 1 Charles Johnson describes his literary objective: to explore classic, metaphysical questions from East and West against the backdrop of African life and history. In part 2 Gloria Naylor speaks on the influence of other black women writers, the influence of a southern background, early involvement with religion, learning to articulate one's experience, writing in different voices, and writing to explore one's beliefs. In part 3 Toni Morrison reads from her two novels, Beloved [and] Jazz and discusses her views of the contributions made to American literature by the experiences of African Americans. In part 4 Alice Walker discuddes her life, contemporary America, the "womanist" perspective, and reads from her poetry. In part 5 playwright August Wilson talks about his roots in the black community, how his plays express the African-American experience, how the African heritage of Black Americans is both expressed and repressed in American society today, and the importance of blues as cultural expression. In part 6 John Widemen candidly discusses th dilemma of the committed African American intellectual torn between the urban underclass and a predominantly white, middle class literary audience. He writes because "African Americans have to carry alternative versions of realtiy in our heads and the model for doing that exists in art".

In Black and White: Six Profiles of African American Authors.  San Francisco, Cal. : California Newsreel, 1992.  Streaming video via KanopyIn Black and White is the first video series devoted to the life and work of contemporary African American authors. It introduces students and general readers to six of America's most talented and challenging writers: Charles Johnson, Toni Morrison, Gloria Naylor, Alice Walker, John Edgar Wideman and August Wilson.  Links are listed under author's names.

In Search of the American Dream : a Story of the African-American Experience.  Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 1991. 6 videocassettes (312 min.) E185 .I48 1990 Videocassette : An exploration of the social, political, cultural and economic life of African-Americans from 1619 to the present.

In Search of Our Fathers / A film by Marco Williams.  1994.  60 minutes.  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library Online : African-American filmmaker Marco Williams was twenty-four years old the first time he learned his father's name. He had been raised in a closely knit family where for generations, strong, husbandless mothers were the norm and fathers promptly disappeared....This film documents Marco's seven-year search for the elusive father he never knew and his coming to terms with the truth of his origins. Ironically, this quest for his father actually brings him closer to his mother. It was her resourcefulness that enabled them both to improve their lives. She saw to it that Marco received a first-rate education, and later, that she was able to pursue her own ambitions. This portrait of an African-American family shows that even in a "fatherless" household, there can be strong family ties that support the younger generation.  Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

The Informant directed by John Marshall (Documentary Educational Resources, 1973) 24 mins.  Streaming video from the Ethnographic Video Online Collection : This film focuses on a black burglary suspect who, during interrogation by Pittsburgh, PA police offers his services as an "undercover" informant - providing the police will suppress his charge.  For more information, see DER web site.

Inside Buffalo : the Story of Unsung Heroes of the 92nd Division in World War II.  FKK Films, 2010.   DVD.  On order :  An Award winning documentary , tells the story of the all African-American combat unit which fought in WW II.

Integration Report 1 (1960) from Prelinger Archives.  Andover Productions. (20:26 min.)  Streaming video via Internet Archive.  Documentary showing the civil rights movement in 1959 and 1960: sit-ins, marches, boycotts and rallies in Montgomery, Ala., Brooklyn, N.Y., and Washington, D.C. Directed by Madeline Anderson.

Into the Fire (1861-1896).  2013.  57 minutes. Part of the African Americans Series.   : Examines the most tumultuous and consequential period in African American history: the Civil War and the end of slavery, and Reconstruction's thrilling but tragically brief "moment in the sun."...  From the beginning, African Americans were agents of their own liberation, forcing the Union to confront the issue of slavery by fleeing the plantations and taking up arms to serve as soldiers in the United States Colored Troops. After Emancipation, African Americans sought to realize the promise of freedom--rebuilding families shattered by slavery; demanding economic, political and civil rights; even winning elected office. Just a few years later, however, a swift and vicious campaign of terror in the South restored white supremacy and rolled back rights for African Americans. Yet the achievements of Reconstruction would remain very much alive in the collective memory of the African American community.

The Intolerable Burden / Public Domain Inc. and the Center for the Study of Southern Culture present a Blue Stream Productions film ; directed and edited by Chea Prince ; produced by Constance Curry.  Brooklyn, NY : First Run/Icarus Films, 2003.   1 DVD videodisc (ca. 57 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 4 3/4 in  LC214.22.M7 I682 2003 VideoDVD: In the autumn of 1965, sharecroppers Mae Bertha and Matthew Carter enrolled the youngest eight of their thirteen children in the public schools of Drew, Mississippi. Their decision to send the children to the formerly all white schools was in response to a "freedom of choice" plan. The plan was designed by the Drew school board to place the district in compliance with the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, essential since without compliance, the district would no longer be eligible for financial support from the Federal government. Given the prevailing attitudes, Blacks were not expected to choose white schools. This proved true for all but the Carters....The Intolerable Burden places the Carter's commitment to obtaining a quality education in context, by examining the conditions of segregation prior to 1965, the hardships the family faced during desegregation, and the massive white resistance, which led to resegregation....In the epilogue, the film poses the dilemma of "education vs. incarceration" - a particular threat to youth of color....While the town of Drew is geographically isolated, the patterns of segregation, desegregation, and resegregation are increasingly apparent throughout public education systems in the United States.

Islam Behind Bars / Directed by John Curtin & Paul Carvalho; produced by Kaos productions Inc.  2007.  47 minutes.  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library Online : No religion is growing faster in Western prisons than Islam. In the United States alone, there are more than 200,000 Muslim inmates. They are mainly black converts searching for an alternative to Christianity, which many reject as the slave-master's faith. Islam Behind Bars takes an unflinching look at the disruptive power of poisonous religious demagoguery, but also leaves the viewer with a better understanding of an intriguing new fact of the black experience in the West....The prisoners follow a path first made famous by Malcolm X, who went to jail for pimping and petty theft and came out a fiery Muslim preacher. He had discovered a strict religion which could bring discipline and dignity to men whose lives had been devastated by violence and drugs....In the aftermath of September 11th, authorities fear that terrorist organizations may recruit Muslim prison converts to attack the West. Richard Reid, the “shoe bomber” was probably recruited while in a British prison. The film shows that there are some imprisoned Muslims who find peace and a respect for all of God’s creations in their new faith, and others who direct their anger at the West. Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Issues in counseling African American clients  / a lecture by Thomas A. Parham.  North Amherst, Mass. : Microtraining Associates, c1992.  1 streaming video file (57 min.)  Available as part of the Alexander Street Press Counseling and therapy in video collection. : Dr. Parham lectures on specific issues and therapeutic models and techniques appropriate for use with Afro-American populations

Selected Documentary Films, J-K

All African American documentaries are located in the Digital and Multimedia Center unless otherwise indicated. Movies can be checked out unless reserved for a class.

James Baldwin : the price of the ticket / Nobody Knows Productions; a Karen Thorsen production in association with Maysles Films, Inc. & WNET, New York ; directed by Karen Thorsen ; produced by Karen Thorsen, William Miles, and Douglas Dempsey; written by Karen Thorsen, Douglas K. Dempsey.  San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, 1990.  1 streaming video file (87 min.). available via Black Studies in Video.  : Presents a look at author James Baldwin's life as reflected in his own words and reminiscences of family and friends.

Jesse Owens / a Firelight Films production for American experience in association with WDR ; a production of WGBH ; senior producer, Sharon Grimberg. Part of the American Experience Series. [United States] : PBS, c2012. 1 DVD videodisc (ca. 60 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. GV697.O9 A54 2012 VideoDVD : At the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Adolph Hitler—wanting to showcase the superiority of Aryan athletes—refused to congratulate black U.S. athlete Jesse Owens, the winner of four gold medals. This American Experience program profiles Owens, the son of a sharecropper, who broke track records and perfected his form at Ohio State University. Historians, writers, and athletes comment on the challenges facing Owens before and after the Olympics; fellow Olympians share stories of the 1936 games, and newsreel footage documents his stunning triumphs. Suspended from amateur athletics for cutting short a European tour, Owens returned to a racially divided U.S. He resorted to racing against horses to support his family and dropped out of the public eye until 1955, when U.S. president Dwight Eisenhower appointed him to represent the U.S. State Department as a goodwill ambassador. Narrated by actor Andre Braugher, this fine tribute to Owens also touches upon the “ephemeral life of an athlete.”

Jessye Norman, Singer : Portrait of An Extraordinary Career / A Malachite Production. 1991. 74 minutes. Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : Jessye Norman was born in Augusta, Georgia and grew up at a time when America was torn with racial strife. Today, she is at the peak of her career. Jessye Norman's insights into her cultural roots and evolution as a singer make this a moving commentary on an extraordinary career....
After studying music at Howard University, her career progressed rapidly. She has a vast classical repertoire, but has always sought to extend her vocal capacity, attempting some of the most technically demanding music of the 20th century....One of today's most popular classical singers, she guarantees full houses wherever she performs. The full range and diversity of Jessye Norman's singing is featured here, from the London Opera Stage to recitals with the Dance Theater of Harlem. Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Jimi Hendrix 2004. 52 minutes. : Streaming video courtesy of SnagFilms. The music career of Jimi Hendrix is well documented by films such as JIMI PLAYS BERKELEY, LIVE IN MONTEREY, and LIVE AT THE ISLE OF WIGHT amongst many others. This release takes a different tact, and explore the life behind the musical genius. Taking in his early days in Seattle, as well as his infamous stint in London, this is a comprehensive guide to Jimi's life, that is fully endorsed by his family and many close friends.

The Joe Louis Story / Federated Films Inc. production ; released by United Artists Corp. ; produced by Stirling Silliphant ; directed by Robert Gordon ; original screenplay by Robert Sylvester. / Narbeth, Pa. : Alpha Video Distributors, 2003, c1953. 1 DVD videodisc (88 min.) GV1132.L6 J64 2003 VideoDVD : Dramatization of the life story of "The Black Bomber" Joe Louis who became a World Heavyweight Champion and defended his title for twelve years- longer than any fighter before ore since. Includes actual footage from his greatest fights, including matches with Rocky Marciano, Max Schmeling, Primo Carnera, Max Baer, and Jim Braddock. Originally produced as a motion picture in 1953.

John Brown's Holy War / produced and directed by Robert Kenner ; written by Ken Chowder ; Robert Kenner Films for American Experience ; WGBH Educational Foundation ; WGBH Boston. [Alexandria, Va.] : PBS Home Video, c2005. 1 DVD videodisc (ca. 90 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. E451 .J64 2005 VideoDVD : This 90-minute PBS documentary chronicles the turbulent life and times of Connecticut-born, Calvinist-raised abolitionist John Brown. His fervent hatred of slavery led Brown down the road of fanaticism after passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which allowed settlers of the Western territories to determine themselves whether or not they would establish "slave" or "free" states. In response to the pro-slave "Border Ruffians" who descended upon Kansas, Brown and his sons conducted a campaign of terror and retribution throughout the territory, culminating in the infamous Pottawatamie Massacre. Brown's mission came to a bloody but not ignominious end at Harper's Ferry in 1859. Rather than taking an editorial stand, John Brown's Holy War permits the viewer to determine whether Brown was a madman or a martyr.

John Henrik Clarke - A Great and Mighty Walk (94 min). Streaming video available from the Internet Archive. This video chronicles the life and times of the noted African-American historian, scholar and Pan-African activist John Henrik Clarke (1915-1998). Both a biography of Clarke himself and an overview of 5,000 years of African history, the film offers a provocative look at the past through the eyes of a leading proponent of an Afrocentric view of history. From ancient Egypt and Africaâs other great empires, Clarke moves through Mediterranean borrowings, the Atlantic slave trade, European colonization, the development of the Pan-African movement, and present-day African-American history.

John Wideman : a conversation with John Wideman / SSR-RTSI Swiss Television production ; director, Matteo Bellinelli.  San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, 1992.  Available as streaming video via Black Studies in Video. : Wideman candidly discusses the dilemma of the committed African American intellectual torn between the urban underclass and a predominatly white, middle class literary audience. He writes because "African Americans have to carry alternative versions of reality in our heads and the model for doing that exists in art." In black and white : six profiles of African American authors ; 6

The Journey of the African-American Athlete. New York : HBO Home Video, 1996. 1 VHS videocassette (119 min.) : sd., col. & b&w ; 1/2 in. GV697.A1 J68 1996 Videocassette : African-American athletes today are much-loved heroes in American sports, but this has not always been true. In the past, many black athletes were rejected and struggled to meet their fellow competitors on a level playing field. Captured here are some of the finest achievements in sports history: Joe Louis, Muhammed Ali, Michael Jordan, Jackie Robinson and Jesse Owens.

Journey to Little Rock : The Untold Story of Minnijean Brown Trickey / a North East Productions ; co-produced by Hoda Elatawi, Rob Thompson ; produced by Maria Yongmee Shin ; directed by Rob Thompson ; developed in association with the National Film Board of Canada. New York, NY : Filmakers Library, Inc., 2005. 1 DVD videodisc (52 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. E185.97.T75 J68 2005 VideoDVD : When Minnijean Brown Trickey was sixteen years old, she became involved in one of the most significant acts in the history of the American civil rights movement. She was one of The Little Rock Nine - the nine Black American teenagers who defied death threats, hostile white demonstrators, and even the Arkansas National Guard, to attend the all-white Little Rock Central High in 1957. Minnijean's story did not end there. Little Rock was only the first step in an amazing journey of the heart, mind and spirit....The film follows her life of passionate social activism. She and her husband were active in the student nonviolence movement, promoting peace and civil rights. They later moved to Canada during the Vietnam War when her husband was refused the status of a conscientious objector. She settled in Northern Ontario, farmed and raised six children. There she continued her activism supporting Native people's struggles for their rights, protesting to save the environment, and working for equality for all. In 1997, she journeyed to Little Rock to join in the commemoration of the fortieth anniversary of the Little Rock Nine. In 1999, Minnijean and the other Little Rock Nine were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

Judgment Day in Africans In America Episode 4 (Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), 1998) 86:41 mins. Streaming video from American History in Video. Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Julian Bond: Reflections from the Frontlines of the Civil Rights Movement.    Heritage Film Project, Liendo, Soledad & Montes-Bradley, Eduardo, directed by Montes-Bradley, Eduardo (Filmakers Library, 2012) 33:49 mins.  Streaming video from Black Studies in Video. This enlightening portrait joins African American social activist Julian Bond as he traces his roots back to slavery. A leader in the Civil Rights Movement, Julian Bond was among the founders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, a leader of the 1963 March on Washington, and a Georgia legislator for twenty years.

Julius Rosenwald : A Force for Change. A streaming video from Vimeo. In 2009, Chicago’s Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies presented A Force for Change: African American Art and the Julius Rosenwald Fund, the first exhibition to explore the legacy of the Julius Rosenwald Fund. From 1928 to 1948, the Rosenwald Fund’s Fellowship Program awarded stipends to hundreds of African American artists, writers, teachers, and scholars, as well as white southerners with an interest in race relations. The artists who were Rosenwald Fellows are among the leading artists of the decades between the two world wars, and the work they produced with Rosenwald support was made under conditions of exceptional artistic security and freedom. A Force for Change showcased this work—some of which was exhibited in public for the first time—and explored the groundbreaking foundation that advanced its creation. In conjunction, Spertus commissioned this original short documentary film, Julius Rosenwald: A Force for Change....The film begins with Julius Rosenwald’s childhood and early days as the CEO of Sears, Roebuck and Company. It explores how he made his fortune and then dedicated himself to improving lives through philanthropy. The film traces his interest in African American education and other causes, an interest that begins when he reads Booker T. Washington’s autobiography Up from Slavery. This interest eventually led to the establishment of the Rosenwald Fellowship Program, a unique effort that supported the work of, mainly, African American artists and intellectuals from the 1920s through 1948....Rosenwald fellows discussed in the film include sculptor Augusta Savage, sociology professor Allison Davis, writer and civil rights activist Carl Holman, and painter Jacob Lawrence, and well as Katherine Dunham, Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Elizabeth Catlett, Ralph Ellison, and many others....Interviewees include Julius Rosenwald biographer and grandson Peter Ascoli, Professor Allison Davis’ son Allison Davis, Jr., Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of W.E.B. Du Bois and New York University Professor David Levering Lewis, as well as Kinshasha Holman Conwill, daughter of Rosenwald Fellow Carl Holman and deputy director of the National Museum of African American Art and Culture, Smithsonian Institution, and A Force for Change curator Daniel Schulman. ( The film was written, directed, and produced by Lauri Feldman Fisher of Chicago-based Brainchild Productions and edited by Sharon Karp of Media Monster. Its videographer was Mirko Popadic.

July '64 / director, Carvin Eison ; producer, Chris Christopher ; written by Chris Christopher ; a production of ImageWordSound ; produced in association with the Independent Television Service and WXXI. [San Francisco, CA] : California Newsreel, [2006?] 1 DVD videodisc (54 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. HV6481.N7 J85 2006 VideoDVD : The night of Friday, July 24th, 1964 started off normally enough in Rochester New York, stiflingly hot and humid; but by the next morning no one would look at race relations in the North the same again. July ‘64 takes a penetrating look at the underlying causes of the riots or urban insurrections that swept through Black communities like wildfires that summer and in years since....To many whites it must have seemed odd that it started in Rochester. To them Rochester was the ideal small city; it had low unemployment and thousands of high paying, skilled manufacturing jobs in ‘clean’ companies like Kodak, Bausch and Lomb and the future Xerox. But this characteristic also led to Rochester being referred to as ‘smugtown.’ Blacks emigrated from the South looking for these jobs only to be bitterly disappointed to find that the only positions open to them were as janitors and service personnel not skilled technicians. They were confined to ghettos of rundown, rat-ridden housing; Rochester was the last large city in New York State to build any public housing. Police brutality was a constant aggravation. Rochester’s Black neighborhood was a keg of dynamite waiting for a match....It came that night with the arrest of a drunken Black man at a block party - or perhaps it was the rumor that a young Black girl had been bitten by a police dog. The streets filled with young people throwing bricks, stones and Molotov cocktails at the police and trashing stores along Joseph Avenue, the main artery of the Black neighborhood. The film interviews several participants after 40 years and while they express sadness at having hurt store owners with whom they had had friendly relations none of them felt regret at giving vent to their frustration about the situation in Rochester. These are the real life emotions dramatized in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing....With a second night of urban disturbances a state of emergency was declared, and Gov. Nelson Rockefeller sent 450 National Guard troops into Rochester. This was the first time the National Guard had been used in a Civil Rights struggle in the North. Over 1000 Blacks mostly between the ages of 20 and 40 and mostly employed were arrested that weekend. The ultimate causes of the uprising, according to Rochester’s present Black mayor, were health, education and jobs....These problems persist today and in many case have even intensified rather than abated in the 40 intervening years. Only 25% of Black pupils graduate from Rochester’s high schools. James Turner, Professor at Cornell University refers to cities like Rochester as the ‘crisis of the Black politician.’ Once Blacks win political power whites move out of a city to the suburbs or the Sunbelt, and industry runs away or overseas taking the tax base with them. Today Rochester is just a shadow of the prosperous industrial city it was in 1964....Langston Hughes famously wrote, “What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or does it fester like a sore and then run? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode?” Rochester was only the first instance of the burning inner city, an ember which has flared up in cities like Miami and Los Angeles ever since. It is not a question of whether it will happen again, simply what incident will trigger the next conflagration, spark the next urban combustion. These are cries of inchoate rage and frustration because the country has yet to develop the concrete policies to address the vital needs of its Black citizens ? health, education and jobs. July ‘64 can further these discussions in Black Studies, Urban Studies, American History, Social Problems and Sociology classes, as well as in community groups, so that more Rochesters will not be necessary. Trailer.

Jump Back, Honey : the Poetry and Performance of Herbert Woodward Martin / producer, director of photography, writer and editor, David B. Schock ; associate producer, interlocutor, Ronald Primeau. [Grand Haven, Mich.] : penULTIMATE Ltd., 2009. 1 DVD videodisc (ca. 89 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in PS3563.A724 .J94 2009 VideoDVD : This nearly-90-minute film includes interviews with Herb Martin (of course), Sue Martin, their granddaughters, Dayton artist Bing Davis, poet/publisher Naomi Long Madgett, and Nikki Giovanni. In addition, there are early video examples of Herb’s poems and even audio of Margaret Walker Alexander reading from a dialect poem of Paul Laurence Dunbar. Also see Overview.

Just Black?: Multi-Racial Identity / Produced by Francine Winddance Twine, Jonathan F. Warren, and Francisco Ferrandiz. 1992 60 minutes Streaming video from the Filmakers Library Online : Most of us at one time or other are faced with an official form requiring us to "check" the applicable ethnic designation. What "box" does a person check if his or her parents come from different racial backgrounds?...In this provocative documentary, we meet several articulate young men and women of mixed racial heritage. Each has one black parent, and a white, Asian or Hispanic second parent. They share with us their struggle to establish, acquire and assert a racial identity. Their experiences lead one to question whether there is room in America for a multi-racial identity....The interviews presented reflect the research of anthropologist Francine Winddance Twine. Her searching questions on dating, family relationships, friendships and childhood experiences reveal a wide range of reactions to having a dual heritage. As these young people speak of their hopes and frustrations, they all reveal the tension of having their multicultural background overlooked and being classified as having one racial identity....The candor with which these college students reveal themselves makes this compelling viewing for university and general audiences. Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Keep on Walking - Joshua Nelson: The Jewish Gospel Singer / A film by Tana Ross, Jesper Sorensen, Freke Vuijst , and Vibeke Winding. 2001. 51 minutes Streaming video from the Filmakers Library Online : Filmed on location in Newark, St. Louis, Stockholm and Jerusalem this film is a celebration of an exceptional young man, Joshua Nelson. Joshua, an African American who is Jewish, transcends the differences between races and faiths through his music. He is both an up-and-coming gospel singer in the tradition of Mahalia Jackson and a Hebrew teacher....Joshua began singing at 13. His mother remembers him as an eccentric youth, displaying leadership qualities from an early age. In this film, he participates in jazz sessions, concert performances in this country and abroad and religious observances....Through his composing, gospel singing and chanting Torah, Joshua is the musical embodiment of cultural harmony. His rich voice, charismatic personality, and singular ideas make this a powerful and inspiring film for all audiences. Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Killing Floor (1985) // an Elsa Rassbach production ; Public Forum Productions. Beverly Hills, Calif. : Nelson Entertainment ; New York, N.Y. : distributed by Orion Home Video, c1989. 1 VHS videocassette (118 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. PN1995.9.L28 K53 1989 Videocassette : Directed by Bill Duke. This fascinating docudrama by Bill Duke was based on the true story of Frank Custer. It was produced by American Playhouse and was the winner of a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival in its inaugural year. All Frank Custer wanted was a better life for himself and his family. What he got was a job on "The Killing Floor" and a place in history. Set in the early 1900's, this powerful story retells the often brutal and violent beginnings of the U.S. Labor Movement through the eyes of a Southern black sharecropper who finds work in a Chicago slaughterhouse. After witnessing the inhumane conditions in the plant, he is slowly transformed into an activist for the fledgling interracial union. But tension mounts between the blacks and whites and a violent confrontation erupts, turning the streets of Chicago into the ultimate "Killing Floor." Bill Duke's hard-hitting docudrama, produced for PBS's AMERICAN PLAYHOUSE, mixes documentary footage with a dramatization of the events leading up to the riots, to powerful effect. Duke's film plunges the audience into the era, giving an intimate and compelling view of that time. Just as the film spares nothing in its portrayal of the brutality of the slaughterhouse, it is equally honest in its depiction of the complexities that racial and cultural differences brought to the union movement. It's a testament to Bill Duke's vision as a filmmaker that he chose such a difficult and compelling subject for his feature debut.

The Killing State (28 min.) Streaming video available from the Internet Archive. This program puts Mumia's case in perspective, beginning with a montage of all the African American leaders who have been silenced, exiled or murdered. It also discusses the rising prison industry in the United States. It includes a section from Mumia's censored NPR programs and a statement about that censorship by William Kunstler. Produced by Cathy Scott, Paper Tiger TV and the Peoples Video Network (NY NY)

King : a Filmed Record-- Montgomery to Memphis / produced by Ely Landau ; directed by Sidney Lumet, Joseph L. Mankiewicz.  New York, NY : Kino Classics, 2013.   2 DVD videodiscs (181 minutes) : sound, black and white ; 12 cm.  E185.97.K5 K56 2013 VideoDVD discs 1-2 (Also available as streaming video via Kanopy) : From five time Academy Award nominee Sidney Lumet (Dog Day Afternoon, Network) and four time Oscarwinner Joseph L. Mankiewicz (All About Eve, Cleopatra, Guys & Dolls) comes the never before released landmark documentary that chronicles the life andwork of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement in Montgomery, Alabama, and culminating with his assassination in Memphis in 1968. Originally screened in theaters for only a single night in1970, King: A Filmed Record features Paul Newman, James Earl Jones, Charlton Heston, Sidney Poitier,  Walter Matthau & Marlon Brando, among others, with newsreel and archival footage to create a powerful and comprehensive record of Dr. King's legacy and the American Civil Rights movement. King: A Filmed Record is an indispensable primary resource of a pivotal moment in American and world history.

King : Go Beyond the Dream to Discover the Man (2008) / produced by NBC News ; producers, Tim Beacham, Tom Keenan, Shoshana Guy. [New York, NY] : A&E Television Networks : Distributed by New Video, [2008] 1 DVD videodisc (94 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 4 3/4 in. E185.97.K5 K56 2008 VideoDVD : Forty years after Martin Luther King's assassination, newsman Tom Brokaw, takes viewers through the extraordinary life and times of America's civil rights visionary. Go beyond the legend to portray the man, the questions, the myths, and the relevance of Dr. King's message in today's world.

King  : man of peace in a time of war / Passport International Entertainment ; executive producer, Dante J. Pugliese ; producer, Steve Stoliar.  [North Hollywood, Calif.] : PassPort Video [distributor, 2007]  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 60 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 4 3/4 in.  ROVI Movie Collection CP6 D0074994 VideoDVD : A fascinating and revealing look at the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. filtered through the prism of three major conflicts: the struggle between black and white America, divisiveness with the civil rights movement itself, and an undeclared war in Vietnam. A salute to a man who remains an inspiration and a force for social change nearly forty years after his death at age 39.

The Kings of Flint : A Documentary About Urban Farming / Michigan State University, College of Communications Arts & Sciences presents. Produced by Geri Zeldes and Troy Hale. [East Lansing, Mich.] : Michigan State University, College of Communications Arts and Sciences, c2011. 1 DVD videodisc (27 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.DVD. S494.5.U72 K53 2011 VideoDVD : 'The Kings of Flint' chronicles Flint farmers and residents as they revitalize their city, a place abandoned by the automobile industry. In what once served as vacant lots strewn with weeds and trash, there now grow vegetables and fruits that feed neighborhoods, schools and local restaurants. What's also taking root are ideas that will create jobs and alternative means of sustainability. Masters Dora and Jacky King have created a farm that not only teaches the roots of farming, but the self-discipline of karate to the youth in Beecher, Michigan. Together, this couple has made a name for themselves in the Flint area and are determined to sustain the city with their farm. More information.

The Ku Klux Klan : a secret history / produced by Termite Art Productions in association with Bill Brummel Productions for the History Channel ; A & E Television Networks ; written and produced by Bill Brummel. Studio City, CA : Bill Brummel Productions, c1998. 1 VHS videocassette (100 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 1/2 in. HS2330.K63 K833 1998 Vidoecassette : Presents a history of the Ku Klux Klan, from its beginnings after the Civil War to recent years, and its practices of terror against minorities.

Selected Documentary Films, L

All African American documentaries are located in the Digital and Multimedia Center unless otherwise indicated.  Movies can be checked out unless reserved for a class.

The Ladies Sing the Blues / the Minnesota Studio ; producer, Tom Jenz ; script, Leigh Kamman.  New York, N.Y. : View Video, 2001.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 60 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  ML400 .L335 2001 VideoDVD : Historic filmed performances of women blues singers from 1929 through the 1950's. Singers are Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, Billie Holiday, Ida Cole, Sister Rosetta Tharp, Connee Boswell, Dinah Washington, Ruth Brown, Lena Horne, Sarah Vaughn, Helen Humes and Peggy Lee. Includes background information on the singers as well as the performances.

Lady Day Sings the Blues  : the Billie Holliday story (2005) / CineVu ; a John Matarazzo Cinema City production. [S.l.] : Hudson/Street, c2005.  ML420.H58 L35 2005 VideoDVD  : A compilation of rare performance footage by the amazingly gifted jazz legend Billie Holiday herself. There are rare clips from various (unidentified) TV appearances, plus clips from the few films she appeared in.

The Language You Cry In  / a film from California Newsreel ; writer, Alvaro Toepk ; producer/directors, Alvaro Toepke and Angel Serrano.  [San Francisco, Cal.] : California Newsreel, 1998.  1 DVD videodisc (52 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  DT516.45.M45 L35 1998 VideoDVD :  The Language You Cry In tells an amazing scholarly detective story that searches for -and finds- meaningful links between African Americans and their ancestral past. It bridges hundreds of years and thousands of miles from the Gullah people of present-day Georgia back to 18th century Sierra Leone. It recounts the even more remarkable saga of how African Americans have retained links with their African past through the horrors of the middle passage, slavery and segregation. The film dramatically demonstrates the contribution of contemporary scholarship to restoring what narrator Vertamae Grosvenor calls the "non-history" imposed on African Americans: "This is a story of memory, how the memory of a family was pieced together through a song with legendary powers to connect those who sang it with their roots." ...The story begins in the early 1930s with Lorenzo Turner, an African American linguist who cataloged more than 3000 names and words of African origin among the Gullah of coastal Georgia and South Carolina. He discovered that some Gullah could recite texts in African languages, including almost certainly the longest, a five-line song he learned from a woman living in a remote Georgia fishing village, Amelia Dawley. Although Amelia did not know the meaning of the syllables in the song, a Sierra Leonean graduate student in the U.S. recognized it as Mende, his native tongue....These dramatic clues were taken up again in the l980s by Joseph Opala, an American anthropologist at Sierra Leone's Fourah Bay College. Studying Bunce Island, an 18th century British slave castle, Opala discovered that it sent many of its captives to Georgia and South Carolina where American rice planters paid a premium for experienced slaves from Africa's "Rice Coast." The comparative coherence of this slave community may account for the high degree of African cultural retention among the Gullah. In 1989 Opala helped organize a gala homecoming for a Gullah delegation to their long-lost African sisters and brothers documented in an earlier California Newsreel release, Family Across the Sea....Opala joined with ethnomusicologist Cynthia Schmidt and Sierra Leonean linguist Tazieff Koroma in an arduous search to see if Amelia Dawley's song was still remembered anywhere in Sierra Leone. Although the Mende are the largest ethnic group in Sierra Leone, Koroma recognized one word as unique to a dialect spoken only in southern Sierra Leone. On their last day in the area, Cynthia Schmidt discovered a woman, Baindu Jabati, living in the remote interior village of Senehum Ngola, who had preserved a song with strikingly similar lyrics, a dirge performed during a graveside ceremony called Tenjami or "crossing the river." Her grandmother taught her the song because birth and death rites are women's responsibilities in Mende culture. At the same time she made the uncanny prediction that there would be a return of lost kinsman and that Baindu would recognize them through this song. ...Schmidt and Opala then went to Georgia where they found Amelia Dawley's daughter, Mary Moran, age 69, who remembered her mother singing the song. Though transformed in plantation culture to a children's rhyme, there was also continuity since the song was passed down by women on both sides. A reunion between Mary and Baindu had to be postponed because of a devastating rebel war in Sierra Leone which left millions homeless, including Baindu herself. Finally in 1997, Mary Moran and her family could travel and, after a painful visit to Bunce Island, were received with jubilation in Senehum Ngola. The village's blind, 90 year old chief, Nabi Jah, organized a teijami ceremony for Mary, even though it had been in desuetude since the introduction of Christianity and Islam earlier in the century. Thus Mary's homecoming became a catalyst for Mende people to rediscover a part of their own past. When Opala asked Nabi Jah why a Mende woman exiled two hundred years ago would have preserved this particular song, he replied that the answer was obvious. "That song would be the most valuable thing she could take. It could connect her to all her ancestors and to their continued blessings." Then he quoted a Mende proverb, "You know who a person really is by the language they cry in."...The Language You Cry In shows the significant benefits of multi-disciplinary research. It also is a striking example of scholars working with their informants as colleagues; the "research subjects," African and American, were not just observed but actively recruited into researching and analyzing their own histories. Events, sometimes national in scope, were organized so that individuals and communities could make new research findings their own as part of a "usable past." Meaning thus emerged out of the deliberate clash of present and past. As we watch Mary and Baindu reunited in a tearful rendition of this ancient song, we realize how 20th century scholarship and media technology are making their own modest contribution to preserving bonds within the African Diaspora.

Leadbelly (1976) available via YouTube: The life of Blues and folk singer Huddie Leadbetter, nicknamed Leadbelly is recounted. Covering the good times and bad from his 20s to 40s. Much of that time was spent on chain gangs in the south. Even in prison he became well known for the songs he had composed and sung during and before the time he spent there.

Leaving Cleaver : Henry Louis Gates Jr. Remembers Eldridge Cleaver / WGBH Educational Foundation ; a Basic Black and Frontline co-production for WGBH/Boston ; producer, June Cross ; written by June Cross, Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  WGBH Educational Foundation : Distributed by PBS Home Video, [2008]  1 DVD videodisc (60 min.)  E185.61 .L43 2008 VideoDVD : A look at the last interview given by Eldridge Cleaver, social activist, former Black Panther, and author, before his death. Features commentary from Cleaver's former wife, audio tapes of a 1975 interview Cleaver gave, and more.

Lee Daniels' the butler / the Weinstein Company ; Windy Hill Pictures ; Follow Through Productions ; Pam Wallace Productions ; screenwriters, Danny Strong ; producer/director, Lee Daniels.  [Beverly Hills, California] : Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2014    1 DVD videodisc (132 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.F35 L44 2014 VideoDVD : The Butler tells the story of a White House butler who served eight American presidents over three decades. The film traces the dramatic changes that swept American society during this time, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected this man’s life and family. Forest Whitaker stars as the butler with Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, John Cusack as Richard Nixon, Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson, and many more. Academy Award® nominated Lee Daniels (Precious) directs and co-wrote the script with Emmy®-award winning Danny Strong (Game Change).

Legacy (1999) / a Cinemax Reel Life [and] Nomadic Pictures present a film by Tod Lending ; director, producer, writer, Tod Lending.   New York : Docurama : Distributed by New Video Group, [2006].  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 90 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.86 .L4433 2006 VideoDVD : Academy Award-nominated LEGACY is the unflinching chronicle of one family’s triumphant journey out of poverty and despair. Touchingly narrated by Nickcole Collins, a teenage girl wise beyond her years, the film follows the Collins family over five years as they slowly pull themselves out of the haze of poverty, drug addiction, and violence that plagues their public housing project in Chicago. Stereotype-busting and open-minded, LEGACY paints the American Dream in honest colors to rousing effect. Improbably, the senseless killing of 14-year-old Terrell, a straight-Astudent and role model for the neighborhood, spurs the family to seek a better life against impossible odds. Nickcole’s mother, a high school dropout, moves in fits and starts to find a meaningful job. Aunt Wanda, mother of Terrell and longtime crack addict, enrolls herself in a drug treatment program. Nickcole catapults herself out of the inner-city trap to a college degree and a comfortable life. It’s impossible not to cheer for these incredible real-life heroes as they cry and laugh, stumble and get back up again on their way to something better.  In LEGACY, award-winning filmmaker Tod Lending does that rarest of things—he gives voice to the voiceless. The result is a stirring, must-see film that is “inspirational in the best sense of the term” (Variety) 

Let My People Live (1939) (4:08 min.) Streaming video via Matinee Classics. : Directed by Edgar Ulmer. Sponsor: The National Tuberculosis Association. Aimed at African Americans and shot at Tuskegee University this film instructs viewers in the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis by focusing on a pair of sympathetic siblings, George and Mary, whose lives are altered by the disease. Starring Rex Ingram as Dr. Gordon, the film suggests that organized religion is an important defensive location in this particular community, and warns of the dangers of the previous generation’s superstitions and its fear of medicine. The Health Department prominently featured the film at the 1939 World’s Fair.

Let The Fire Burn / School of Media & Public Affairs, the George Washington University ; Sundance Institute ; the Film Sales Company ; directed and produced by Jason Osder.  [New York] : Zeitgeist Films, 2014.  1 DVD videodisc (approximately 95 minutes) : sound, color with black & white sequences ; 4 3/4 in + 1 tri-fold color scene/timeline guide.  F158.9.N4 L48 2014 VideoDVD  disc & guide : In 1985, the Philadelphia police department dropped four pounds of C4 explosives on a row house in the Cobbs Creek neighborhood. Eleven people living in the house, including five children, died, and and 61 houses (mostly inhabited by black families) were destroyed after the police decided to "let the fire burn." The bombing was a culmination of a years-long conflict between the city and a primitivist black liberation group called MOVE, which was, as this extraordinary documentary about the incident makes clear, something like a cult, but also the target of wholly disproportionate and unjustifiable violence from the Philadelphia PD. Director Jason Osder eschews present-day interviews and voice-overs, telling the whole story through archival footage, using testimonies before the panel appointed to investigate the incident to frame the story.

The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer: Never Turn Back directed by bill Buckley (Rediscovery Productions, 2011) 59:12 mins.   Streaming video from American History in VideoAccess limited to the MSU community and other subscribers. 

A Litany For Survival: the Life and Work of Audre Lorde.  New York, NY : Third World Newsreel, c1996.  1 VHS videocassette (55 min., 18 sec.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 1/2 in.  PS3562.O75 Z655 1996 Videocassette  : Audre Lorde, poet and lesbian-feminist talks about being lesbian and black in New York in the 1950s. Includes conversations and readings by Lorde and comments by other writers.

Little Rock Central : Fifty Years Later (2007) / Home Box Office ; HBO Documentary Films ; DCTV (Downtown Community Television Center) ; directed, produced, and filmed by Brent Renaud, Craig Renaud.  New York, NY : Home Box Office, c2007   1 DVD videodisc (ca. 70 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  LC214.23.L56 L58 2007 VideoDVD : In 1957, Little Rock Central High School became a symbol of the struggles and hopes of the Civil Rights Movement.  Nine African-American students were prevented from entering the building by an angry mob of whites outside the school. After 50 years, it is a stark reminder of the steps that still need to be made toward equality. The HBO Documentary Film, Little Rock Central High: 50 Years Later, is an eye-opening look at racial equality, education, and class at the landmark high school today, where educational equality remains elusive. Filmmakers Brent and Craig Renaud began filming as the school and the nation prepared for the 50th Anniversary of the famous Integration Crisis 1957. The film follows present day Central High students and faculty both in and out of school, along with community leaders and one of the original "Little Rock Nine," who reflects on how much -- and how little -- has changed since she courageously crossed the school's steps nearly half a century ago. 

The Long Walk to Freedom : a Documentary About the Civil Rights Movement / a Moira Productions film by Tom Weidlinger ; in association with Community Works/California.  Community Works, c2004.  1 DVD videodisc (30 min.)  E185.615 .L66 2004 VideoDVD : Twelve civil rights activists share their experiences with San Francisco students. Includes brief video autobiographies of the activists and a section where students respond with questions, poetry, songs and essays.

Looking for Langston : a meditation on Langston Hughes (1902-1967) and the Harlem Renaissance with the poetry of Essex Hemphill and Bruce Nugent (1906-1987) in memory of James Baldwin (1924-1987) / Sankofa Film and Video presents ; poetry and texts [by] James Baldwin, Essex Hemphill, Bruce Nugent, Hilton Als ; producer, Nadine Marsh-Edwards ; written and directed by Isaac Julien.  London : Sankofa Film and Video ; New York, NY : Distributed by Strand Releasing, c2007.   1 DVD videodisc (60 min. [i.e. 45 min.]) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in.  ROVI Movie Collection  CQ6 D0083120 VideoDVD : This self-described meditation on the life of Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes addresses the possible, possibly imagined, life of the author as a gay man. Both documentary and fantasy, it blends archival footage with black and white paeans to a life that might have been--a Harlem nightclub from the 1920s, a London nightspot from the late eighties, various dream sequences--foregrounding gay sexual desire, constructed of a mélange of materials. Looking for Langston is not a mainstream film, but a short film, an avant-garde film, a gay film, and a black British film. Indeed, the prospect of viewing the film can be an off-putting one, considering its competing narrative lines as documentary, reclamation of an aspect of black history, rumination on the AIDS crisis, or pure fantasy.

Lost Boys of Sudan / [presented by] Actual Films, Principe Productions, in association with POV ; directed and produced by Megan Mylan & Jon Shenk.  San Francisco, CA : Lost Boys of Sudan, c2003.  2 DVD videodiscs (87 min./83 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 print materials on 2nd disc.  E184.S77 L67 2003 Educa.ed VideoDVD  videoDVD 1-2 : "Follows two Sudanese refugees on an extraordinary journey from Africa to America. Orphaned as young boys in one of Africa's cruelest civill wars, Peter Dut and Santino Chuor survived lion attacks and militia gunfire to reach a refugee camp in Kenya along with thousands of other children. From there, remarkably, they were chosen to come to America. Safe at last from physical danger and hunger, a world away from home, they find themselves confronted with the abundance and alienation of contemporary American suburbia".

Love & Diane  / producer/director, Jennifer Dworkin ; executive producer, Jennifer Fox ; produced by Chilmark Productions, AMIP and ARTE France New York, NY : Women Make Movies, 2002. 1DVD  videodisc (113 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. HV5833.N45 L688 2002 VideoDVD : In the 1980s, the crack epidemic in American inner cities left a generation of parents addicted and their children in a cycle of foster care and group homes. This film documents one New York City family's struggle to become a family again ten years after their initial separation

The Loving Story (2011) / HBO Documentary Films presents ; an Augusta Films production ; director, Nancy Buirski ; produced by Nancy Buirski & Elisabeth Haviland James ; writers, Nancy Buirski & Susie Ruth Powell.   Brooklyn, NY : Icarus Films, c2011.  1 DVD videodisc (77 min.) : sd., b&w, with col. sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.62 .L68 2011 VideoDVD : Oscar-shortlist selection The Loving Story, the debut feature by Full Frame documentary festival founder Nancy Buirski, is the definitive account of Loving v. Virginia, the landmark 1967 Supreme Court decision that legalized interracial marriage....This evocative documentary, which incorporates luminous, newly discovered 16mm footage of the Lovings and their young Jewish lawyers as well as first-person testimony and rare documentary photographs by LIFE magazine photographer Grey Villet, recounts the little-known story of the Loving family. The marriage of Mildred (who was part-black and part-Native American) and Richard (who was white) was declared illegal in 1958 by their home state of Virginia. They refused to leave one another and, with the help of the ACLU, relentlessly pursued their right to happiness....Their case made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where it finally struck down laws against interracial marriage in this country were struck down once and for all. THE LOVING STORY takes us behind the scenes of the legal challenges and the emotional turmoil of the legal victory, documenting a seminal moment in history and reflecting a timely message of marriage equality in a personal, human love story.  Trailers. Teacher’s guide PDF.

Loyalties / A film by Lesley Ann Patten.  2001.  57 minutes  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : This is the poignant story of two women who discover they share two halves of a common past in the painful lineage of slave and slave holder....Carmelita Robertson, a black graduate student who worked at a museum of natural history and her co-worker, Dr. Ruth Holmes Whitehead, a white ethnologist, met for a professional lunch. First they discovered their joint interest in genealogy, then their roots in South Carolina, and then, to their dismay, a strange common thread. Almost certainly, one of Ruth's ancestors owned one of Carmelita's as a slave....As a result of this discovery, the pair decide to travel to South Carolina to unravel their linked heritage. We witness their journey through pain , resentment, embarrassment and ultimately acceptance, as each woman, in her own way, comes to terms with their shared history. A landmark film for African-American studies, women's history, and Southern history. Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

A Lynching in Marion  Arlington, VA : PBS, 1995.  27 minutes.  A streaming video available from PBS Video Collection.   It was a hot summer evening in 1930 in Marion, IN, when James Cameron and two friends robbed a white couple. News of this robbery and other real and alleged crimes spread. Subsequently, Cameron's two friends were hanged. Now, 65 years later, Cameron tells his compelling story in vivid detail.

Selected Documentary Films, M

All African American documentaries are located in the Digital and Multimedia Center unless otherwise indicated.  Movies can be checked out unless reserved for a class. 

Major! / What Do We Want Films and Floating Ophelia Productions, LLC present ; directed & produced by Annalise Ophelian ; edited & co-produced by StormMiguel Florez.  [San Francisco] : Floating Ophelia Productions, LLC, [2016]  1 DVD videodisc (approximately 91 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  HQ77.8.G75 M35 2016 VideoDVD  : "A documentary film exploring the life and campaigns of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a formerly incarcerated Black transgender elder and activist who has been fighting for the rights of trans women of color for over 40 years. At the heart of MAJOR! is a social justice framework that puts the subjects at the center of their story. Miss Major is a veteran of the Stonewall Rebellion and a survivor of Attica State Prison, a former sex worker, an elder, and a community leader and human rights activist. She is simply 'Mama' to many in her community. If history is held within us, embodied in our loves and losses, then Miss Major is a living library, a resource for generations to come to more fully understand the rich heritage of the Queer Rights movement that is so often whitewashed and rendered invisible. Miss Major's personal story and activism for transgender civil rights intersects LGBT struggles for justice and equality from the 1960s to today. At the center of her activism is her fierce advocacy for her girls, trans women of color who have survived police brutality and incarceration in men's jails and prisons. In October 2015, Miss Major retired from her role as executive director of the San Francisco-based Transgender GenderVariant Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), advocating for trans women of color in and outside of prison."

Making Michael Jackson's Thriller. Stamford, CT : Vestron Video, c1983. Stamford, CT : Vestron Video, c1983. 1 VHS videocassette (VHS) (60 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. M1630.18.M235 M3 1983 Videocassette : Features Michael Jackson's Thriller; his performance of "Billy Jean" from the "Motown 25" special; excerpts from "Beat it!" and "Can you feel it?"; and a behind-the-scenes look at Michael Jackson, director John Landis, make-up artist Rick Baker, and the rest of the creators of "Thriller."

Making a Way Out of No Way (1897-1940).  2013.  57 minutes.  Part of the African Americans Series.    :   Racist images in the Jim Crow era were used as propaganda to send messages that demeaned African Americans and legitimized violence against them. A visit to the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University in Michigan--home to the largest collection of racist memorabilia in the country--reveals racist memorabilia and messages in all forms, from kitchen utensils to postcards featuring images of public whippings. Among the museum's collection is a row of caricatures--the Pickaninny, the Tom, the coon, the tragic mulatto, the Jezebel, the savage....  "All groups, all racial and ethnic groups in this country have been caricatured. None of them has been caricatured as often and in so many ways as have Africans and their American descendants," says David Pilgrim, founder of the Jim Crow Museum....  He continues, "You could take any piece that you see in here, and they do two things. The first thing is they reflect existing attitudes toward black people, but the other thing, and maybe more important is, they shaped future attitudes toward black people."...  The images and stereotypes used to represent African-Americans changed with the times. As historian David Levering Lewis explains, white America's representations of African-Americans were quite different before and after the Civil War....  "The African American in antebellum times was, as the stereotype held, reliable, faithful, hardworking, malleable. Indeed, one entrusted one's children, one's property to such people. Now, of a sudden, the African American becomes demonized, a threat, a lascivious beast roaming the countryside of the South, people loosed by the end of slavery and now upon us like locusts," says Levering Lewis. "Well, this was an absurdity."

Malcolm X And The Birth Of Afro-Americanism /  Chantal Lam, Pierre-Richard Muller and Michel Noll present ; a film by Michel Noll ; US sequences director, Jack Baxter ; producers, Jack Baxter ... [et al.] ; a co-production by Panocéanic Film, ARTEDIS, Solferino Images, Quartier Latin Media ; in association with Canal France International ... [et al.].  [Victoria, Australia] : Distributed by Contemporary Arts Media, [2010?] 1 DVD videodisc (51 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. BP223.Z8 L57638 2010 VideoDVD : In the opinion of some, his name still stands for violent black activism, his anti-white acid and incendiary speeches are still quoted by advocates of violence. But for most, his name has become the symbol for peaceful means to resolve racial issues, in particular for in this period of "shock of civilizations". He now represents the fraternity of all people regardless of their race, religion or belief. As in the case of Martin Luther King and of Gandhi, Malcolm X will remain in the pantheon of peacemakers. And like them, he will be assassinated. On the 21st of February 1965, whilst he delivers a speech in New York to mark the opening of the "National Week of Fraternity", he is shot dead in the presence of his wife and children. Malcolm X had only just turned 39. The assassins are defenders of the "Nation of Islam," but who the commissioners were, has never been established. This documentary reconstitutes the murder and looks at the serious leads casting light on his assassination. It is also the occasion to discover the key stages of the life of the fighter for the cause of the Black, and later of all oppressed people, irrespective of race and religion. It will reveal some of the important contradictions of this outstanding personality.  Trailer from YouTube.  Also listed as Murder in New York.

Malcolm X  : El Hajj Malik El Shabazz / A presentation of WABC TV News and Public Affairs ; a Like It Is special presentation ; produced & written, reported by Gil Noble.  [S.l. : s.n.] ; Prior Lake, MN : Distributed & artwork by Mntex Entertainment, [c1992?, c196-?]  1 VHS videocassette (60 min.) : sd., b&w ; 1/2 in.  E185.97.L5 M3533 1992 Videocassette : A documentary showing the life of Malcolm X, his leadership in the Black Muslim movement, and his influence on black Americans and African nations.

Malcolm X : Make It PlainBoston: WGBH ; [Alexandria, VA] : Distributed by PBS Video, c1994.   1 VHS videocassette (142 min.) : sd., col., b&w ; 1/2 in. + 1 student work sheet.  BP223.Z8 X2 1994 Videocassette : Contents courtesy of the Washington University Film and Media Archive.  Currently available as streaming video via YouTube.

Malcolm X, Militant Black Leader / a production of Schlessinger Video Productions, a division of Library Video Company ; produced and directed by Rhonda Fabian, Jerry Baber ; script, Amy A. Tiehel ... [et al.].  Schlessinger Video Productions, 1992.  1 VHS videocassette (ca. 30 min.)  E185.61 .M3 1992 Videocassette : Black historians and leaders comment on the life of Malcolm X, who experienced violence from the Ku Klux Klan as a child and grew up to become a leader of the Black Muslims and a spokesperson for Black nationalism.

Malcolm X  : nationalist or humanist?  New York, NY : William Greaves Productions, [200-]  1 DVD videodisc (14 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in.  BP223.Z8 L5733 2000z VideoDVD : Explores the life and thinking of this dynamic and controversial African American leader.

Marcus Garvey : Look For Me in the Whirlwind / produced and directed by Stanley Nelson ; written by Marcia Smith ; a Firelight/Half Nelson Productions film for American Experience ; WGBH Boston.  [Alexandria, VA] : PBS Home Video, c2004.  1 DVD videodisc (90 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.97.G3 M3644 2004 VideoDVD : The story of Marcus Garvey, a controversial African American leader of the early 20th century, is thoughtfully told in this documentary, an installment in the American Experience series on PBS. Garvey, who was born in Jamaica, learned the printer's trade as a teenager, and his ability to express himself in print helped him become an advocate for black rights in his homeland. He formed the Universal Negro Improvement Association, but a financial scandal forced him to flee to New York. Before long he organized the UNIA in America, and his organization began an amazing chapter in American race relations. Garvey, after choosing the unlikely role model of evangelist Billy Sunday, became a great orator and enlisted many thousands of African Americans in his movement. Elderly people recall attending Garvey's rallies and parades with their parents 80 years ago, providing touching and fascinating insights. Newsreel footage shows Garvey, who took to wearing grandiose costumes in public, as well as the fervent crowds who flocked to him. Before long the federal government was seeking to destroy Garvey, and an obscure young Justice Department attorney named J. Edgar Hoover was writing reports denouncing him as a "notorious Negro agitator." A mail fraud charge led to Garvey's imprisonment and eventual exile in England. This intelligent film shows how Garvey, though always a controversial figure, was an important precursor to the American civil rights movement.

The Marian Anderson Story: Lady in the Lincoln Memorial by Bill Buckley, directed by Bill Buckley (Rediscovery Productions, 2011) 18:49 mins.  streaming video from Black Studies in Video

Martin's Lament : Religion and Race in America / produced by Parallax Communications, Inc. in association with WETA TV ; produced, directed, written, and edited by Sidra Score and Donald Score.  Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 1995.  1 VHS videocassette (60 min.)  E185.62 .M37 1995 Videocassette : Martin Luther King, Jr. believed that churches should play a fundamental role in shaping the morality and changing the prejudices of the nation. This program examines the issue of religion and race by speaking with experts and with members of five congregations.

Martin Luther King Jr. : Leading America to the Promised Land. Princeton, NJ : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 2000.  1 VHS videocassette (50 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.  E185.97.K5 M377 2000 Videocassette : Retelling of the events leading up to the assassination of Martin Luther, King, Jr. in Memphis Tenn. Includes interviews with civil rights leaders such as John Lewis, Andrew Young and Jesse Jackson. Investigates links of killer James Earl Ray with the FBI. Shows the dedication of the King memorial in Selma, Ala.

Martin Luther King : the Legacy / Thames Television ; produced and directed by Rex Bloomstein ; executive producer, Ian Martin ; script by Piers Brendon and Rex Bloomstein.  Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c1996, c1988.  1 VHS videocassette (78 min.) E185.97.K5 M378 1996 Videocassette : Documentary marks the 20th anniversary of Martin Luther King's death. Program provides a portrait of the civil rights leader, his character, the historic campaigns and speeches, including rare archival footage and recollections of friends and key figures such as Andrew Young and Ralph Abernathy. Shows King's prophesies to be uncannily accurate and his solutions still profoundly relevant.

Mary Mcleod Bethune : Champion For Education[United States] : TMW Media Group, 2009.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 30 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.97.B34 M379 2009 VideoDVD  : American history is filled with notable African American women. This documentary celebrates the life of Mary McLeod Bethune, a crusading 20th-century educator. Through interviews with friends, family, colleagues and scholars, the program follows her journey from humble beginnings to a position of prominence in American education.  Part of the Black American Experience series.

The Massachusetts 54th Colored Infantry / presented by WGBH Boston, WNET New York and KCET Los Angeles ; produced and directed by Jacqueline Shearer ; telescript by Jacqueline Shearer and Leslie Lee ; story by Jacqueline Shearer.  Alexandria, VA : Distributed by PBS Video, c1991.  1 VHS videocassette (60 min.) : sd., b&w with col. introductory sequences ; 1/2 in. + 1 student worksheet.  E513.5 54th .A44 1991 Videocassette : The story of the first officially sanctioned regiment of northern Black soldiers formed in Boston during the Civil War.  Narrated by Morgan Freeman.

Maya Angelou / Gay Rosenthal Productions ; produced in association with Lifetime Productions, Inc.  [Astoria, N.Y.] : Lifetime Television, [1996], ©1996.  1 DVD videocassette (approximately 45 min.) : sound, color ; 1/2 in.  PS3551.N464 Z5 1996 Videocassette : A biography of Maya Angelou, the African-American poet and author. Includes interviews with the author and her family and friends.  Performed by Oprah Winfrey.

Men of Bronze : The Black American Heroes of World War I (1977) / Direct Cinema Limited presents ; WNET presents ; produced, researched, directed by William Miles. Santa Monica, Ca : Direct Cinema Limited, 1996. 1 DVD videodisc (60 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. D639.N4 M46 1996 VideoDVD : The definitive story of the black American soldiers of the 369th combat regiment, known as the "Harlem Hellfighters," who served with the French Army in World War I. Although relegated to non-combat duty by the U.S. Command, the 369th was sent to France and spent more time in front-line trenches than any other American infantry unit. Fighting alongside French, Moroccan and Senegalese soldiers at the campaigns of Champagne-Marne and Meuse-Argonne, the courageous men of the 369th distinguished themselves in some of the fiercest battles of the Great War. The documentary uses photographs, interviews with veterans, and film from the French and American National Archives to recount the sage of the "Harlem Hellfighters," offering an inspiring tribute to these unsung heroes and an unforgettable look at World War I.

The Middle Passage / HBO Films presents ; a Kreol Productions and Raphia Films Production ; script by Claude Chonville and Patrick Chamoiseau ; narration written by Walter Mosley ; directed by Guy Deslauriers ; produced for HBO by David Gaines.  [New York] : HBO Video, 2003.  1 DVD videodisc (76 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  HT985 .M533 2003 VideoDVD : The story of an African slave who was sold into slavery by the King of Dahomey, shackled and transported on a journey shared with some six hundred others-- a journey barely half would survive.

Midnight Ramble : Oscar Micheaux and the Story of Race Movies / Northern Light production for the American experience ; written by Clyde Taylor ; produced by Pamela A. Thomas, Bestor Cram ; directed by Bestor Cram, Pearl Bowser.   [United States?] : Shanachie Entertainment Corp., c1994.  1 VHS videocassette (VHS) (ca. 60 min.) PN1995.9.N4 M5 1994 Videocassette :  Recounts the story of race movies produced for Afro-Americans from the 1920s through 1950 and the role played by Oscar Micheaux, the leading Afro-American producer and director. These movies were designed for Afro-Americans, were frequently shown at midnight, and presented Afro-Americans in a positive light. Features interviews with Afro-American actors, actresses, and historians.

Miles Davis Story (YouTube) 2:03 : Trumpeter-bandleader Miles Davis (1926-91) was a catalyst for the major innovations in post-bop, cool jazz, hard-bop, and jazz-fusion, and his wispy and emotional trumpet tones were some of the most evocative sounds ever heard. He was also one of the most identifiable and misunderstood pop icons of the 20th century. This engrossing British documentary shows the complex layers of this magnificent and mercurial artist. Through rare footage and interviews, we learn of Davis's middle-class upbringing and his early days with bop legends Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. The documentary bluntly deals with Davis's narcotic nadir and his rise from the depths to become a bona fide jazz icon in the mid-'50s to late '60s. But the most penetrating and poignant portraits of Davis come from musicians who played with and were influenced by him, including Shirley Horn, Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul, and Keith Jarrett....Outstanding musical selections include modal masterpieces "So What" and "Blue in Green," the haunting soundtrack to the 1957 French film Ascenseur pour l'échafaud, his romantic rendition of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time," and his collaborations with arranger Gil Evans. The most surprising aspects of Davis's personality that emerge from this film are his shyness, vulnerability, and, yes, humility. As he said himself, "Don't call me a legend. Call me Miles Davis." --Eugene Holley Jr.

Miles of Smiles, Years of Struggle / Columbia Historical Society in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution's Office of Folklife Programs ; produced and directed by Jack Santino and Paul Wagner .  San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, 1983.  1 DVD-Rvideodisc (58 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in  HD8039.P659 M544 1983 VideoDVD : Miles of Smiles chronicles the organizing of the first black trade union - the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. This inspiring story of the Pullman porters provides one of the few accounts of African American working life between the Civil War and World War II....Miles of Smiles describes the harsh discrimination which lay behind the porters' smiling service. Narrator Rosina Tucker, a 100 year old union organizer and porter's widow, describes how after a 12 year struggle led by A. Philip Randolph, the porters won the first contract ever negotiated with black workers. Miles of Smiles both recovers an important chapter in the emergence of black America and reveals a key source of the Civil Rights movement.  Trailer

The Mirror Lied / Produced at USC School of Cinema & Television, Directed by Jennifer Haskin-O'Reggio.  1999.  28 minutes  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library Online : How does a young African-American woman cope with the ideals of feminine beauty imposed by white society? This film shows the struggle of the filmmaker's fifteen-year-old sister, Jantre, to accept her appearance. Though she spends an hour each day trying to tame her unruly hair, she never feels attractive. She envies the white girls' hair....When she asks for a wig for her birthday, her mother accuses her of not accepting her blackness. Jantre's mother grew up in the segregated South and says it took many years to accept herself. In a bold move to challenge her classmates' standards, Jantre goes to school with her hair in its natural fullness. She finds it a liberating experience.  Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Mirrors of privilege : making whiteness visible / a film by Shakti Butler ; directed by Shakti Butler and Rick Butler ; produced by Rick Butler.  Oakland, Calif. : World Trust Educational Services, c2006.  1 dvd videodisc (50 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  E184.A1 M58 2006 VideoDVD : Features the up close and personal stories of white activists and their ongoing journeys of transformation. Participants will talk about being unconscious about their learned and internalized sense of white supremacy. They will share what was required and what actions they took to move through the common first stages of denial, defensiveness, guilt, fear and shame into making solid commitments towards ending racism. The video uses art, theatre, movement, photographs and music to amplify stories that share richly varied experiences and life processes informed by deep reflection and social justice action. The individuals' interviews will also be enhanced by historical sources, spoken word, photographs and video archives which will serve to address systemic racist oppression.  Conversation Guide.

Mississippi : is this America?, 1962-1964 / producer, Orlando BagwellBlackside Inc. ; Alexandria, VA : PBS Video [distributor], 1986.  1 VHS videocassette (60 min.) E185.6 .M577 1986 Videocassette : Reviews the struggle of the civil rights movement in Mississippi as the state becomes a testing ground for the constitutional principles of voting rights.  Details both white resistance to the civil rights movement in Mississippi and the equally strong determination of white and black organizers to bring Mississippi blacks into political process.  Part of the Eyes on the Prize collection.

MLK  : a Call to Conscience / directed by Allan Palmer ; written by Jacoba Atlas ; producer Sasheen Artis.  [United States] : PBS Distribution, 2010.  1 DVD videodisc (60 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.97.K5 T38 2010 VideoDVD : This episode delves into one of Martin Luther King Jr.'s greatest speeches, Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence, which Dr. King delivered on April 4, 1967. Today this speech is acknowledged to be one of the most powerful ever written by Dr. King and Smiley deconstructs the meaning of the speech, and puts it in a contemporary context, particularly in light of our nation's current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Moko Jumbie: Traditional Stilt Walkers / Produced and directed by Karen Kramer.  1992.  16 minutes.  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library  Online : The name means "dancing spirit", and these ten-foot-high stilt walkers appear at street festivals in New York City, at Carnival celebrations in the Caribbean, and during religious ceremonies in West Africa. Wearing special costumes and masks which add to their mystery, the moko jumbie is both feared and revered. Because of their great height they are seen as all-powerful figures accompanied by joyous music and feelings of awe....This unique film shows the art, craft, dance and history of the moko jumbie. It gives background into the costume and dance movements, as well as its origins in West Africa. Narrated by two moko jumbies living in New York City, this lively film provides fresh cultural insight. Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

A More Perfect Union (1968-2013).  2013.  57 minutes.  Part of the African Americans Series.   :  After 1968, African Americans set out to build a bright new future on the foundation of the civil rights movement's victories, but a growing class disparity threatened to split the black community in two. As hundreds of African Americans won political office across the country and the black middle class made unprecedented progress, larger economic and political forces isolated the black urban poor in the inner cities, vulnerable to new social ills and an epidemic of incarceration. Yet African Americans of all backgrounds came together to support Illinois' Senator Barack Obama in his historic campaign for the presidency of the United States....  When he won in 2008, many hoped that America had finally transcended race and racism. By the time of his second victory, it was clear that many issues, including true racial equality, remain to be resolved. Now we ask: How will African Americans help redefine the United States in the years to come?

Mountains that take wing : Angela Davis & Yuri Kochiyama : a conversation on life, struggles & liberation : a film / by C.A. Griffith & H.L.T. Quan.  New York : Women Make Movies, 2009.  1DVD  videodisc (97 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  HN57 .M679 2009 VideoDVD  : Internationally renowned scholar, professor and writer Angela Davis, and 89-year-old grassroots organizer and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Yuri Kochiyama share intimate conversations about personal histories and influences that shaped them and their shared experiences in some of the most important social movements in 20th century United States

Moving North to Chicago  / produced under the supervision of the Agency for Instructional Technology ; producer and director, Felice McGlincy. Princeton, NJ : Films for the Humanities & Sciences [distributor], c1999, c1991.  1 VHS videocassette (21 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 1/2 in. HB1965.A3 M69 1999 Videocassette : Examines urban development, migration from rural to urban areas, and the struggles of African Americans to overcome segregation and other forms of racial discrimination during the first half of the 20th century.

Le Mozart Noir: Reviving a Legend / Media Headquarters Film & Television Inc. 2006. 53 minutes. Streaming video from the Filmakers Library Online : Few people know that in 18th century France, a black man became not only an internationally recognized composer, but also a director of France's leading orchestras. Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges was born in Guadeloupe c1739 to a slave mother and a French colonialist father who brought the family to France when he was ten. His remarkable life story is recounted in this film, which shows how he overcame the adversities of class, race and society to distinguish himself as a violinist, composer and conductor. His musical compositions inspired Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven....Through the use of beautifully rendered historical recreations, archive-based narration, orchestral performance by the Tafelmusik Orchestra, and interviews with Ashley Horne, Concertmaster of Chicago's New Black Music Repertory Ensemble, Gabriel Banat, historian and Jeanne Lamon, Musical Director of the Tafelmusik Orchestra, Le Mozart Noir reveals how such a talent was overlooked by history. Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers

Muhammad Ali  : Made in Miami / WLRN Public Television ; written and produced by Gaspar Gonazález and Alan Tomlinson.  [Alexandria, Va.] : PBS Home Video ; Hollywood, Calif. : Distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment, [2008]  1 DVD videodisc (60 min.)  GV1136.8 .A45 2008 VideoDVD : Examines Ali's time spent in Miami, a crucial time when he made the transition from talented Cassius Clay into the extraordinary boxer known as Muhammad Ali.

Muhammad Ali's greatest fight / HBO Films presents a Rainmark Films production in association with Sakura Films ; director, Stephen FrearsNew York, NY : HBO Home Entertainment, [2013]  1 DVD videodisc (92 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  GV1132.A44 M84 2013 VideoDVD : From director Stephen Frears and writer Shawn Slovo comes a behind-the-scenes look at Muhammad Ali's historic Supreme Court battle for Conscientious Objector status to the Vietnam War, and a portrait of the changing tides of this country during that turbulent time. Guided by his principles, Ali refused induction into the Army, enduring a protracted legal battle that saw him convicted of draft evasion, stripped of his boxing title, and banned from the sport. Meanwhile, as anti-war sentiment grows across America, Chief Justice Warren Burger ushers in the dawn of a new conservative era on the Court. At the start of the 1970-71 term, his conservative compatriot, Justice John Harlan II , interviews left-leaning, anti-war Kevin Kennedy to serve as his clerk. But for Harlan, a rigorous and fair-minded jurist, politics and personal opinion have no place in the law, and he hires Kennedy for his substantial intellect. When the Court hears Ali's case, the majority votes to deny Ali. Burger assigns Harlan to write the opinion, a task that Harlan passes along to Kennedy. Kennedy struggles with the decision, and in researching Ali's beliefs, Kennedy realizes that Ali does fulfill all the conditions for Conscientious Objector status. But when he presents his findings to Harlan, the Justice rejects his opinion. Unable to support what he feels is an unjust decision, Kennedy writes it as he is told but agonizes over his resignation letter. Harlan, recently diagnosed with cancer and facing the end of his career, is convinced to read the Black Muslims' leader Elijah Muhammad's book Message to the Blackman in America and subsequently reconsiders his passionate young clerk's recommendation. The usually stoic and careful Harlan flips his vote, creating a 4-4 tie. Knowing a tie vote will still result in Ali going to jail, Harlan lobbies the other Justices to find the decisive fifth vote. After Harlan's friend, Justice Potter Stewart, helps form a narrower opinion, the Justices, Warren Burger included, change their votes in order to overturn Ali's conviction. Ali goes on to win the World Champion title for the second time.  Cover.

Murder in New York : Malcolm X And The Birth Of Afro-Americanism /  Chantal Lam, Pierre-Richard Muller and Michel Noll present ; a film by Michel Noll ; US sequences director, Jack Baxter ; producers, Jack Baxter ... [et al.] ; a co-production by Panocéanic Film, ARTEDIS, Solferino Images, Quartier Latin Media ; in association with Canal France International ... [et al.].  [Victoria, Australia] : Distributed by Contemporary Arts Media, [2010?] 1 DVD videodisc (51 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. BP223.Z8 L57638 2010 VideoDVD : In the opinion of some, his name still stands for violent black activism, his anti-white acid and incendiary speeches are still quoted by advocates of violence. But for most, his name has become the symbol for peaceful means to resolve racial issues, in particular for in this period of "shock of civilizations". He now represents the fraternity of all people regardless of their race, religion or belief. As in the case of Martin Luther King and of Gandhi, Malcolm X will remain in the pantheon of peacemakers. And like them, he will be assassinated. On the 21st of February 1965, whilst he delivers a speech in New York to mark the opening of the "National Week of Fraternity", he is shot dead in the presence of his wife and children. Malcolm X had only just turned 39. The assassins are defenders of the "Nation of Islam," but who the commissioners were, has never been established. This documentary reconstitutes the murder and looks at the serious leads casting light on his assassination. It is also the occasion to discover the key stages of the life of the fighter for the cause of the Black, and later of all oppressed people, irrespective of race and religion. It will reveal some of the important contradictions of this outstanding personality.  Trailer from YouTube.

The Murder of Emmett Till / WGBH Educational Foundation ; produced and directed by Stanley Nelson ; written by Marcia Smith. PBS Home Video, c2004.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 60 min.) E185.61 .M973 2003 VideoDVD : The murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till, a black boy who whistled at a white woman in a Mississippi grocery store in 1955, was a powerful catalyst for the civil rights movement. Although Till's killers were apprehended, they were quickly acquitted by an all-white, all-male jury and proceeded to sell their story to a journalist, providing grisly details of the murder. Three months after Till's body was recovered, the Montgomery Bus Boycott began.

My American Girls  : a Dominican Story / a film by Aaron Matthews. New York, NY : Filmakers Library, 2001.  1 DVD videodisc (62 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  F128.9.D6 M9 2001 VideoDVD : Dominicans are New York's largest and fastest growing immigrant group, yet there are few films about the Dominican-American experience. This documentary chronicles the lives of a family from the Dominican Republic, the Ortizes. 

Selected Documentary Films, N-O

All African American documentaries are located in the Digital and Multimedia Center unless otherwise indicated. Movies can be checked out unless reserved for a class.

The N Word  : Divided We Stand / writer & director, Todd Larkins ; producer, Helena Echegoyen.  [United States] : UrbanWorks Entertainment ; Thousand Oaks, CA : Distributed by Ventura Distribution, [2006]  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 85 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PE2846 .N86 2006 VideoDVD : The biggest names in show business come together to offer their opinions on one of the most inflammatory words in the English language in filmmaker Todd Williams' revealing and thought-provoking documentary. In its long and complex history, the word "nigger" has gone from a cutting and derogatory racial slur to a term of endearment frequently used by African-American youth culture. Though the word has in a sense been "taken back" by the very people that it targeted, it still has the power to anger and enrage when taken out of its new context. As a variety of celebrities including Quincy Jones, Russell Simmons, George Carlin, Damon Dash, and Bryant Gumbel offer their opinions on this polarizing word, the taboo of language is broken to reveal an ever-changing society that is constantly attempting to make sense of a dark past while simultaneously attempting to build a brighter future.

Nat Turner  : a Troublesome Property / a production of Subpix LLC, produced in association with KQED Public Television.  California Newsreel, c2002.  1 DVD videodisc (60 min.)  E169.12 .N39 2002 VideoDVD  Also available as streaming video from Black Studies in Video : Evaluates the authenticity of the earliest source, "The Confessions of Nat Turner", assembled by a white Virginia lawyer from jailhouse interviews. It then follows the controvery over the Nat Turner story played out through history. Alvin Poussaint and Ossie Davis recall how Nat Turner became a hero in the Black community. Religious scholar Vincent Harding and legal scholar Martha Minow reflect on America's attitudes toward terrorism. One of the most bitter race battles of the 1960s is reexamined, when William Styron published his novel, The Confessions of Nat Turner.  For more information, visit California Newsreel

Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property byCharles Burnett, Frank Christopher, and Alfre Woodard (California Newsreel, 2002) 57:32 mins.  Streaming video from Black Studies in Video 

The Nature of the Beast directed by Ondi Timoner (Documentary Educational Resources, 1993) 60 mins. Streaming video from Ethnographic Video Online : The Nature of the Beast explores the life and case of a woman, Bonnie Jean Foreshaw, who was subjected to years of abuse, as a child and in three separate marriages. At the age of thirty-eight, Ms Foreshaw was found guilty of first degree murder. She had begun carrying a handgun for self-protection after her third husband, whom she had recently divorced, continued stalking and threatening her in the early months of 1986. This same handgun was the weapon Ms Forshaw used when, in a moment of panic, she accidentally shot and killed a pregnant women in an attempt to protect herself from a man who was physically assaulting her at a gas station in Hartford, Connecticut. Both her assailant and victim were complete strangers to Ms Forshaw. although the man later testified in court that he had pulled the pregnant woman in front of him as a shield when he saw Ms Foreshaw take out her hand gun, she was nevertheless found guilty of pre-meditated murder. Ms Foreshaw is now serving the longest prison sentence of any woman in Connecticut--45 years--without the possibility of parole.  Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Negro Colleges in Wartime (1944) U.S. Office of War Information, Bureau of Motion Pictures, 8:16 min.  Streaming video via Internet Archive Prelinger Archives.    Education and training of African Americans as part of the World War II effort.  Also listed under Documentary Films.

Negro Pilots (1943) U.S. Army Air Force, 7:04  min.   Streaming video from Open Sources Movies via Internet Archive.   At a dusty, booming airdrome in the Southeast Air Forces Training Center, the 99th Pursuit Squadron, world’s first Negro aerial fighting unit, is girding for its opening sky-joust with the enemy.  Mentions Tuskegee, AL, and Oscoda, MI.  Also listed under Documentary Films.

Negro Soldier (1943) by Frank Capra, for the U.S. War Department. 40:23 min.  Streaming video from the Internet Archive.  WWII recruitment film aimed at African Americans. The film opens with an African American minister in church telling his flock why they should join the armed forces to fight the Nazis. We see historical re-enactments of African Americans as valued participants in US armed conflicts dating from the American Revolution. The balance of the film deals with the African American experience within the present war effort, the conditions of their living and training, with special attention paid to the respect and dignity they will have.

The Negro Soldier / Produced by the War Department Special Service Division, Army Service Forces; with the cooperation of the Signal Corps. The Navy steward / U.S. Naval Photographic Center. The Negro sailer / All American News Inc.  Hollywood's Attic [distributor], 1996.  1 VHS videocassette (ca. 75 min.)  E185.63 .N43 1996 Videocassette  : The Negro soldier is a recruiting and propaganda film made during World War II. The Navy steward is a training film originally released in 1954. The Negro sailor is a news short summarizing the history of black sailors' participation in the Navy.

Negroes With Guns : Rob Williams and Black Power / California Newsreel presents ; directed by Sandra Dickson, Churchill Roberts ; writer, Sandra Dickson ; produced by the Documentary Institute.  California Newsreel, 2005.  1 DVD videodisc (53 min.)  E185.615 .N36 2005 VideoDVD : Documents the life and times of political activist, Robert F. Williams. From his childhood in Monroe, North Carolina to his self-exile and eventual return to the U.S., the film uses interviews and stock footage to tell the story of the forefather of the Black power movement in the United States.  For more information, visit California Newsreel.

The Neo-African-Americans  / Kobina Aidoo presents ; produced, directed and edited by Kobina Aidoo ; kobi1.doc.  [Miami Shores, Fla.] : River Densu LC, [2008]  1 DVD videodisc (63 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.6 .N46 2008 VideoDVD : This documentary discusses the idea of being black in America in light of the influx of black immigrants from the Caribbean and Africa.

The New Black : LBGT Rights and African American Communities / directed and written by Yoruba Richen. Produced by Yoruba Richen, Yvonne Welbon ; co-producer, Angela Tucker.  [San Francisco, Calif.] : California Newsreel, 2013.  1 DVD videodisc (74 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.6 .N48 2013 VideoDVD  : This award-winning documentary boldly examines the controversial and challenging issues facing African American communities on gay civil rights, campaigns for/against marriage equality and in particular the role of faith institutions. The film makes a compelling case that the fight for LGBT rights in Black communities is an extension of the Black Freedom Struggle....Director Yoruba Richen was inspired to make the film in response to erroneous reports that African American voters caused the passage of an anti-same sex marriage initiative in the 2008 California election. The film looks at other pro and anti-gay rights campaigns over the years and how right-wing groups have used the issue to make inroads in to black communities. It culminates in the 2012 electoral efforts to preserve - or reverse - marriage equality in Maryland, a state with a substantial African American population.  ITVS Study Guide.  Here is the recent TED Talk by director Yoruba Richen describing why she made the documentary. Yoruba also discusses the film in an interview with Independent Lens.

The Night Tulsa Burned / producer/writer, Sean P. Geary ; producer, Mark Montgomery.  New York] : History Channel, [2002], c1999.  1 videodisc (43 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 4 3/4 in.  F704.T92 N544 1999 VideoDVD : A segment in the television series, In search of history.  Recalls the race riot of May 31, 1921 and the fiery destruction of the African-American community of Greenwood in Tulsa, Okla., one of the most affluent all-Black communities in America. Known as "Black Wall Street," it covered 40 square blocks and had more than 600 businesses and 15,000 resident. Tells the long-buried tale of the tragic hours before the tragedy, and the misunderstanding that prompted the violence. Uses testimony from survovrs and photos from the Tulsa museum that show Greenwood before and after the fire. A white elevator operator accused 19-year-old Greenwood resident Dick Rowland of assault. Angry mobs descended on the neighborhood and burned it to the ground, killing scores, injuring hundreds and destroying more than 1000 homes and businesses. Rowland was later cleared of any offence, but no one was ever charged with wrongdoings, no reparations were made, and accounts of the riot were literally cut out of the newspaper archives as Tulsa tried to erase accounts and memories of the events.

Nightfighters (Landmark Media, 1994) 53:36 mins.  Streaming video from American History in VideoAccess limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Nina Simone : The Legend, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6 (YouTube)

Nine from Little Rock : Pioneers of Desegregation  / written and directed by Charles Guggenheim ; U.S. Information Service ; Guggenheim Productions, Inc.  Washington, D.C. : Guggenheim Productions, c2005.  1 DVD videodisc (19 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in.  LC214.23.L56 N56 2005 VideoDVD : Summarizes the individual achievements of the nine Negro students in Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., following integration of the school in 1957. Provides personal narrative accounts of their reaction to events at the time and in retrospect and of their success in continuing their educations.

No Easy Walk, 1961-1963 / WGBH Boston presents a production of Blackside, Inc. ; produced, directed, and written by James A. DeVinney, Callie Crossley.  PBS Video, c1986. 1 VHS videocassette (58 min.) E185.61 .N63 1986 Videocassette :  Retells the stories of three cities involved in the civil rights movement: Albany, Ga. where police chief and Martin Luther King, Jr. each tested out the strategy of nonviolence in their own way, Birmingham, Ala. where children marched against fire water hoses, and Washington, D.C. where black and white, young and old, north and south came together to march on the nation's capital.  The fourth program in the Eyes on the Prize series, documents the years when the movement embraced a new strategy: the mass demonstration. During these years, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., emerges as the most articulate and charismatic proponent of non-violence as he leads the March on Washington, DC, revealing broad national support for the civil rights movement.

No! : the Rape Documentary / a film by Aishah Shahidah Simmons.   1 DVD videodisc (94 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. HV6558 .N6 2006 VideoDVD : Through intimate testimonies from Black women victim/survivors, commentaries from acclaimed African-American scholars and community leaders, impacting archival footage, spirited music, dance, and performance poetry, NO! unveils the reality of rape, other forms of sexual violence, and healing in African-American communities. Winner of both a juried award and an audience choice award at the 2006 San Diego Women Film Festival, NO! explores how the collective silence about acts of rape and other forms of sexual assault adversely affects African-Americans, while simultaneously encouraging dialogue to bring about healing and reconciliation between all men and women.

Oh Freedom After While  / directed and edited by Steven John Ross ; written and produced by Candace O'Connor and Steven John Ross ; script consultant and producer, Lynn Rubright.  [San Francisco, Calif.] : California Newsreel, [1999]   1 DVD-R videodisc (ca. 56 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  HD1478.U62 M8 1999 VideoDVD : One wintry morning in January 1939, residents of southeastern Missouri awoke to a startling sight. More than 1,000 sharecroppers - mostly African American but whites too - had camped out alongside two state highways with their families and a few meager belongings. They were taking a stand - against the planters, the federal government, and the desperate conditions of their lives....Their tale, told by interweaving recollections by former sharecroppers, their children and scholars with vivid archival footage and striking Farm Security Administration photographs, encapsulates the saga of rural African American life since Emancipation: how Black farmers' back-breaking efforts to become self-sufficient were continually undermined by patterns of land-ownership, swindling planters and misguided government policy; how a debt cycle induced by sharecropping - explained here more clearly than in any other film - condemned them to wretched poverty; and how attempts by sharecroppers to organize and improve their lot were met with often-bloody white opposition....The final straw for these sharecroppers came when they were evicted by planters out to pocket New Deal depression farm subsidies for themselves. The Rev. Owen Whitfield, a cropper and part-time preacher who became vice president of the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union, began to organize the desperate farmers. "Take your eyes out of the sky," Rev. Whitfield preached, "because someone is stealing your bread." Many white sharecroppers also recognized that their interests lay with Rev. Whitfield and joined in his roadside protest strike despite the racist pressures of Jim Crow....Day after day, the protesters huddled in tents with little protection against the frigid cold. The American Red Cross refused to help, calling their struggle "a man-made" disaster. Rev. Whitfield was forced to flee because of threats against his life....But as Rev. Whitfield had hoped, dramatic photos, newspaper stories, and newsreels brought their plight to the nation. An embarrassed state government sent troopers to haul the protesters away to sites far from public view. "Concentration camps," the protesters called them. But students from historically black Lincoln University and activists from St. Louis Committee for the Rehabilitation of the Sharecroppers were attracted to the cause. With their assistance, some sharecroppers, still led by Owen Whitfield, established a cooperative farming community called Cropperville. And the Farm Security Administration was pressured to create ten other communities for sharecroppers in the Missouri Bootheel. Government officials and even planters began to discuss ways to help the sharecroppers....After the changes wrought by WWII and mechanization, residents began moving away from Cropperville the other communities, many joining the migration North. But their protest demonstrated that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. Despite the odds they organized themselves, shut down a highway, attracted national attention, and changed government policies. In the words of the song they sang, many sharecroppers finally did find "Freedom, Oh Freedom, Oh Freedom After While."  For a short clip, visit California Newsreel.

On the Shoulders of Giants / Available as streaming video from NetFlix.  Waiting for listing on Amazon.  : The feature-length documentary On the Shoulders of Giants honors a group of sports pioneers who have been all but forgotten to time, and it celebrates the legacy of a magical game – and the shoulders that today’s players stand on. This story finds its footing in the rhythms of jazz, its roots in the Harlem Renaissance… and its voice in a group of players much too talented to be ignored....Basketball today is a star sport, with the highly paid players, endorsements, and the fan base to prove it. But that wasn’t always the case. In the beginning, those who tried to make a living at it, black or white, had a hardscrabble life. But one immigrant from the West Indies, Bob Douglas, loved the new sport of basketball and was determined to make it profitable. To do this, he would not only have to fight for the game itself, but against the rampant racism that was determined to see him fail. His team, the New York Renaissance Big Five, affectionately known as the Harlem Rens, became the embodiment of a new attitude among African Americans who fought to be recognized for their abilities rather than for the color of their skin. They were the precursors to those brave men and women who, twenty years later, would found the Civil Rights Movement....The story of the Harlem Rens blends almost seamlessly with the burgeoning popularity of a brand-new sound: jazz. Like jazz, the Rens were brash, young, strong, and black; all of which frightened the status quo. Which meant that, no matter how good they were, the Rens would not be given the opportunity to prove it by playing against a white team for a professional title. The best they could do was to finally arrange an exhibition game with a white powerhouse known as the Original Celtics. This pivotal game would have no official status but would show the world that the Rens – and African Americans in general – would no longer be ignored. And indeed, all of Harlem expected a win. The Celtics might be world champs, but the Rens – with jazz in their blood, and the moves to prove it – had an impressive win record....Harlem expected a slaughter against their white opponents, and they got one: in reverse. The final score wasn’t even close. The Rens – the pride and the hope of Harlem – had lost. It was the Depression that began to turn things around, putting many basketball teams, black and white, on the road. The Rens, with their jazz-inspired moves, played the Original Celtics and other white teams, winning many more games than they lost. And though the constant contact turned former enemies – the Harlem Rens and the Original Celtics – into friends, racism was still a powerful nemesis. Bob Douglas’s goal, to have his team compete professionally against white teams, still seemed out of reach....But in 1939, two mavericks decided to create the world’s first integrated professional basketball tournament. There had been other “world championships,” but what made this one closer to living up to its grandiose name was that this would be the first time both black and white teams would compete for a national title. Now the Rens would be forced to prove, once and for all, that they weren’t all talk: going up first against another black powerhouse, the Harlem Globetrotters, and then – if victorious – following that game with their first “official” contest against a white team: the previous year’s champions, the Oshkosh All-Stars. And nobody, but nobody, thought the Rens were ready....Archival footage, innovative 3D graphics and reenactments, along with Interviews with celebrities and sports legends, all combine to tell the story of the greatest basketball team you never heard of – and of the heroes, both sung and unsung, who remind us that we are all standing On the Shoulders of Giants.

One drop  / Elixir Productions Inc. ; writer, producer, director, James Banks.  San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, 2001.  1 VHS videocassette (49 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 1/2 in.  PN1995.9.N38 O54 2001 Videocassette : Explores the recurring and divisive issue in African American communities of
skin color. The film inter-cuts intimate interviews with darker skinned African Americans, lighter skinned African Americans and inter-racial children of black and white parents. It investigates the sensitive topic of color consciousness within the African American community.

Only The Ball Was White  : Heroes of the Negro Leagues / WTTW/Chicago.  [United States] : MPI Home Video, [2007]  1 DVD videodisc (30 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. GV863.A1 O55 2007 VideoDVD  : Before Jackie Robinson broke the racial barrier in 1946, black American baseball players were restricted to playing in segregated leagues. Only the Ball Was White traces the birth and development of professional black teams, the incredible talent spawned there, and the throngs of faithful fans who flocked to the games. This documentary features an engaging look at legendary players Satchel Paige, Roy Campanella, Buck Leonard, Jimmy Crutchfield, and other memorable black athletes. The documentary is based on a book by Robert Peterson.

Out of Control  : Aids in Black and White / ABC News ; produced by Elizabeth Arledge.  [New York, NY] : ABC News Productions, 2006.  1 DVD videodisc (42 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. RA644.A25 O87 2006 VideoDVD : Shortly before his cancer diagnosis, Peter Jennings started work on a one-hour documentary devoted solely to the issue of AIDS in Black America. Jennings's contribution to the hour is a candid group discussion he conducted with HIV-positive African American men in Atlanta. Terry Moran talks to experts in several key areas that contribute to the spread of AIDS in black America. "Out of Control" also reports the results of studies from the Universities of Chicago and North Carolina which shed light on a complex reality that helps explain why heterosexual transmission among African Americans is so common. Moran also reports on the role of the churches.

Out of obscurity / a film from California Newsreel; co-directed by Matt Spangler and Eddie Becker ; written and produced by Matt Spangler ; co-produced by Beth Ann Schmitt.  San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, 1999?]  1 VHS videocassette (approx. 40 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 1/2 in  E185.93.V8 O98 1999 Videocassette : Details a little-known chapter in civil rights history. In 1939 five young men staged what is believed to be the nation's first sit-in at a public library just outside Washington, DC, to protest the "separate, but equal" treatment of African-Americans. Includes a dramatization of the 1939 sit-in and a look at the role of local civil rights activist Samuel Wilbert Taylor.

An outrage / directed, edited, and produced by Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren.  [United States] : Field Studio, [2017]   1 DVD videodisc (34 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.  HV6464 .O98 2017 VideoDVD : Thousands of African Americans confronted, resisted, endured, and perished during the era of lynching in the American South. Beginning with the end of the Civil War and continuing well into the middle of the twentieth century, this extralegal, socially-sanctioned practice of torture and murder claimed the lives of at least 3,959 African American men, women, and children. This past is little-discussed today, even as its wounds fester. ... In town squares and deep in the woods, in secret and on public display, white men, women, and children participated in the kidnapping, mutilation, and killing of African Americans said to have committed serious crimes or minor affronts on white honor. Because lynching was killing that took place outside of the legal system, accusations of wrongdoing were never argued in courts of law. (Many more African Americans were condemned through swift show trials under the guise of justice.) The innocent were murdered again and again. At the height of the lynching epidemic, in the 1890s, one African American was killed somewhere in the South every four days. ... The history of lynching ought to grab us by the collar, compel us to confront fundamental truths — among them, that the present is an ongoing exchange with the past. History is not a long-distance conversation with the dead. The past is persistently present as it perpetuates the old lies of race, tribe, and hierarchy. To tell the truth, we must understand the lies — the outrages — that have produced our present moment.

Selected Documentary Films, P-Q

All African American documentaries are located in the Digital and Multimedia Center unless otherwise indicated. Movies can be checked out unless reserved for a class.

Palmour Street (1957) (23:07 minutes) / Southern Education Film Service. Streaming video : African American life in Georgia in the 1950s. The purpose of this film is to help parents understand the best ways to raise their children, especially in the face of obstacles. We feel it is worth showing to students because it shows an African American family in rural Georgia in the 1950s as a normal functioning family, important images for all to see as the Civil Rights Movement takes over much of the discussion about Black History beginning in this decade.

A Panther in Africa / A film by Aaron Matthews. A co-production of ITVS & P.O.V. with additional funding provided by The New York State Council on the Arts, The Jerome Foundation, and The Brooklyn Arts Council. 2004 71 minutes Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : On October 30, 1969, Pete O'Neal, a young Black Panther, was arrested for transporting a gun across state lines. O'Neal fled the country, and has lived in Tanzania for over 30 years. He is one of the last American exiles from an era when activists considered themselves at war with the US government....O'Neal is torn between two worlds. In his adopted country, he has applied the non-violent elements of the Black Panther movement and says he is "continuing to do the work of the Black Panther Party -- but without guns." He serves the African-American community back in the States, sponsoring an international exchange program between underprivileged American teenagers and Tanzanian youths. And he coordinates study-abroad programs for several U.S. universities, bringing college students to Tanzania to work alongside local youth, teaching English, computer skills and HIV/AIDS awareness....Ironically, despite his long legal battle with the U.S. to vindicate his past, he finds that he feels still very much an American. He struggles to feel connected to his adopted country but is homesick for southern barbecue and jazz. He misses his 83-year old mother who visits him in what may be their last reunion. A Panther in Africa sheds new light on the sixties by showing how one man reinterprets his revolutionary history and applies his life lessons in a new country. Can an aging former revolutionary make peace with exile? Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Paris Blues (1961) (YouTube) 94 minutes : The music of Duke Ellington is given a film treatment by Martin Ritt with Paul Newman (of all people) as the trombone playing composer, Sidney Poitier as his best friend/sax player, Joanne Woodward as Newman's love interest, Dianne Carroll as the conscious black chick for Poitier and (thank heavens) Louis Armstrong as himself. There are also a couple of good supporting performances from Barbara Laage (as Marie Séoul) and André Luguet (as René Bernard).

Passin' It On : the Black Panthers' Search for Justice / producers, John Valadez, Peter Miller, Susanne Rostock ; director, John Valadez. New York : Docurama : Distributed by New Video Group, [2006] 1 DVD videodisc (ca. 102 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. E185.615 .P377 2006 VideoDVD : A gritty and soulful classic film, PASSIN’ IT ON is the story of one man in search of justice who is wronged by the nation with which he is at odds. Part indictment, part redemption tale, the film offers startling insight into the role of the Black Panther Party in a social revolution, and the New York Police Department and the FBI’s devious targeting of one of the organization’s most fervent leaders--Dhoruba Bin Wahad (born Richard Moore). Emerging from the Bronx ghettoes and a life of petty crime, Dhoruba dived headfirst into the Black Power movement, serving breakfast to school children with one hand while wielding a gun with the other. Amid a national program of FBI-led appression against the Panthers, Dhoruba was framed on the flimsy evidence of the wounding and grotesque disfigurement of two police officers and sent to prison. After trials and mistrails, incarceration and eventual acquittal 19 years later, a still-impassioned Dhoruba, whis attorneys, and other Panthers finally tell this incredible tale of race, revolution, and redemption. "A visually compelling film that speaks of a movement, not only a man" (NPR), PASSIN’ IT ON bristles with poetry and the exhilarating recollections of a true American political prisoner.

Paul Robeson : 20th Century Renaissance Man, Entertainer and Activist / adaptation and re-editing produced and edited by Brian Stewart. Venice, CA : TMW Media Group, c2009. 1 DVD-R (30 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. E185.97.R63 P385 2009 VideoDVD : Redefining race relations through public discourse helped make a legend of multitalented performer, writer, athlete and civil rights activist Paul Robeson. For Robeson, this propensity ultimately cost him his career, leading to his blacklisting during the McCarthy era.

Paul Robeson : Speak of Me As I Am / Warner Vision International ; a BBC Wales/NJN Public Television/NVC Arts co-production ; produced and directed by Rachel Harmer. West Long Branch, NJ : Kultur International, [2007] 1 DVD videodisc (58 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 4 3/4 in. E185.97.R63 P384 2007 VideoDVD : The story of an African-American man who influenced and was one of the front-runners of the civil rights movement in the 1960's is shown in this program that also examines his life as a scholar, athlete, humanitarian, artist, and other things.

Paul Robeson : the Tallest Tree in Our Forest / Phoenix Films ; a Like It Is special presentation ; produced & written, reported by Gil Noble. North Hollywood, CA : Hollywood Select Video : Distributed by Timeless Video Inc., c1993. 1 VHS videocassette (86 min.) ML420.R73 P3 1993 Videocassette : A documentary on the life and career of singer, actor, and political activist Paul Robeson. Includes archival footage and still photographs and presents interviews with friends and admirers of Robeson. Videocassette release of 1977 motion picture.

Paul Robeson by Clairmont Barnes and Rex Barnett (Landmark Media, 1995) 31:51 mins. streaming video from Black Studies in Video

Pioneers of African American CinemaKino Lorber Edu, 1946.  Available as streaming video via Kanopy. : Among the most fascinating chapters of film history is that of the so-called "race films" that flourished in the 1920s - '40s. Unlike the "black cast" films produced within the Hollywood studio (such as Stormy Weather or Green Pastures), these films not only starred African Americans but were funded, written, produced, directed, distributed, and often exhibited by people of color. Entrepreneurial filmmakers not only built an industry apart from the Hollywood establishment, they cultivated visual and narrative styles that were uniquely their own. ..Defying convention and operating outside the studio system, these filmmakers were the forefathers (and -mothers) of the French New Wave, the L.A. Rebellion, and the entirety of American indie cinema. Previously circulated in poor-quality 16mm prints, these newly restored versions allow us to witness the legacies of Oscar Micheaux, Spencer Williams, and James and Eloyce Gist with fresh eyes - proving that, anything but imitative, these Pioneers of African-American Cinema were purely innovative.

Pioneers of African-American Cinema / Kino Lorber presents.  New York, NY : Kino Lorber, [2015]-     PN1995.9.N4 P57 2015 VideoDVD : "Early African-American filmmakers created these films outside the Hollywood system, an expression of a then-powerful niche market that was sometimes regionally distributed, sometimes driven by celebrity, and always reflective of an African-American point of view. Early African-American cinema reveals sophisticated and nuanced treatment of important social issues largely ignored by mainstream movies. The restoration of these films comes at a time when they're deeply relevant to an informed discussion of race in America. The humor, passion and craft exhibited in these works speak volumes about the dedication of cinematic pioneers to their intended audiences as well as their influence on mainstream culture."  Contents include: vol. 1. Spencer Williams. The blood of Jesus (1941) (56 min.) / written and directed by Spencer Williams ; Dirty Gertie from Harlem U.S.A. (1946) / written by True T. Thompson ; directed by Spencer Williams (60 min.) ; Hot biskits (1931) / written and directed by Spencer Williams (10 min.) -- vol. 2. Oscar Mischeaux. The girl from Chicago (1933) / from the story "Jeff Ballinger's woman" ; story, adaptation & direction by Oscar Micheaux (70 min.) ; Birthright: a story of the Negro - and the South (1938) / from the novel by T.S. Stribling ; a Micheaux production ; adapted by Oscar Micheaux (73 min.) ; Darktown revue (1930) (18 min.) / Micheaux Films presents ; Veiled aristocrats (trailer) (1932) (4 min.) / from Chas. W. Chesnutt's novel -- vol. 3. Silent rarities. By right of birth (4 min. ; 1921) ; The Flying ace (65 min.) / produced by Norman Studios ; Regeneration (11 min. ; 1923) / Norman Film Mfg. Co. ; Scar of shame (76 min. ; 1927) / Colored Players Film Corporation presents ; story by David Starkman ; director, Frank Perugini -- vol. 4. Oscar Micheaux, cont'd. Ten to minutes to live (58 min. ; 1932) / A. Burton Russell presents ; director, writer, Oscar Micheaux ; Within our gates (73 min. ; 1919) / Oscar Micheaux presents; written directed and produced by Oscar Micheaux -- vol. 5. Body and soul (93 min.) / a film by Oscar Michaeux ; Eleven P.M. (66 min.) / Richard D. Maurice presents -- vol. 6. Hellbound train (51 min.) / James and Eloyce Gist ; The symbol of the unconquered : a story of the Ku Klux Klan (66 min.) / written, produced and directed by Oscar Micheaux -- vol. 7. Ten nights in a bar room (64 min.) / Colored Players Film Corporation presents ; directed by Roy Calnek -- vol. 8. A Black Sherlock Holmes (13 min.) -- Bronze buckaroo (58 min.) -- Heaven-bound travelers (15 min.) -- The Exile (78 min.) -- Two knights of vaudeville (11 min.) -- vol. 9. A reckless rover (14 min.) -- Mercy mummy (13 min.) -- Moses sisters interview (32 min.) -- Rev. SS Jones home movies (16 min.) -- Verdict not guilty (8 min.) -- We work again (15 min.).

Pioneers of African-American Cinema / Kino Classics ; Library of Congress ; curated by Charles Musser and Jacqueline Najuma Stewart ; executive producer, Paul D. Miller ; producer, Bret Wood.  New York, NY : Kino Classics, 2016.   5 Blu-ray videodiscs (approximately 1,227 min.) : silent and sound, black and white and color tinted ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet (76 pages : illustrations ; 18 cm)  PN1995.9.N4 P57 2016 Blu-ray Video  discs 1-5 & booklet

A place of rage / Channel Four Television ; producer/director, Pratibha Parmar ; executive producer, Debra Hauer.  New York, NY : Women Make Movies, 1991.  1 DVD videodisc (54 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.61 .P375 1991 VideoDVD : This exuberant celebration of African American women and their achievements features interviews with Angela Davis, June Jordan and Alice Walker. Within the context of the civil rights, Black power and feminist movements, the trio reassess how women such as Rosa Parks and Fannie Lou Hamer revolutionized American society. A stirring chapter in African American history, highlighted by music from Prince, Janet Jackson, the Neville Brothers and the Staple Singers.

Prelude to Revolution : Huey P. Newton in Jail / Cougnar Productions ; produced and directed by John Evans. [Santa Monica] : Xenon , 2009. 1 DVD videodisc (35 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. E185.615 .P74 2009 VideoDVD : Huey P. Newton was a co-founder of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, an organization FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover once called "the greatest internal threat to the security of the United States." He spent four years in prison for the voluntary manslaughter of an Oakland police officer before his conviction was overturned in 1971. This powerful documentary features an exclusive interview by filmmaker John Evans with Newton during his incarceration, wherein Newton discusses his goals as a revolutionary, including self-determination for African-Americans, full employment, decent housing for the poor and disenfranchised, an end to police brutality, and an end to the Vietnam War.

Prince Among Slaves / [a presentation of the National Black Programming Consortium and is a production of Unity Productions Foundation in association with Spark Media and Duke Media ; co-producer and co-writer, Raki Jones] ; directed, produced and written by Andrea Kalin ; reenactments directed by Bill Duke. [Alexandria, VA] : Distributed by PBS Home Video, c2008. 1 DVD videodisc (ca. 60 min.) E444.I25 A782 2008 VideoDVD : In 1788, a slave ship sailed from the Gambia River with hundreds of men, women and children bound in chains. Eight months later, a handful of survivors were sold in Natchez, Mississippi. One of them made an astonishing claim: he was a prince of an African kingdom larger and more developed than the newly formed United States. The true story of an African prince who endured the humiliation of slavery without losing his dignity or hope of freedom. Based on the book Prince among slaves by Terry Alford. More information from PBS.

Prom Night in Mississippi (2009) / HBO Documentary Films and RTM Productions ; directed & produced by Paul Saltzman ; produced by Patricia Aquino. [United States] : Distributed by New Video Group, 2009. 1 DVD videodisc (ca. 89 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. E185.61 .P766 2009 VideoDVD : Back in 1954, the landmark Supreme Court decision known as Brown v. Board of Education struck down state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students. But towns like Charleston, Mississippi, the subject of Paul Saltzman's 2008 documentary Prom Night in Mississippi, were a bit slow on the uptake. It wasn't until 1970 that the high school was integrated; even then, nearly 40 more years passed before the senior prom was allowed to follow suit. In 1997 actor Morgan Freeman, a Charleston native, offered to pay for the prom if both black and white students were included, but his offer was rebuffed. Freeman, noting that "tradition is one thing, [but] idiocy is another," tried again in 2008, and this time it worked; the senior class voted unanimously for integration, and administrators and teachers were receptive as well. But as the school began its preparations for this historic event, it was soon apparent that it would not be easy. There was considerable resistance from some of the parents and other adults steeped in the area's legacy of racism; in fact, while the mixed prom would go on as planned, it was preceded by another, all-white event (it's telling that the organizers of the white prom refused to appear on camera for the documentary). But some of the other parents we see are deeply, honestly conflicted, including blue-collar "redneck" (his description) Glen Sumner, whose daughter is one of the very few students involved in an interracial relationship. The kids are for the most part great. In interview after interview, these wise, well-spoken young people express their respect for their parents while questioning their attitudes, ingenuously wondering why the world is so harsh. In the end, following weeks of choosing the right clothes, having their hair done, and so on, they come together to make the mixed prom a rousing success, creating an uplifting end to this well-made, compelling film.

Promised Land : Montgomery After Martin Luther King, Jr. / An Otmoor Production. 1993. 50 minutes. Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : This program sets out to portray the current tensions and frustrations, hopes and fears, of this divided city that was at the center of the civil rights struggle in the '50's and '60's. Here is where it all started in 1955 with the famous bus boycott led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ten years later, Montgomery was the symbolic goal of the march from Selma to protest restrictions on black voters, when many marchers were beaten by police....Images of those years are interwoven with the experiences of Montgomery's black citizens today. Vanzetta, a lawyer, recounts how the whites fled when she moved into their middle-class neighborhood. Harold and Lloyd are brothers who own a hairdressing shop. Theirs is one of the few black businesses to survive in this racially divided city. Paget took her employers at a fast food shop to court after she was fired because white customers complained that there were too many black employees. "It's important to make a stand on something," she says....Rev. Ralph Abernathy voices the suspicion that King's involvement in the poor people's campaign was the cause of King's death. He believes it was too radical a movement to be tolerated by the American power structure. Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Proudly we served : the men of the USS Mason / written and directed by Mary Pat Kelly ; produced by Mary Pat Kelly, Oshunyomi Mugwana, Onikwa Bill Wallace.  [Harrington Park, N.J.] : Janson Media, c2011.  1 DVD videodisc (58 min.) : sd., b&w, some col. ; 4 3/4 in.   D774.M36 K453 2011 VideoDVD  : This is the true story of the USS Mason, the only African-American sailors to take a U.S. Navy warship into battle during World War II. The film interweaves the stories of crew members with archival footage of the ship and crew produced by the Navy. As a result of the attention created by this documentary, the crew members were finally awarded the Letters of Commendation which they were recommended for in 1944, but had not received.

A Question of Color / Film Two Productions ; produced, directed and written by Kathe Sandler. California Newsreel, 1992. 1 VHS videocassette (58 min.) E185.625 .Q47 1992 Videocassette   Also available as streaming video from Black Studies in Video : Examines the issue of color consciousness within the black community. This film explores a caste system based on how closely skin color, hair texture and facial features conform to a European ideal. A variety of African Americans give their experiences and attitudes towards the question of color. For more information, visit California Newsreel.

Selected Documentary Films, R

All African American documentaries are located in the Digital and Multimedia Center unless otherwise indicated.  Movies can be checked out unless reserved for a class. 

Race Against Prime Time by David Shulman, directed by David Shulman (California Newsreel, 1985) 60:04 mins. streaming video from Black Studies in Video. : only film to scrutinize how television news represents African Americans. This hard-hitting documentary takes us behind the scenes as thenews gets made: what we see - and what we don't.

Race and Politics in America's Cities / a production of Public Affairs Television, Inc. ; a presentation of Thirteen/WNET New York ; producers, Gail Ablow ... [et. al.] ; director, Wayne Palmer.  Hamilton, NJ : Films for the Humanities, c2008.  1 DVD videodisc (58 min.)  E185.615 .R334 2008 VideoDVD  : On the 40th anniversary of the landmark Kerner Commission Report on civil unrest, this edition of the Journal spotlights former Oklahoma Senator Fred Harris, one of the last living members of the original Commission, who discusses the root causes of the 1960s riots that rocked Newark, Detroit, and other U.S. cities. Harris reflects on his ongoing commitment to the cause of reducing racism and deep poverty in inner cities. Bill Moyers then interviews Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Cory Booker, a dynamic voice for urban reform who shares the lessons he has learned and his vision for a brighter future for his city.

Race Movies: The Popular Art of the 1920's (Smithsonian Institution) streaming video from Internet Archive (FedFlix) : The program explores the contributions to filmmaking by blacks through the twenties, with a focus on the films and the production companies.  Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution Anacostia Neighborhood Museum, 1985.

Race or Reason, The Bellport Dilemma / Produced by Betty Puleston and Lynne Jackson.  2003.  58 minutes.  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : In 1969-70, when race riots were sweeping across America in the wake of the civil rights movement, Bellport, a small town on Long Island, NY, was caught in the storm. The town was divided between its poor African-American and Puerto Rican population and affluent whites. The local high school became the scene of angry confrontations, resulting in its temporary closure and a police presence....The house of community resident Betty Puleston was being used as a meeting place where black, white and Latino students could air their grievances. To help further, she gave the students two port-a-pac video cameras following a concept introduced by the National Film Board of Canada. The hope was that media could be used to facilitate dialogue. That hope was realized, as the students recorded their concerns and felt empowered by being able to question adults in their community....Thirty years later these same students regroup to view the tapes. Despite some lack of production values of these early black-and-white tapes, the images clearly reveal the passion of the young activists who felt that minority rights could no longer be ignored. We learn that the students have gone on to lead productive lives -- a social worker, lawyer, community organizer, and a policeman are among them....This film will introduce today's youth to the racial problems of the 70's, where suburban schools, even in the North, did not employ African-American teachers nor teach black history. It will inspire students, knowing that they can make a difference as their predecessors did. And it will show how effective media can be to facilitate conflict resolution. Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers. 

Race : the Power of an Illusion / produced by California Newsreel ; in association with the Independent Television Service, c2003.  3 VHS videocassettes (174 min.) GN269 .R33 2003 Videocassette : Episode one explores how recent scientific discoveries have toppled the concept of biological race. Episode two questions the belief that race has always been with us. It traces the race concept to the European conquest of the Americas. Episode three focuses on how our institutions shape and create race.  Also available from Video on Demand for a small fee.  For more information, visit California Newsreel.

Race to Execution / a Lioness Media Arts Production, Directed and produced by Rachel V. Lyon.  2007.  54 minutes Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : Race to Execution" is a gripping documentary that offers a compelling investigation of America’s death penalty, probing how race discrimination infects our capital punishment system. The film neither advocates nor repudiates the death penalty; instead, it enlarges the conversation regarding capital punishment, focusing attention on race-of-jury as well as race-of-victim....Research reveals that our justice system is far worse than arbitrary and capricious; it has deteriorated significantly in the last twenty years. Highlighted is a well-documented indicator of this trend - the higher value placed on the lives of white victims. Once a victim’s body is discovered, the race of the victim and the accused deeply influence the legal process: from how a crime scene is investigated, to the deployment of police resources, to the interrogation and arrest of major suspects, to how media portrays the crime, and, ultimately, jury selection and sentencing....The film traces the fates of two death row inmates: Robert Tarver in Russell County, Alabama, and Madison Hobley in Chicago. Their compelling personal stories are enlarged and enriched by attorneys who fought for these men’s lives, and by prosecutors, criminal justice scholars, and experts in the fields of law and the media. These varied voices contribute to a thoughtful examination of the factors that influence who lives and who dies at the hands of the state. While recent death penalty documentaries have focused on innocence and the wrongfully accused, "Race to Execution" tackles a more difficult, more complex issue: the prevalence and influence of racial bias in capital punishment cases.  Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Racial Profiling  / ABC News Productions.  New York, N.Y. : NBC News Productions ; Kisco, N.Y. : Distributed by Human Relations Media, c2004.  1 VHS videocssette (41 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. 1 teacher's guide (18 p. ; 22 cm.) HV7936.R3 R33 2004 Videocassette : The issue of racial profiling of minorities by police is highly-charged with legal, political, ethical and social implications. This report examines the issue from the points of view of ordinary black Americans, the police and social scientists.

Ralph Ellison : an American journey / directed by Avon Kirkland and Elsie Robertson.  San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, 2002.  1 streaming video file (87 min.) available via Black Studies in Video.  : First documentary on one of the most gifted and intellectually provocative authors of modern American literature ... presents the first scenes ever filmed from Ellison's landmark novel, Invisible man.

Ralph Ellison : Invisible Man, Celebrated Writer. [United States] : TMW Media Group, 2009.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 19 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.   PS3555.L625 Z5 R35 2009 VideoDVD   : Ralph Ellison wrote a novel -- Invisible Man -- that would become an allegory for blacks' struggle for recognition and would help raise consciousness about what it means to be black in America.  Part of the Black American Experience series.

Rap, Race, and Equality / An Elliot/Burberry Production.  2003.  50 minutes.  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : Rap, Race & Equality captures the essence of the cultural phenomenon of rap music during its formative years in the early 1990s when it exploded onto the world stage. The film is an important historical document featuring rap's most influential and controversial artists such as Ice Cube, Ice T, and Queen Latifah who have become international media stars....The film unmasks the issues behind the music, such as racism, sexism, economic and social inequality, and cultural identity. Rappers speak openly and passionately about their music and the attitude their words embody. Media commentators Jon Pareles of the New York Times and Dr. Tricia Rose provide illuminating insight into the music's cultural and political significance. They suggest that rap music flows out of the African storytelling tradition. Rap artists have fostered a greater cultural awareness and sense of pride in young African-Americans. Indeed, the rhythm and energy are the heartbeat of a new generation around the world. Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Reaching the Finish Line : Black Athletes and Civil Rigts / Films for the Humanities & Sciences.  Princeton, NJ : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c1999.  1 VHS videocassette (ca. 32 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.  GV706.32 R434 1999 Videocassette : This program evaluates the societal contributions of Joe Louis, Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson, Toni Stone, Willie O'Ree, and Arthur Ashe - sports icons who, with commitment and perseverance, broke the color barrier in professional athletics, paving the way for later civil rights victories.

Reconstruction  : the second Civil War / original concept developed by Paul Taylor ; WGBH Boston.  Burbank, CA : Distributed by Warner Home Video, c2004.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 180 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  E668 .R43 2004 VideoDVD : Spanning the years from 1863 to 1877, this dramatic mini-series recounts the tumultuous post-Civil War years. America was grappling with rebuilding itself, with bringing the South back into the Union, and with how best to offer citizenship to former slaves. Stories of key political players in Washington are interwoven with those of ordinary people caught up in the turbulent social and political struggles of Reconstruction.

Red Tail Reborn  / Hemlock Films presents an Adam White film ; direction, Adam White ; producers, Hallie Sheck and Adam White.  [Bedford, OH] : Hemlock Films, c2007.  2 DVD videodiscs (55 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. D810.N4 R43 2007 VideoDVD  1-2 : Tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American fighter pilots, who fought during World War II.

Reflections unheard : Black women in civil rights / a film by Nevline Nnaji ; director, Nevline Nnaji ; Yello Kat Productions. New York : Women Make Movies, 2013.   1 DVD videodisc (81 minutes) : sound, color with black and white sequences ; 4 3/4 in.   E185.615 .R445 2013 VideoDVD  : Where do black women activists fit into the epochal struggles for equality and liberation during the 1960s and 70s? This feature-length documentary unearths the story of black women’s political marginalization—between the male-dominated Black Power movement and second wave feminism, which was largely white and middle class—showing how each failed to recognize black women’s overlapping racial and gender identities. Archival footage and in-depth interviews with former members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), SNCC’s Black Women’s Liberation Committee, the Black Panther Party, Third World Women’s Alliance, and the National Black Women’s Feminist Organization reveal how black women mobilized, fought for recognition, and raised awareness of how sexism and class issues affected women of color within and outside The Black Power Movement and mainstream feminism. Prominently featured activists include Frances Beale, Angela Davis, Kola Boof, Nikki Giovanni, Rosemari Mealy, Judy Richardson, Gwendolyn Simmons, Deborah Singletary, and Eugenia Wiltshire. Required viewing for Women’s Studies, African American Studies, and students of the Civil Rights Movement.

Revolution '67  / California Newsreel presents a Bongiorno Production ; by Marylou and Jerome Bongiorno ; Independent Television Service (ITVS) ; POV/American Documentary Inc., in association with WSKG ; producer/director, Marylou Tibaldo-Bongiorno.  [S.l.] : Bongiorno Productions, Inc., 2007.   1 DVD videodisc (173 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 4 3/4 in.  HV6481.N5 R48 2007 VideoDVD : Also available as streaming video from Black Studies in Video.   Focuses on the explosive urban rebellion in Newark, New Jersey, in July 1967, to reveal the long-standing racial, economic, and political forces which generated inner city poverty and perpetuate it today. Newark residents, police, officials, and urban commentators, including writer/activist Amiri Baraka, journalist Bob Herbert, prominent historians, and ‘60s activist Tom Hayden, recount the vivid, day-to-day details of the uprising. But they also trace those traumatic days back to decades of industrial decline, unemployment, job and housing discrimination, federal programs favoring suburbs over cities, police impunity, political corruption, and a costly, divisive overseas war. Americans should not have been surprised when race wars exploded, turning cities into combat zones, bringing Vietnam back home....The spark igniting this firestorm of pent-up rage in Newark was, as is so often, an encounter between a black man and the police. On July 12th, 1967, two white officers stopped a black taxi driver for a minor traffic violation, beat him, and dragged him into the local precinct. A rumor spread rapidly through black neighborhoods that the driver had died. Though this proved to be untrue, years of police brutality incited a crowd to rampage through the streets, breaking windows, and looting white-owned businesses reputed to cheat their black customers. The next night, a mass protest meeting erupted into more widespread violence....Mayor Hugh Addonizio, subsequently imprisoned for graft, panicked and called Governor Richard J. Hughes, who summoned the New Jersey National Guard. Tanks rolled through Newark's streets, black neighborhoods were cordoned off with barbed wire, and check-points set-up. The police and Guard, untrained in crowd control, fired indiscriminately into housing projects, killing innocent bystanders. But the national press, including The New York Times and Life magazine, blamed the deaths on "black snipers," demonizing young African American men as ruthless guerillas, the domestic equivalent of the Viet Cong. When later examined, 13,000 rounds of ammunition were fired by law enforcement during the so-called riots, while less than 100 rounds were found which could have come from the alleged snipers; no one was ever charged as a sniper. In all, 26 people died, 24 of them African American, and 725 were wounded during those six days in July....REVOLUTION '67 connects the Newark tragedy and the racial disturbances in Detroit, Watts, and over 500 other U.S. cities during the '60s to decades of indifference and discrimination. Historian Clement A. Price points out that Newark had always functioned as a launching pad for newly arrived European immigrants, offering poverty wages, back-breaking factory jobs, and run-down housing in exchange for a chance to move on, up, and out. But the "racialization" of American society made it impossible for Southern blacks to follow this classic path to the "American Dream." Job and housing discrimination locked them into inner city ghettoes. Starting in the early 1900s, corporate disinvestment from the industrialized North to low wage states, and now "off-shore" to the developing world, left Newark without jobs, manufacturing, a tax base, and a future, walled off from America's unprecedented affluence....Historian Kenneth T. Jackson explains how federal policies, such as cheap mortgages and tax deductions for home ownership, encouraged whites to abandon urban centers for the sprawling suburbs. Public and private investment poured into suburban housing, commercial development, and a massive superhighway network, neglecting urban renewal, industrial growth, and efficient public transportation. African Americans were barred from these suburbs by discriminatory lending policies, exclusionary housing covenants, and, of course, lower incomes. "White flight" from Newark became a stampede, accelerating after July '67. Neighborhoods were "red-lined," block-busting was rampant, housing prices plummeted; many owners simply walked away from their homes which sold for as little as $100 at auction. Newark was discarded to the poor; not a single movie theater or supermarket remained open; once thriving streets became lined with pawnshops and loan sharks....The 1968 Kerner Commission's definitive report on the urban disturbances of the '60s recommended massive federal investment in inner city jobs, education, housing, and anti-discrimination enforcement. But the film's postscript, "Newark Today," finds that by 2007, the 40th anniversary of the insurrection, little had improved. The population dropped from 450,000 in 1950 to 277,000 in 2006. Unemployment is more than double the national average, as is the poverty rate. While 70% of students nationwide pass the regular high school exit exam, only 20% do in Newark. As in many decaying cities, there is talk of a renaissance, centered on new, publicly-funded arts and sports centers in the downtown area, that serve only to benefit politicians, bankers, and developers, but not the city’s neighborhoods. Newark’s last three mayors, including Former Mayor Sharpe James, featured in the film, have all been indicted, one convicted. In addition, a steady stream of community leaders, including councilmen, a mayor’s chief of staff and a police chief, have also been indicted or convicted. Urban specialists assert that without jobs for the poor and a strong middle class demanding good schools and efficient public services, inter-generational poverty will continue to breed low citizen expectations both for themselves and for their city government. Others, more radical, believe it is time to take to the streets again, time for a real revolution, based on mobilizing and empowering Newark from the grassroots up. Revolution '67 makes it clear that the underlying causes and consequences of Newark’s 1967 rebellion still haunt us.  Trailer.

Revolution in Africans In America Episode 2 (Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), 1998) 85:45 mins. Streaming video from American History in VideoAccess limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Richard Wright : Black boy / written, produced and directed by Madison Davis Lacy ; dramatic scenes directed by Horace Ové ; a Mississippi Educational Television/BBC production.  San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, 1994.  Available as streaming video from Black Studies in Video.  Also available as streaming video via Kanopy. : Richard Wright - Black Boy is an Emmy Award winning film -- the first documentary film on the life, work and legacy of Richard Wright. Born outside Natchez, Mississippi in 1908, Wright overcame a childhood of poverty and oppression to become one of America's most influential writers. His first major works, Native Son and Black Boy, were runaway best sellers which are still mainstays of high school and college literature and composition classes. According to critic Irving Howe, "The day Native Son appeared American culture was changed forever." Three years in the making, underwritten by the National Endowment for the Humanities and produced by Eyes on the Prize veteran Madison D. Lacy, Richard Wright - Black Boy is destined to become a definitive literary biography. It skillfully intercuts dramatic excerpts from Wright's own work with historical footage and the recollections of friends, associates and scholars such as Ralph Ellison, Margaret Walker, and Wright's daughter, Julia. They trace Wright's later development as a writer back to the brutality and racism of his Southern childhood - his father deserted the family, his uncle was lynched and he often went hungry. Wright's indelible portrayal of Bigger Thomas in Native Son and his own autobiography Black Boy lay bare the tragic connection between racism and powerlessness, despair, and self-destructive violence in many black males. Wright played an important role in many of the important social movements of his time. The film follows his journey through the Chicago black cultural Renaissance of the '30s, the Communist Party during the Depression, the witch-hunts of the McCarthy era and the American expatriate community in Paris in the '50s. This biography urges us to take a fresh look at the often-neglected work of Wright's exile years including The Long Dream and his championing of Pan Africanism and the newly emerging nations of Africa and Asia. By the time of his mysterious death in 1960 at age 52, Wright had left an indelible mark on African American letters, indeed, on the American imagination. This film biography demonstrates Wright's life-long belief that "words can be weapons against injustice."

Richard Wright : Native Son, Author, and Activist.  [United States] : Tmw Media Group, 2009.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 28 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PS3545.R815 Z5 R53 2009 VideoDVD  : Redefining race relations through public discourse helped make a legend of literary giant Richard Wright (Native Son).  For Wright, it fueled a body of work that brought the experience of being black in America to the world at large. Follows Wright's arduous path from sharecropper to literary giant. In 1937 his work began to garner national attention for its political and social commentary. Becoming disgruntled with America's treatment of its black citizens, he became an expatriate in Paris, France.  Part of the Black American Experience series.

A Ripple of Hope / Covenant Productions ; director, Donald Boggs.  U.S. : PBS, 2010.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 60 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. E846 .R57 2010 VideoDVD : It was April 4, 1968. At 6:01 p.m., across the street from the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, a gunman fired a rifle-and the leader of the civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., lay mortally wounded. As news of King's assassination spread, American cities were engulfed in chaos and fear. Urban areas erupted in riots. Fires burned out of control. Dozens of people were killed. Robert F. Kennedy, meanwhile, was en route to Indianapolis, where at 9 p.m. he was scheduled to make a campaign appearance in an African-American neighborhood. Pressing questions arose: Should Kennedy venture into the heart of the Indianapolis inner city and talk to the potentially volatile crowd gathered in a park? What could he say that would assuage their grief? Should he defy the Indianapolis city officials who ordered him to stay away? Would his life be in danger? Kennedy didn't blink. Despite the violence raging across the country, he courageously kept his promise to speak, climbing up on a shaky flatbed truck and delivering a moving, extemporaneous plea for peace and reconciliation-a talk that eventually would be regarded as one of the great political speeches of the twentieth century. A Ripple of Hope draws on interviews with Kennedy aides and associates, as well as "everyday people" who were in the crowd that night, to tell the story of an inspiring moment in American history.

Rise! (1940-1968).    2013.  57 minutes. Part of the African Americans Series.   :  Rise! examines the long road to civil rights, when the deep contradictions in American society finally became unsustainable. Beginning in World War II, African Americans who helped fight fascism abroad came home to face the same old racial violence. But this time, mass media -- from print to radio and TV -- broadcast that injustice to the world, planting seeds of resistance. And the success of black entrepreneurs and entertainers fueled African-American hopes and dreams....  In December 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama, heralding the dawn of a new movement of quiet resistance, with the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as its public face. Before long, masses of African Americans practiced this nonviolent approach at great personal risk to integrate public schools, lunch counters and more....  As the civil rights movement scored one historic victory after another, non-violence was still all too often met with violence -- until finally, enough was enough. By 1968, Dr. King, the apostle of non-violence, would be assassinated, unleashing a new call for "Black Power" across the country.

The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow / a co-production of Quest Productions, VideoLine Productions and Thirteen/WNET New YorkCalifornia Newsreel, [2004?] c2002. 1 DVD videodisc (224 min.) E185.61 .R57 2004 VideoDVD : Offers the first comprehensive look at race relations in America between the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement. This definitive four-part series documents the context in which the laws of segregation known as the "Jim Crow" system originated and developed.  Program 1. Promises betrayed (1865-1896): Whites pass laws to segregate and disenfranchise African Americans; Ida B. Wells and Booker T. Washington lead struggles for justice -- Program 2. Fighting back (1896-1917): Black America's new middle class faces increasing white violence; W.E.B. DuBois joins the NAACP -- Program 3. Don't shout too soon (1917-1940): Returning Black WWI soldiers intensify calls for justice; Charles Hamilton Houston wins the first Supreme Court victory -- Program 4. Terror and triumph (1940-1954): Intense white violence will not stop triumphant freedom fighters; The Brown v. Board of Education launches the civil rights movement.  Note : Also available in the MSU College of Law Library Reserve Collection.  For more information, visit California Newsreel.

Rising From the Rails : the Story of the Pullman Porter / produced & directed by Brad Osborne.  Dallas, Tex. : AMS Production Group, c2006.  1 DVD videodisc (47 min.) : sd., col.& b&W ; 4 3/4 in.  HD8039.R362 U68 2006 VideoDVD   Or check out the book of the same title.  : A documentary that chronicles the legacy of the Pullman Porters, generations of African American men who served as caretakers to wealthy white passengers on luxury trains that traversed the nation during the golden age of rail.

The Road to Brown  : the Untold Story of "the Man Who Killed Jim Crow" / University of VirginiaCalifornia Newsreel, c1990.  1 videocassette (VHS) (47:35 min.) E185.61 .R63 1990 Videocassette : The story of segregation and the brilliant legal campaign against it which helped to launch the Civil Rights movement. Also a moving and long-overdue tribute to a daring but little known Black lawyer, Charles Hamilton Houston - "the man who killed Jim Crow". Charles Houston, Dean of Howard University Law School, realized that an attack on the legal basis of segregated education would undermine Jim Crow. In a taut constitutional detective story, the video untangles the cases that led to the landmark 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision. Finally, the video revisits the "New South" of integrated schools and black elected officials. Though much has changed, America still has far to go along the road to equality and social justice.  For more information, visit California Newsreel.

The Road to Brown by William Elwood and Mykola Kulish (California Newsreel, 1990) 57:23 mins.  steaming video from Black Studies in Video 

Roads to Memphis  : the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.  / produced by Amanda Pollak ; written by Michelle Ferrari ; directed by Stephen Ives.  [Boston] : WGBH Educational Foundation : Distributed by PBS Distribution, c2010.  1 DVD videodisc (83 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.97.K5 R63 2010 VideoDVD ;  Documents the story of assassin, James Earl Ray, his target, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the turbulent forces in American society that led these two men to their violent and tragic collision in Memphis in April of 1968. Explores the disparate, yet entwined stories of Ray and King to create a complex portrait of America in 1968.  Bonus video: Writing American history, interview with Hampton Sides.  For the moment you can watch Road to Memphis online.

Role of Sojourner Truth in women's suffrage movement  / C-SPAN.  West Lafayette, IN : C-SPAN Archives, c2009.  1 DVD videodisc (55 min.) : col., sd. ; 4 3/4 in. E185.97.T8 R64 2009 VideoDVD : Participants talked to reporters about a campaign to include Sojourner Truth in a monument to the women's suffrage movement in the U.S. Capitol. Following their remarks they answered questions from reporters.  Recording of a press conference organized by the National Congress of Black Women on Aug. 15, 2002 at National Press Club (Washington, D.C.), and subsequently broadcast on C-SPAN.

Roots of Resistance  : a story of the underground railroad / produced and directed by Orlando Bagwell ; co-produced by Susan Bellows ; writer, Theodore Thomas ; a Roja Productions film for the American experience ; presented by WGBH/Boston, WNET/New York and KCET/Los Angeles.  [United States] : PBS Video, 1990.  1 VHS videocassette (58 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 1/2 in. + 1 student worksheet. E450 .R78 1990 Videocassette : Recounts the story of the underground railroad through narratives of escaped slaves. Includes interviews with descendants of slaves and slave holders of Somerset Place, a plantation in North Carolina, who describe the personal danger and terrible risk involved in each slave's departure.  Part of the American Experience series.

Rosa Parks: The Path to Freedom (Filmakers Library, 1996) 25:43 mins.  Streaming video from American History in VideoAccess limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

The Rosa Parks Story / Jaffe/Braunstein Films, Ltd. ; CBS Television ; produced by Christine Sacani, Elaine Eason Steele, Pearl Devers ; written by Paris Qualles ; directed by Julie Dash.  [Santa Monica, CA] : Xenon Pictures, [2002]  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 100 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.97.P3 R67 2002 VideoDVD : Dramatic biography of Rosa McCauley Parks, who in 1955 created the spark that began the modern Civil Rights Movement.  Note: also available as part of the ROVI Movie Collection AN9 D0021606 VideoDVD

Rosa Parks : The Path To Freedom / Kingberry Productions in association with WDIV-TV.  1996.  26 minutes.  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : It has been only forty years since the fateful day that Mrs. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, yet the chain of events that she set in motion has changed the world forever. In honor of this anniversary, Kingberry Productions (which produced The Freedom Train) has compiled a biography of this dynamic but quiet woman, whose demand for her civil rights led to the social changes of the sixties....This documentary contains an overview of the events that took place in Montgomery, Alabama: Mrs. Parks' arrest, the bus boycott and the segregation laws that were finally overturned. It also tells the story of the Rosa Parks that few people know -- the former seamstress whose life continues to be committed to social justice for all people.  Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Rosevelt's America : A Refugee's Inspiring Journey to Build a New Life for His Family / Produced and directed by Roger Weisberg and Tod Lending.  2006.  26 minutes.  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : After being tortured and narrowly escaping execution during Liberia's civil war, Rosevelt Henderson makes his way to America to start his life over again in a strange country. He brings his three children with him but is forced to leave his pregnant wife behind. Although Rosevelt was trained as a civil engineer, he doesn¹t hesitate to work day and night as a janitor, airport van driver, and assembly line worker in order to support his family. Eventually his perseverance pays off, and he is reunited with his wife who quickly gets a job as a nurse¹s aide. After years of struggle and deprivation, Rosevelt and his family are finally able to enjoy the prosperity and freedom that drew them to this country. Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Rough Crossings  / written and presented by Simon Schama ; produced and directed by Steven Condie ; a co-production of BBC and Thirteen/WNET New York.  [United States] : British Broadcasting Corporation, 2008.  1 DVD videodisc (84 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. E269.N3 S33 2008 VideoDVD : As if the historical plight of the American slaves were not heartbreaking enough, even more shocking is the little-known historical tragedy that many were promised free Nova Scotian land at the end of the Revolutionary War in exchange for their service - only to be promptly denied this after they fought in one bloodthirsty battle after another and made a grueling pilgrimage to Nova Scotia, where they endured unbearable, subthermal temperatures of bitter winters. In this unique documentary, Simon Schama tells this difficult tale, touching on such details as the roles of slave leaders Granville Sharp, and also John Clarkson, who (in a little-known footnote) actually led a number of the slaves on a rough pilgrimage back to Africa after they found out the harsh truth about the "land" they were to receive in Nova Scotia.

Royal federal blues : the story of the African-American Civil War soldier / Video F/X Productions, Inc. ; produced, written and directed by Greg McCampbell.  Newark, NJ : Parade Video, 1991.  1 VHS videocassette (ca. 45 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 1/2 in.  E540.N3 R69 1991 Videocassette : An award winning documentary that vividly and graphically documents the inception of African-Americans into the Union Army.

Rufus E. Clement and Horace M. Bond in Chronoscope (Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), 1955) 14:41 mins. Streaming video from American History in VideoAccess limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Selected Documentary Films, S

All African American documentaries are located in the Digital and Multimedia Center unless otherwise indicated.  Movies can be checked out unless reserved for a class.

Satchmo : Louis Armstrong / written by Gary Giddins ; produced by Toby Byron ; directed by Gary Giddins with Kendrick Simmons ; edited by Kendrick Simmons. New York, NY : CMV Enterprises, c1989. 1 videocassette (86 min., 35 sec.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 1/2 in. ML419.A75 G53 1989 Videocassette: With over a dozen of his classic performamces ranging from 1932 to the late sixties, Satchmo includes excerpts from Pennies from heaven, Betty Boop cartoon, Going places, Jam session, New Orleans with Billie Holiday, High society with Bing Crosby, and Hello Dolly with Barbra Streisand. Also included are live concerts with Dizzy Gillespie, and Jack Teagarden and the All Stars. The film also presents on-camera interviews with Arvell Shaw, Tony Bennett, Wynton Marsalis, Dave Brubeck and other musicians. 

Say my name / a Mamamess film ; in association with Wieden+Kennedy Entertainment ; director, Nirit Peled ; producers, Nirit Peled, Dave Hemmingway ; production company, Mamamess ; writers, Nirit Peled, Lucy Crystal, Simon van Melick.  New York, NY : Women Make Movies, 2009.  1 DVD videodisc (73 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  ML3918.R37 S39 2009 VideoDVD :  In a hip hop and R&B world dominated by men and noted for misogyny, the unstoppable female lyricists of Say My Name speak candidly about class, race, and gender in pursuing their passions as female MCs. This worldwide documentary takes viewers on a vibrant tour of urban culture and musical movement, from hip hop’s birthplace in the Bronx, to grime on London’s Eastside, to Philly, Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, and L.A., and points in between....Featuring interviews and musical performances from a diverse cast of women that includes Remy Ma, Rah Digga, Jean Grae, Erykah Badu, Estelle, as well as newcomers Chocolate Thai, Invincible and Miz Korona, this powerful documentary delves into the amazing personal stories of women balancing professional dreams with the stark realities of poor urban communities, race, sexism, and motherhood. The more than 18 artists featured in Say My Name battle for a place in a society that creates few chances for women. From emerging artists filled with new creativity, to true pioneers like MC Lyte, Roxxanne Shante, and Monie Love, these are women turning adversity into art.

"The Scar of Shame" (76 min. ; 1927)) depicts poverty, ambition, and prejudice within the African American community through the tale of a middle-class black composer who marries a woman to rescue her from her lower-class, ghetto life, but comes to despise her lower-class background.  Available in Pioneers of African-American cinema / Kino Lorber presents.

Scarred Justice : The Orangeburg Massacre 1968 / California Newsreel presents ; a co-production of Northern Light Productions and the Indepentent Television Service (ITVS), in association with the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) ; executive producer for ITVS, Sally Jo Fifer ; executive producer for NBPC, Jacquie Jones ; consulting executive producer, Sam Pollard ; producers/directors, Bestor Cram, Judy Richardson ; writer, John De Lancey.  [S.l.] : California Newsreel, 2009.  1 DVD videodisc (57 min.) : sd. col. ; 4 3/4 in. F279.O6 S33 2009 VideoDVD : Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968 brings to light one of the bloodiest tragedies of the Civil Rights era after four decades of deliberate denial. The killing of four white students at Kent State University in 1970 left an indelible stain on our national consciousness. But most Americans know nothing of the three black students killed at South Carolina State College in Orangeburg two years earlier. This scrupulously researched documentary finally offers the definitive account of that tragic incident and reveals the environment that allowed it to be buried for so long. It raises disturbing questions about how our country acknowledges its tortured racial past in order to make sense of its challenging present. Trailer.

Scottsboro  : An American Tragedy / produced by Daniel Anker and Barak Goodman ; written and directed by Barak Goodman ; WGBH Boston.  [Alexandria, Va.] : PBS Home Video, [2005]  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 90 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 4 3/4 in. KF224.S34 S363 2005 VideoDVD : Documentary filmmaker Barak Goodman explores the famed Scottsboro case of 1931. That year, nine black males, aged 13 to 19, were tried, convicted, and almost executed for raping two white women of dubious reliability. The case soon became an international cause célèbre and proved to be a catalyst for the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s.

Secret Daughter / by June Cross ; co-producers, John Baynard, Jean-Philippe BoucicautWGBH Educational Foundation ; Alexandria, Va. : [Distributed by] PBS Video, c1996.  1 VHS videocassette (117 min.)  E185.625 .S43 1996 Videocassette  : Cross tells the story of her own family through the prism of the changing face of race relations in America. Cross, born to a white mother and an African-American father in the early 1950s, was given away by her mother to live with a black family in Atlantic City when she was four. This FRONTLINE takes viewers on a journey across the racial divide and into the relationship between a daughter and the mother who gave her away.  For more information about racially mixed families, see The Blurred Racial Lines of Famous Families: Contemporary celebrities with African ancestry discussed include Heather Locklear and Peter Ustinov.

Selma : The Bridge to the BallotBill BrummelRichard CohenOctavia SpencerDan WolfmeyerDon BarrettJamie DunlapMontgomery, Alabama : Teaching Tolerance, 2015.  1 DVD videodisc (40 minutes) : sound, color with black & white sequences ; 1/2 inches , 1 viewer's guide on computer disc + 1 poster.  F334.S4 S44 2015 VideoDVD & CD-ROM  discs 1-2 : The story of a courageous group of Alabama students and teachers who, along with other activists, fought a nonviolent battle to win voting rights for African Americans in the South. Standing in their way: a century of Jim Crow, a resistant and segregationist state, and a federal government slow to fully embrace equality. By organizing and marching bravely in the face of intimidation, violence, arrest and even murder, these change-makers achieved one of the most significant victories to the civil rights era.

Sermons and Sacred Pictures : Reverend L. O. Taylor, Baptist Minister.  Canyon Cinema Foundation, 1989.  30 minutes.  Available as streaming video via Kanopy.  : Profiles Reverend L.O. Taylor, a Memphis-based Baptist minister who in the 1930s and 40s built a fiery reputation by lacing his sermons with parables, fables and dramatic visual descriptions. Taylor was also an inspired photographer and filmmaker with a keen interest in preserving a visual and aural record of the fabric of black American life. He photographed and filmed businesses and schools, the National Baptist Convention, baptisms, funerals, and individuals in the quiet dignity of their everyday lives.... Over the years he compiled an extraordinary record of Southern black life before the Civil Rights movement. This film is an innovative combination of Taylor's films and audio recordings, images of contemporary Memphis, and commentary by his widow and others who knew him, forming an intertwined narrative about the pioneering documentarian and social activist. Taylor emerges as a man of humor, piety and intelligence, vibrantly involved in the community he loved.

Seven Songs for Malcolm X / Electric Pictures ; a Black Audio Film Collective production in association with Channel Four Television ; producer, Lina Gopaul ; director, John Akomfrah.  First Run Icarus Films, c1993.  1 VHS videocassette (53 min.)   E185.97.L5 S38 1993 Videocassette : A collection of testimonies, eyewitness accounts, and dramatic reenactments which tell of the life, legacy, loves and losses of Malcolm X.

Shackles of Memory: The Atlantic Slave Trade / Michel Moreau and Jean-Marc Masseaut.  1996.  55 minutes.  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : From the port of Nantes, located on the French Atlantic coast, more than 1800 slave ships plied their human cargo during the 18th and 19th centuries. These French ships circled the coast of Africa, exchanging trade merchandise for black captives whom they later sold to the colonies being established in the New World. Africans were deported by the millions, not only by the French, but by the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and English, starting as early as the 15th century....In this important historical film, the grim details of the slave trade are made real for a modern audience. Paintings, documents and artifacts recount the immensely profitable trade that enriched the great port cities of Europe as it decimated the African people. None of the tropical colonies would have prospered had it not been for merciless use of slave labor. Without resorting to polemics, The Shackles of Memory evokes a chilling reality that reverberates today.  Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Sharecroppers in the 21st centuryStreaming video via the Internet Archive.  A narrative of 5 former African American sharecroppers in the rual south during the Jim Crow era in the United states.   Movies.

Shattering the Silences  / a production of Gail Pellett Productions, Inc. ; produced and directed by Stanley Nelson, Gail Pellett ; writers, Stanley Nelson, Gail Pellett.  San Francisco, Calif. : California Newsreel, c1997.  1 DVD-R videodisc (86 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  LB2331.72 .S54 1997 VideoDVD  : Offers everyone in higher education an unprecedented opportunity to see American campuses through the eyes of minority faculty....Across America campus diversity is under attack; affirmative action programs are banned, ethnic studies departments defunded, multicultural scholarship impugned. Even so, faculty of color remain less than 9.2% of all full professors and minority student enrollment is dropping for the first time in 30 years....Shattering the Silences cuts through the rhetoric of the current Culture Wars by telling the stories of eight pioneering scholars - African American, Latino, Native American and Asian American. As we watch them teach, mentor and conduct research, we realize in concrete terms how a diverse faculty enriches and expands traditional disciplines and contributes to a more inclusive campus environment....These eight professors also discuss the excessive workload and special pressures minority faculty face everyday in majority white institutions. For example, minority teachers are disproportionately tapped to provide diversity on faculty committees and in scholarly organizations. They often find themselves de facto advisors for all the students of their ethnicity on campus. Their research and teaching is held to different standards from that of their white colleagues. Dr. Darlene Clark Hine looks back on the first wave of minority faculty as "a sacrificial generation."

Sheer good fortune  : celebrating Toni Morrison / produced by Judith McCray.   San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, 2014.  1 streaming video file (73 min.) from Black Studies in Video.  : The luminaries of contemporary African American letters - poets, novelists, critics and actors - gathered in October, 2012 to pay tribute to Toni Morrison, read from her writings and share what it has meant to their lives and work.

Shirley Chisholm  : First African American Congresswoman / adaptation and re-editing produced and edited by Brian Stewart.  Venice, CA : TMW Media Group, c2009.  1 DVD-R videodisc (20 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  E840.8.C48 S47 2009 VideoDVD  : American history is filled with notable African American women. This documentary celebrates the life of Shirley Chisholm, the first black women in the U.S. Congress. Through interviews with friends, family, colleagues and scholars, the program follows her journey from humble beginnings to a position of prominence in American government.

Simple Justice (1983) / New Images Productions, Inc. ; produced by Yanna Kroyt Brandt ; directed by Helaine Head ; teleplay by John McGreevey ; story by John McGreevey, Avon Kirkland & Peter Cook. Alexandria, VA : PBS Video, c1993.  1 VHS videocassette (133 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 1/2 in. + 1 poster + 1 sheet. KF4153.36 .S45 1993 Videocassette  1 videocassette, 1 poster, 1 sheet : Docudrama recounts the remarkable legal strategy and social struggle that resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.

Sisters in Cinema (2003) / Our Film Works ; producer, Yvonne Welbon ; written and directed by Yvonne Welbon.  Chicago, IL : Our Film Works, c2003.  1 DVD videodisc (62 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1995.9.N4 S577 2003 VideoDVD    : A 62-min documentary by Yvonne Welbon that traces the careers of inspiring African American women filmmakers from the early part of the 20th century to today.   As the first documentary of its kind, Sisters in Cinema creates a strong visual history of the contributions of African American women to the film industry. Early filmmakers include, Tressie Souders who wrote and directed a Woman's Error in 1922, Zora Neale Hurston, the writer and anthropologist who made ethnographic films in the 1920s, and Eloyce Gist who directed Verdict Not Guilty in the early 1930s....Sisters in Cinema is a seminal work that pays homage to African American women, who against all odds made history. The careers, lives and films of inspirational women filmmakers, such as, Euzhan Palcy, Julie Dash, Darnell Martin, Dianne Houston, Neema Barnette, Cheryl Dunye, Kasi Lemmons and Maya Angelou are showcased within the film. Interviews are interwoven with film clips, rare archival footage and photographs and production video of the filmmakers at work. Together these images give voice to African American women directors and serve to illuminate a history that has remained hidden for too long....Sisters in Cinema reveals the challenges of African American women in the directors chair and the trials and jubilations of bringing their life's passion to the screen.  More info.

Sisters of Selma : Bearing Witness for Change / produced in association with Independent Television Service and Alabama Public Television by Hartfilms ; producer, director & editor, Jayasri Majumdar Hart ; associate producer & writer, William Hart. [Arlington, Va.] : Distributed by PBS Home Video, c2007. 1 DVD videodisc (ca. 60 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. E185.61 .S578 2007 VideoDVD  : After the violence of "Bloody Sunday" in 1965, Catholic sisters from around the country followed their faith to join the voting rights protests in Selma, Alabama. Never before in American history had vowed Catholic women made so public a political statement....Risking personal safety to bring change, the sisters were themselves changed--and they tell us how. Selma's African Americans attest to the importance of Catholic clergy in their lives--and explain why it took another 35 years to become fully enfranchised....In 2003, director Jayasri Hart reunited the nuns to view themselves and the protests on tape for the first time. Selmians, Catholic and Protestant, offer their views on the nuns' contributions to history. A powerful, affirming new story of faith and justice arises from events we thought we knew.

Slavery and the Making of America / WNET New York ; series producer, Dante J. James.  New York : Ambrose Video Publishing, c2004.  4 DVD videodiscs (240 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  E441 .S53 2004 VideoDVD : This program examines the history of slavery in the United States and the role it played in shaping the new country's development.    Breaking with conventional documentary production approaches, the series producers, PBS's Thirteen/WNET New York, have used dramatic re-enactments to take viewers back in time and deep into the slave experience. Much of the story is presented from a unique vantage point - through the eyes of the enslaved.    As factually represented in this series, American slavery evolved from a loosely defined labor system which provided some protection under the law, into the tightly regulated enslavement without recourse, based solely on race. Underscoring how slavery impacted the growth of this country's Southern and Northern states; the series examines issues still relevant today. The variety of cultures from which the slaves originated provided the budding states with a multitude of skills that had a dramatic effect on the diverse communities. From joining the British in the Revolutionary War, to fleeing to Canada, to joining rebel communities in the U.S., the slaves sought freedom in many ways, ultimately having a far-reaching effect on the new hemisphere they were forced to inhabit.  Narrated by Morgan Freeman.

Slavery By Another Name / a production of TPT National Productions in association with Two Dollars & A Dream, Inc. ; produced and directed by Sam Pollard ; written by Sheila Curran Bernard.  [United States] : PBS Distribution, c2012.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 90 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.    E185.2 .S53 2012 VideoDVD (Also available as part of the ROVI Movie Collection) : Slavery by Another Name, narrated by Laurence Fishburne, is a documentary that challenges one of Americans' most cherished assumptions: that slavery in this country ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. The film tells how even as chattel slavery came to an end in the South after the Civil War, new systems of involuntary servitude took its place with shocking force and brutality. The film documents how for more than 80 years, thousands of African Americans, often guilty of no crime at all, were arrested, compelled to work without pay, repeatedly bought and sold, and coerced to do the bidding of white masters. Tolerated by both the North and South, forced labor lasted well into the 20th century....Slavery by Another Name, based upon the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Douglas A. Blackmon, gives voice to the largely forgotten victims and perpetrators of forced labor and features moving interviews with their descendants living today. A distinguished group of historians provides context and perspective on one of the most shameful and little known chapters in American history.  Cover.

Small Steps, Big Strides / Van Ness Films in association with Foxstar Productions ... [et al.] ; written, produced and directed by Velma Cato.  Beverly Hills, Calif. : 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, c1997.  1 VHS videocassette (60 min.)  PN1995.9.N4 S57 1997 Videocassette : This tribute celebrates African American silver screen legends. Included are interviews and rare footage documenting the kinds of roles black actors were first given, the challenges these performers met, and the real behind-the-scenes story of their acceptance and triumphs in Hollywood.  Interview subjects: Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Nicholas Brothers, Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, James Earl Jones, Gregory Hines ; narrator, Louis Gossett, Jr.

Sojourner Truth / produced by Dan Gallagher ; directed by Nick Havinga ; written by Sig Moglen.  Kent, CT : Creative Arts Television, 2000.  27 minutes.  Streaming video via Alexander Street Press : Actress Pauline Myers portrays Sojourner Truth in a one- woman show. She follows her life as a former slave who became well-known as an abolitionist and advocate for women's rights.  Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Solomon Northup's Odyssey  : Twelve Years As A Slave / Past America, Inc. ; producer, Yanna Kroyt Brandt ; writers, Lou Potter, Samm-Art Williams ; director, Gordon Parks.  Thousand Oaks, Calif. : Monterey Video, c2004, c1984.  1 DVD videodisc (117 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  E444 .S656 2004 VideoDVD : Based on the true story of Solomon Northrup, a free black man from New York who was kidnapped in 1841 and forced into slavery in Louisiana.  Cast : Avery Brooks, Mason Adams, Kent Broadhurst, Lee Bryant, Rhetta Greene, Janet League, Petronia Paley.

Something to Cheer About  : Oscar Robertson and the Crispus Attucks Tigers (2002)  / Figaro Films, Inc. ; a Screen Media Films release ; producers, Betsy Blankenbaker, Willie Merriweather and Oscar Robertson ; co-producers, Steve Marra and Ted Steeg ; written and directed by Betsy Blankenbaker.  [New York?] : Screen Media Films, [2007]  1 DVD videodisc (64 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. GV885.42.I4 S663 2007 VideoDVD : In 1955, Oscar Robertson and his teammates at the segregated Crispus Attucks High School rose from the hatred and racism of the time to be the first all-black team ever to win a state championship. With their innovative style of play, this brilliant group of athletes changed basketball forever. This is the true story of the coach, school and team that inspired the nation. The team included future NBA MVP Oscar Robertson, Harlem Globetrotter Hallie Bryant, and All American Basketball player Willie Merriweather.

Something Within Me / A film by Jerret Engle and Emma Joan Morris.  1996.  54 minutes.  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : St. Augustine's is a Catholic school in one of the poorest sections of the embattled South Bronx. In 1985, enrollment was so low that the school was about to close. Instead Father Robert Jeffers, the school's pastor, approached music teacher Tom Pilecki and together they decided to commit the school to a new curriculum - a curriculum in which the arts, and especially music, would be treated with the importance of any academic subject....Something Within Me is the story of this remarkable school and the children whose lives it has shaped. It is the story of a school where over the last six years enrollment has tripled and reading and math scores, the lowest in the Bronx, have improved dramatically. The school produces disciplined, self-confident eighth graders with the skills to overcome their environment. This is a heartwarming reminder of the creative potential of all human beings and a signpost pointing the way toward true educational reform.  Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

A Son of Africa  : The Slave Narrative of Olaudah Equiano (1996) / Aimimage Productions.  San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, [2004]   DVD-R videodisc (28 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. HT869.E6 S66 2004 VideoDVD   Also available as streaming video from Black Studies in Video : A docudrama based on the book, The interesting narrative of the life of Oloudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vaasa the African, which was the first influential slave autobiography. When it was published in 1789, it fueled a growing anti-slavery movement in the U.S. and England. This production employs dramatic reconstruction, archival material and interviews with scholars. Equiano's narrative begins in the West African village where he was kidnapped into slavery in 1756. He was shipped to a Virginia plantation and then later sold again to a British naval officer. Here he learned to read and write, became a skilled trader, eventually bought his freedom and married into English society where he became a leading abolitionist.

Soul food junkies  / a film by Byron Hurt ; a co-production of God Bless the Child Productions and Independent Television Service (ITVS) in association with National Black Programming Consortium ; produced, directed and written by Byron Hurt.  [Alexandria, Va.] : PBS : Distributed by PBS Distribution, 2013.. 1 DVD videodisc (approx. 60 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. TX715 .S6854 2013 VideoDVD :  To many African Americans, soul food is sacrament, ritual, and a key expression of cultural identity. But does this traditional cuisine do more harm to health than it soothes the soul? Award-winning filmmaker Byron Hurt offers a fascinating exploration of the soul food tradition, its relevance to black cultural identity, and its continuing popularity despite the known dangers of high-fat, high-calorie diets. Inspired by his father's lifelong love affair with soul food even in the face of a life-threatening health crisis, Hurt discovers that the relationship between African-Americans and dishes like ribs, grits, and fried chicken is deep-rooted and culturally based. At the same time, he moves beyond matters of culture and individual taste to show how the economics of the food industry have combined with socioeconomic conditions in predominantly black neighborhoods to dramatically limit food choices. The result is an absorbing and ultimately inspiring look at the cultural politics of food and the complex interplay between identity, taste, power, and health. Features soul food cooks, historians, doctors, and food justice movement activists who are challenging the food industry, creating sustainable gardens, and advocating for better supermarkets, more farmers' markets, and healthier takes on soul food.   More about film and Full-length trailerTrailer

The Spirit of Frederick Douglass / Story Corporation of America.  [United States] : Story Corp. of America ; Camarillo, CA : Distributed by Goldhil Entertainment, 2008.  1 DVD videodisc (45 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 sound disc (ca. 15 min. : digital ; 4 3/4 in.)  ROVI Movie Collection CS2 D0101568 VideoDVD : Experience the life and story of Frederick Douglass, born into slave who escaped to freedom and championed African-American rights and women's rights in the United States of America.

The Spirit of The Individual / by Esperanza Martinez/L. Roennau.  1998.  24 minutes.  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : This video introduces us to fiber artists Michael Cummings, and Peggy Hartwell. Their dazzling creations bridge the gap between folk art and fine art. Each shows how their art is in the African American folk tradition, incorporating storytelling, spirituality, a sense of origins, and of course, brilliant color. They pay homage to their mentors, including Romare Bearden, Sister Gertrude Morgan and Clementine Hunter. Other influences are jazz and blues, religion and fine arts. The results are always different and aesthetically significant expressions of the spirit of the individual. Senior research fellow of the Folk Art Institute, Lee Kogan provides historical perspective on the quilting tradition. Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Stand and be Counted  : Reacting to Racism / NBC News ; producer, Barbara Winard ; director, John Bianco ; writer, Bill SchechnerHuman Relations Media, 1989.  1 VHS videocassette (15 min.)  E185.615 .S736 1989 Videocassette  pt.1 : Presents two stories to show how young people and their families can make a difference when a racist incident takes place in their communities.

Standing in the Shadows of Motown  / Artisan Entertainment presents an Elliott Scott/Rimshot production of a Paul Justman film ; produced by Sandy Passman, Allan Slutsky and Paul Justman ; narration written by Walter Dallas and Ntozake Shange ; directed by Paul Justman.  [United States] : Artisan Home Entertainment, [2003], c2002.  2 DVD videodiscs (107 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN1995.9.M86 S73 2003 VideoDVD : The story of the Funk Brothers, the group of musicians that played on every single hit Motown record from the label's beginnings to 1972.  Cast : The Funk Brothers: Richard "Pistol" Allen, Jack "Black Jack" Ashford, Bob Babbitt, Johnny Griffith, Joe Hunter, Uriel Jones, Joe Messina, Eddie "Chank" Willis, and, in spirit: Benny "Papa Zita" Benjamin, Eddie "Bongo" Brown, James "Igor" Jamerson, Earl "Chunk of Funk" Van Dyke, Robert White; with, Joan Osborne, Gerald Levert, Meshell Ndegeocello, Bootsy Collins, Ben Harper, Chaka Khan.

Standing on my sisters' shoulders / written and directed by Laura J. Lipson ; Sadoff Productions ; produced by Joan Sadoff, Laura J. Lipson ; original score by Brad Warnaar.  New York : Sadoff Productions ; Women Make Movies, c2002.  1 DVD videodisc (60 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.86 .S736 2002 VideoDVD :  In 1965, when three women walked into the US House of Representatives in Washington D.C., they had come a very long way. Neither lawyers nor politicians, they were ordinary women from Mississippi, and descendants of African slaves. They had come to their country’s capital seeking civil rights, the first black women to be allowed in the senate chambers in nearly 100 years. A missing chapter in our nation’s record of the Civil Rights movement, this powerful documentary reveals the movement in Mississippi in the 1950’s and 60’s from the point of view of the courageous women who lived it – and emerged as its grassroots leaders. Their living testimony offers a window into a unique moment when the founders’ promise of freedom and justice passed from rhetoric to reality for all Americans. Through moving interviews and powerful archival footage, Standing on My Sisters' Shoulders weaves a story of commitment, passion and perseverance and tells the story of the women fought for change in Mississippi and altered the course of American history forever.

Standing Tall: Women Unionize the Catfish Industry / Produced, written and directed by Donald Blank.  2001.  50 minutes.  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library :  The boom in Mississippi catfish farming, in the 1980's, required processing plants and hundreds of workers. The mostly black female workforce had to work, in noisy and wet factories for minimum wage, without any benefits, bathroom breaks or recourse if a worker was mistreated. The Mississippi Delta, at the time, was notoriously poor, neglected, and resistant to change....This historical documentary chronicles the risky and difficult effort of a few women working at Delta Pride Catfish to organize a United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) local 1529 at their plant. The 1986 union election victory surprised many locals, especially management at Delta Pride. In 1990, the workers at Delta Pride struck for two months and won better wages and working conditions. The strike established local 1529 as an important player in the catfish industry, with a membership today of 3,000 workers....Rose Turner, Mary Young and Sarah White, who initiated and led local 1529, tell the story with passion and humor. Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

StarbyStar  : Naomi Long Madgett, poet & publisherGrand Haven, MI : PenULTIMATE, Ltd., c2011.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 82 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 CD-R (4 3/4 in.) PS3525.A318 Z583 2011 VideoDVD & CD : This video is a documentary which chronicles the journey, struggles, and achievements of poet Naomi Long Madgett. It includes conversations with her about the course of her life and the encouragement she received from Langston Hughes and others of the Harlem Renaissance. Madgett's fellow poet and friend Melba Joyce Boyd is the interlocutor for the primary film interview. The documentary includes comments from poets Herbert Woodward Martin, Toi Derricotte, M.L. Liebler, Terry Blackhawk, Jamaal “Versiz” May, Rhonda Welsh, and Naomi’s daughter, Jill Witherspoon Boyer. It also includes Madgett giving readings and commentary on her poems.  Supplementary compact disc titled: By and by: Lamar Willis performs the music of Charles A. Tindley. The CD contains sung versions of the hymns used (in piano versions) in the film.  Contents of supplementary CD: Courage, my soul (The storm is passing over) (4:09) -- This world is one great battlefield (I'll overcome some day) (4:12) -- If the world from you withhold (Leave it there) (4:15) -- Beams of heaven (Some day) (4:47) -- Nothing between (5:23) -- When the storms of life are raging (Stand by me) (2:53) -- We are often tossed and driven (We'll understand it better by and by) (4:19).

StarbyStar : Naomi Long Madgett, poet & publisher Grand Haven, MI : PenULTIMATE, Ltd., c2011.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 82 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  PS3525.A318 Z583 2011 VideoDVD : Detroit’s Poet Laureate Naomi Long Madgett has shared her time and talents with generations of poets and lovers of poetry during the span of her 88 years.  From her girlhood in East Orange, NJ, it was clear that Naomi was destined for the arts: she read poetry avidly, practiced recitation, and published her first poem in the Orange Daily Courier when she was 13.  In 1937, her family moved to St. Louis and she attended Sumner High School, the first all-black high school west of the Mississippi.  At what she describes as a first-rate school, she discovered that she could be anything her talents could support; the evidence was in the frequent publication of her early work, including her first book only a few days after her graduation.  Shortly after earning her undergraduate degree from Virginia State College (now University), she moved to Detroit in 1946.  She earned her master’s degree (and later a doctorate), and began a career that would include teaching at both Northwestern High School and Eastern Michigan University.  All the while, she was writing and publishing.  In 1972, she established Lotus Press in order to publish the very best up-and-coming authors in addition to established and revered poets.  In addition to ten books of her own poetry, Dr. Madgett has edited two poetry anthologies, including the groundbreaking Adam of Ifé: Black Women in Praise of Black Men. She also has written two textbooks, and published her autobiography, Pilgrim Journey. In a new, 82-minute documentary about her life and art titled StarbyStar: Naomi Long Madgett, Poet & Publisher, filmmaker David B. Schock, Ph.D., chronicles her journey, her struggles, and her achievements. In conversations with Naomi, we learn about the course of her life and the encouragement she received from Langston Hughes and others of the Harlem Renaissance.  Poet, scholar, and friend Melba Joyce Boyd is the interlocutor for the primary film interview.  In addition, we hear from poets Herbert Woodward Martin, Toi Derricotte, M.L. Liebler, Terry Blackhawk, Jamaal “Versiz” May, Rhonda Welsh, and Naomi’s daughter, Jill Witherspoon Boyer. We see and hear Naomi in action, giving readings and commentary on her poems. The film is liberally illustrated with photographs and documents.  Along the way, we come to understand Dr. Madgett’s prodigious talents, sensibilities, faith, compassion, humor and wit.  This is a film about a singular poet and a singular time in modern and contemporary poetry. Trailer

State of the Black Union : road to health / Smiley Group ; C-SPAN, 2005.  1 DVD videodisc (178 min.)  E185.615 .S82 2005 VideoDVD : Discussion of the health and the health care crisis in America, focusing on the disproportionate effects on the African-American community and individual steps towards better health. Topics include health care disparity between minority and white populations, under- and uninsured persons, education about preventive medical care, and individual self-knowledge about medications, health care, and diet.

State of the Black Union  : defining the agenda, part 1 ; part 2 / Smiley Group ; C-SPAN, 2005. 2 DVD videodiscs (270 min.)  E185.615 .S83 2005 VideoDVD : "Discussion on framing a contract or covenant to advance issues of concern to the African American community and to establish a new direction for the black community to effect social and political change. Among the issues discussed are the role of black religious, political, and intellectual leaaders in the community, defining the most prominent issues to the community, and how the contract should be presented to both the black community and American society as a whole."

Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement (BET): Activist and Grey’s Anatomy’s star Jesse Williams both executive-produced and appears in this original BET documentary about the Black Lives Matter movement. Award-winning director Laurens Grant (Black Panthers: Vanguard Of The Revolution) examines the leaderless movement through first-person interviews with activists and protestors like Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, DeRay McKesson, Johnetta Elzie, and Brittany Packnett. Those who hate studying history can do themselves a favor and learn about the game-changing civil-rights movement while it’s still a current event.  Order when available for purchase on DVD.

Stepping / CTG Entertainment, TrEyFilmZ, Black & White Media Group presents a Marshall Blackwell, Norman Whiteburn film ; directed by Marshall Blackwell, Norman Whiteburn ; executive producers, Marshall Blackwell, Norman Whiteburn.  [S.l.] : CTG Films, c2007.  1 DVD videodisc (75 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in   GV1624.7.A34 S7466 2008 VideoDVD : Filmmakers Marshall Blackwell and Norman Whiteburn make their feature directorial debut with this documentary on the stepping culture. A modernized version of what is known as the African gumboot dance, stepping was adopted by African-American fraternities as their trademark performance.

Straight Up Rappin' / Produced by Tana Ross And Freke Vuijst Green Room Productions.   1993.  28 minutes.  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library :  Anybody who believes that crime, poverty, and drugs have killed political thought among the young people of America's most disadvantaged neighborhoods, has only to see Straight Up Rappin' to be set straight....This compelling documentary is about rap as it is declaimed in the streets of New York, straight up - without music. These rappers, amateurs all, feel a compelling need to express their feelings about the world they live in. There are ten-year olds who rap about the Bill of Rights, young men who rap about homelessness and child abuse, a young woman who raps about revolution. The powerful and often bitter words of their street poetry, expresses the political consciousness of their generation.  Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers. 

Strange Fruit / produced, directed & edited by Joel Katz ; produced in association with the Independent Television Service ; Oniera Films.  California Newsreel, c2002.  1 DVD videodisc (58 min.)  HV6457 .S773 2002 VideoDVD : A history of the anti-lynching protest song made famous by Billie Holiday. Includes footage of Billie Holiday performing the song.  For more information, visit California Newsreel

A Study of Educational Inequalities in South Carolina (1936), by Harmon Foundation for the NAACP. 32:33 min.  Streaming video from the Internet Archive.  A documentary produced by the National Association For the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) on the racial disparities in the education provided in South Carolina public schools. The film was produced by the NAACP in its drive to desegregate schools which ultimately led to the landmark Supreme Court decision in Brown vs Board of Education. We are shown what "seperate but equal" means in the ramshackle conditions of many school, dozens of young children piling into cars, the disparity in state funding and many other facets of the educational reality for Negro students.  In addition to the full documentary approximately 35 minutes of outtakes from the film is available. The outtakes notably contain footage of Mary McLeod Bethune.

A Study of Negro Artists (1933) Streaming video via Matinee Classics : An important film for those interested in art history and African American history, this silent film from the early 1930s (c. 1932?) covers some important visual artists during the Harlem Renaissance. It starts with an appropriately arty montage of many African American artists made their living during the day, mostly working blue collar jobs, while working on their art in their off hours....Then we see a series of artists at work: Richmond Barthe, noted sculptor (in particular, large outdoor work); James Latimer Allen, noted portrait photographer (known particularly for documenting the Harlem Renaissance); Aaron Douglas, one the major painters of the era; Palmer Hayden, another prolific painter; and Augusta Savage, the leading female sculptor of the movement. While this film doesn't tell much about them, we them in their studios and examples of their work. Harlem Renaissance was one of the transformative times of American art history, and this film serves as an important document of that time.

A Study of Negro Artists (1933) Streaming video via Internet Archive, Prelinger Archives.

Sundown Towns : A Hidden Dimension of American Racism / C-SPAN Archives, c2009. 1 DVD-R videodisc (71 min.)  E185.615.L5773 S86 2009 VideoDVD : James Loewen talked about his book "Sundown towns : a hidden dimension of American racism", published by New Press. The book chronicled the history of towns and neighborhood that were closed to African-Americans. The author pointed out that most of these towns outside of the traditional South in the states of Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. Professor Loewen explained that "Sundown Towns" used policemen, fire, bricks, and signs to force blacks out of the suburbs and into the ghettos. He asserted that although the tactics to exclude blacks may not be as blatant, these towns are still very much in existence. Following his presentation, Professor Loewen responded to questions and comments from members of the audience.

Sweet Georgia Brown / [directed and produced by] Lawrence E. Walker.  Somerset, NJ : PureHistory, 2015.  1 streaming video file (91 minutes) : This documentary examines the racial and gender policies that defined the status of African-American Women in the military during World War II. Interviews and primary sources reveal the unique experience of being an African-American woman in the military during this period. The story of these inspiring women, from the struggles they faced to they triumphs they accomplished, is one rarely discussed in American history, but one which should not be overlooked.

Swing, the Velocity of Celebration in Ken Burns's Jazz Episode 6 (Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), 2000) 101:34 mins.  Streaming Video from American History in Video.  Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Selected Documentary Films, T

All African American documentaries are located in the Digital and Multimedia Center unless otherwise indicated.  Movies can be checked out unless reserved for a class.

Taking Back Detroit  / producer, Stephen Lighthill ; edited by Kristine Samuelson.  San Francisco (Available Light, 72 Molimo Drive, San Francisco, Calif., 94127) : Available Light, c1980.  1 VHS videocassette (55 min.) : sd., col. ; 3/4 in.  Library of Michigan AV JS 838 .T35 1980 : In the 1970s and early 1980s Detroit was the setting for an unusual development in U.S. urban politics, as voters elected two socialists to citywide office. Taking Back Detroit examines these people and their organization against the backdrop of a city in extreme economic crisis....The film profiles City Council member Ken Cockrel and Recorders Court Judge Justin Ravitz. They discuss the challenges they face, and the vision they bring to their work....Cockrel and Ravitz and their political organization, DARE, opposed the accepted agenda for Detroit - tax abatements for industry, federal money for developers, cuts in city services, abandonment of older neighborhoods. They emphasize that the city could be made to serve its residents first - though not surprisingly the film shows that promoting this idea was no simple task.

Teddy (1971) University of California Los Angeles, Extension Media Center.  16:16 min. Streaming video from the Prelinger Archives via Internet Archive,  Presents the experiences of a teenage African American, who relates his views of the System, war, revolution, the Watts community of Los Angeles, the Black Panther Party and the police. The importance of the discussion is the necessity of being one's own self. 

The Test: A Death Row Drama / Produced and written by Paula J. Caplan, Directed by Mark Harris , Cast: Keith Mascoll, Ricardo Pitts-Wiley and Roxanne Mascoll.  2006.  20 minutes.  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : This film was inspired by the true story of two African -American men on death row. The younger man, Bradley, is learning to read in prison, coached by Cleveland, who uses the Bible as a primer. Bradley is about to undergo an IQ test. If the test proves he is retarded, his life would be spared....Bradley, who has been humiliated all his life for being "stupid" is tragically conflicted about deliberately failing the test, which would save his life. Didn't his mother always urge him to try his best? Cleveland's desperate attempt to make him "fail" drives the drama.  Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

That's Black Entertainment / Skyline/T.B.E. LimitedSkyline Entertainment : Distributed by Video Communications, 1989.  1 VHS videocassette (60 min.)  PN1995.9.N4 T53 1989 Videocassette  : In the 30's and 40's an underground film industry sprang up in the black community. Since Afro Americans were not always welcome in white movie theatres and were badly represented in white movies, they made their own movies. These black cast films were never intended to be viewed by white audiences. Black producers, directors and actors were truer to the realities of life as they experienced and felt them than their white counterparts. This tightly run underground film industry operated efficiently until the mid-fifties. Its demise was basically a result of changing economic tides and (thankfully) the growing hope of integration. This is a tribute to the treasures of black cinema. Rare and historic movie footage from many forgotten films has been compiled in this special videocassette.  Contents - Murder in Harlem (1935) -- Souls of sin (1949) -- Blood of Jesus (1941) -- Juke Joint (1947) -- Miracle in Harlem (1948) -- Broken earth (1939) --Rufus Jones for president (1933).

That's Black Entertainment :  African-American contributions in film and music, 1903-1944 / produced by Barbara L. KayeNorth Hollywood, CA : produced and distributed by OnDeck Home Entertainment, c1997.  2 vhs videocassettes (ca. 106 min.)  PN1995.9.N4 T47 1997 Videocassette : Vol. 1 covers the history of Black filmmaking from its earliest days through the twenties, focusing on the movies that were made and the production companies that produced them and includes three short films. Vol. 2 compiles a vintage video collection of three-minute music videos called "soundies" that were originally screened on a visual jukebox called Panorams during the 1940s.  Contents - v. 1, Race movies : the early history of Black cinema with three original short films. St. Louis blues (starring Bessie Smith) -- Hi-de-ho (starring Cab Calloway) -- Boogie-woogie dream (starring Lena Horne).  v. 2, The soundies era : Black music video's from the 1940's. Hey lawdy mama (June Richmond with Roy Milton and his band) -- Take me back, baby (Count Basie Orchestra) -- Some of these days (Maxine Sullivan) -- Beat me, daddy (Maurice Rocco) -- Is you is, or is you ain't my baby? (King Cole Trio and Ida James) -- Baby won't you please come home (Herb Jeffries) -- Keep waitin' (George Washington Brown) -- Toot that trumpet (Deep River Boys) -- Keep smiling (Four Ginger Snaps) -- Babbling Bess (Chanticleers) -- Dispossessed blues (Lynn Albritton and the Four Knobs) -- Lovin' up a solid breeze (Chanticleers) -- Block party revels (Billy and Ann, Lynn Albritton, Four Knobs, the Harlem Cuties) -- Minnie the moocher (Cab Calloway and his orchestra) -- I call it love (King Cole Trio) -- King of the vibes (Lionel Hampton).

That's Black Entertainment  / RevisMedia, Inc. ; director, Walid Khaldi ; script writer, Sean Whitley.  Sherman Oaks, CA : S'more Entertainment : Starz Encore Entertainment, [2006]  3 DVD videodiscs (ca. 420 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 4 3/4 in  PN1995.9.N4 T473 2006 VideoDVD  1-3 : That's Black entertainment is a fascinating three-part series that showcases the groundbreaking work of African American talent during the early years of Black cinema.

There Was Always Sun Shining Someplace: Life in the Negro Baseball Leagues /  a Refocus Productions film ; produced and directed by Craig Davidson ; written by Craig Davidson and Donn Rogosin ; narrated by James Earl Jones.   Westport, Conn. : Refocus Films, c1984.  1 DVD videodisc (58 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  GV875.N35 T45 1984 VideoDVD   : Winner of national and international awards, this documentary features interviews with baseball Hall of Famers, Satchel Paige, James 'Cool Papa' Bell, Buck Leonard, Judy Johnson, Monte Irvin and Ray Dandridge. Praised by the national press, this compelling film chronicles the rich history of the Negro Baseball Leagues that flourished before Jackie Robinson integrated the major leagues in 1947. The exploits of these talented athletes and the times when baseball was a segregated sport are vividly brought to life. There Was Always Sun Shining Someplace contains rare historical footage showing the ballplayers as they traveled the back roads of America, The Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America. It is an unforgettable journey.

This Far by Faith : African-American Spiritual Journeys / Blackside, Inc., The Faith Project, Inc., [in association with the Independent Television Service].    Boston : WGBH : PBS Video [distributor], c2003.  3 DVD videodiscs (360 min.) : sd., col. with b&w stills and sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  BR563.N4 T56 2003 VideoDVD : Documents the African-American religious experience during the last three centuries from the early African slaves, through the Civil War, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the Great Depression, the Civil Rights Era, and into the 21st century. Explores the struggle of African-Americans in their faith and how it became a force for social, political and cultural change in the United States.  Vol. 1. episode 1. There is a river / produced, directed and written by W. Noland Walker, edited by Michael Simollari -- v. 1. episode 2. God is a Negro / produced and directed by June Cross, edited by Tracy Baumgardner -- v. 2. episode 3. Guide my feet / produced, directed and written by Lulie Haddad, edited by Sandra M. Christie -- v. 3. episode 4. Freedon faith / produced, directed and written by Alice Markowitz, edited by Jonathan Sahula -- v. 3. episode 5. Inheritors of the faith / produced, directed and written by Valerie Linson, edited by Jean-Philippe Boucicaut -- v. 3. episode 6. Rise up and call their names / produced, directed and written by Leslie D Farrell, edited by Gina H. Sohn.  Also see Description by the Washington University Film and Media Archive.

Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings (1999) / C-SPAN.  West Lafayette, IN : C-SPAN Archives, c2009.  1 DVD-R videodisc (59 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  E332.2 .G6738 2009 VideoDVD : Legal historian Annette Gordon-Reed discusses her book, Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: an American controversy, with host Brian Lamb. The book examines the evidence both for and against the proposition that Jefferson may have had a 40-year liaison with his slave, Sally Hemings, and that she may have borne him several children. Professor Reed also talks about her own family background and her longtime interest in Jefferson.  Television interview.

Three Domestics directed by John Marshall (Documentary Educational Resources, 1971) 30 mins.  Streaming video from Ethnographic Video Online : This film shows Pittsburgh police intervening in three domestic situations: (1) A woman wants the police to remove the man she has been living with in common law. They arrange for his arrest on an assault and battery charge; (2) A woman accuses her boyfriend of beating her and the man accuses her of lying. The police remove the man with some difficulty; (3) A boisterous and drunken father is removed from his house to spend the night in jail at the insistence of his wife and older son. Throughout the sequence, the father is cared for by his younger son.  Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Through a lens darkly : black photographers and the emergence of a people / a film by Thomas Allen Harris ; a co-production of Through a Lens Darkly, LLC and the Independent Television Service (ITVS) ; produced in association with the National Black Programming Consortium (NPBC) ; Chimpanzee Productions. New York, NY : First Run Features, 2014.  1 DVD videodisc (93 min.) sound, color, black and white ; 4 3/4 in.  TR23 .T47 2014 VideoDVD (Also available as streaming video from Alexander Street Press) : The first documentary to explore the American family photo album through the eyes of black photographers, Through a Lens Darkly probes the recesses of American history to discover images that have been suppressed, forgotten and lost. From slavery to the present, these extraordinary images unveil a world confronting the difficult edges of citizenship and what it means to be human....Inspired by Deborah Willis's book Reflections in Black and featuring works by Carrie Mae Weems, Lorna Simpson, Anthony Barboza, Hank Willis Thomas, Coco Fusco, Lyle Ashton Harris and many others, Through a Lens Darkly introduces the viewer to a community of storytellers who collectively transform singular experiences into a journey of discovery - and a call to action.

The Throwaways / Social Change in Mind Productions presents; a film by Bhawin Suchak & Ira McKinley ; produced and directed by Ira McKinley, Bhawin Suchak ; co-produced by Adele Pham, Messiah Rhodes.  New York, N. .Y : Social Change in Mind Productions, [2013]  1 videodisc (62 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 DVD-ROM (digital ; 12 cm)  HV6191 .T469 2014 VideoDVD  disc 1 VideoDVD- disc 2 DVD-ROM :  The Throwaways courageously explores the most pressing racial justice issue of our time: the mass incarceration and profiling of poor people of color.  The Throwaways is a personal exploration of the devastating impact of police brutality and mass incarceration on the black community told through the eyes of formerly incarcerated activist filmmaker Ira McKinley.  With rawness, urgency and power, this award-winning documentary film speaks directly to the national movement rising up to fight back against a wave of police killings of black people in America. -- Amidst national outrage over police brutality across the country, we look at a new film that documents police shootings and the consequences of mass incarceration in upstate New York. The Throwaways focuses on the idea that certain lives in our society are considered disposable. It follows activist and filmmaker Ira McKinley, a former felon, as he seeks to document and mobilize his community of Albany, the state capital of New York."     Trailer.

Thurgood Marshall : justice for all / ABC News Productions ; producers Eileen M. Lucas, Arden Ostrander.  New York, NY : A&E Television Networks, 1997.  1 streaming video file (46 min.). from Black Studies in Video : This historical documentary traces the career of the first African American Supreme Court justice.

A Time for Burning (1967) / produced by Quest Productions, Inc. for Lutheran Film Associates ; produced by William C. Jersey ; conceived, directed and edited by Barbara Connell. William C. Jersey.  [United States] : Docurama ; [New York] : Distributed by New Video, 2005.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 58 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in.   E185.61 .T56 2005 VideoDVD : The film, shot in "cinema verite" style, has no script or narration. The film chronicles the relationship between the minister, the Rev. L. William Youngdahl, his white Lutheran parishioners and black Lutheran parishioners in the community. Youngdahl was the son of a former governor of Minnesota and federal judge, Luther Youngdahl. The film includes a meeting between Youngdahl and a black barber named Ernie Chambers who tells the minister that his Jesus is "contaminated." At one point another Omaha Lutheran minister, the Rev. Walter E. Rowoldt, of Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, states that "This one lady said to me, pastor, she said, I want them to have everything I have, I want God to bless them as much as he blesses me, but, she says, pastor, I just can't be in the same room with them, it just bothers me." Rev. Rowoldt and other ministers also discuss the concern that blacks moving into white neighborhoods will decrease property values....Originally rejected by the three major networks for being too controversial, the entire production was commissioned and underwritten by a religious organization, Lutheran Film Associates. The fact that they pressed for the film's release despite the harsh light it casts, makes its existence all the more remarkable. This classic cinema verite film from award-winning filmmaker Bill Jersey captures an all-white Lutheran Church in Omaha, Nebraska as their earnest pastor tries to get the congregation to reach out to their fellow black Lutherans only to find a well of resistance among his flock. The candid result is one of the most honest, accurate, and effective expose of the civil rights impasse ever filmed.  For more information, see Wikipedia entry....In 2005, A Time for Burning was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".  Film clips.  Also available through NetFlix.

A Time for Justice  / Guggenheim Productions, Inc. ; written and directed by Charles Guggenheim.  Montgomery, Ala. : Teaching Tolerance, Southern Poverty Law Center, c2011.  1 videodisc (38 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 CD-ROM (4 3/4 in.) with PDF of Teacher's guide + 1 timeline poster (28 cm. folded) in 1 container.  E185.615 .T5 2011 VideoDVD & CD-ROM discs 1-2 & poster : In A Time for Justice,four-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker Charles Guggenheim captured the spirit of the civil rights movement through historical footage and the voices of those who participated in the struggle. Narrated by Julian Bond and featuring John Lewis, the 38-minute film allows today’s generation of students to witness firsthand the movement’s most dramatic moments—the bus boycott in Montgomery, the school crisis in Little Rock, the violence in Birmingham and the triumphant 1965 march for voting rights.

Tim Wise on white privilege [videorecording] : racism, white denial & the costs of inequality / Tim Wise ; produced by Sut Jhally. Northampton, Mass. : Media Education Foundation, c2008.  1 DVD videodisc (57 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. E185.615 .T55 2008 VideoDVD : Tim Wise offers a unique, inside-out view of race and racism in America. Wise provides a non-confrontational explanation of white privilege and the damage it does not only to people of color, but to white people as well. This is an introduction to the social construction of racial identities, and a new tool for exploring the often invoked--but seldom explained--concept of white privilege.

Tiny & Ruby, Hell Divin' Women (1988), see Black by Popular Demand. Black and Blue : Black Women in Jazz and Blues Music / British Film Institute presentsBFI, [1990?]  1 VHS videocassette (90 min.)  VHS, PAL format, not compatible with American VCR players.  ML82 .B528 1990 PAL Videocassette : Features two American films that highlight black women's contribution to the blues and jazz. Tiny & Ruby, Hell Divin' Women (1988) reconstructs, through interviews, animation and home movies the lives of trumpeter Ernestine 'Tiny' Davis and pianist, bass player and drummer Ruby Lucas. Wild Women Don't Have the Blues (1988) shows rare footage of many blues women including Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters and other talking about the history of their contribution to American culture. 

Tongues Untied : a Film / by Marlon Riggs.  Strand Releasing, c1996.  1 VHS videocassette (55 min.)  E185.625 .T66 1996b Videocassette : In an experimental amalgam of rap music, street poetry, documentary film, and dance, a gay African-American man expresses what it is like to be gay and black in the United States. Although he deals with social ostracism and fear of AIDS, he affirms the beauty and significance of the gay black man.  Also available in Special Collections American Radicalism Collection.

Toni Morrison / directed by Matteo Bellinelli.  San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, 1992.  San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, 1992.  Available as streaming video via Black Studies in Video. : Morrison reads from her two novels, "Beloved" and "Jazz" and discusses her views of the contributions made to American literature by the experiences of African Americans.  In black and white : six profiles of African American authors ; 3

Traces of the Trade  : A Story From the Deep North / Ebb Pod Productions ; directed, produced & written by Katrina Browne ; co-directed, edited & written by Alla Kovgan ; co-director & executive producer, Jude Ray ; co-producer & executive producer, Elizabeth Delude-Dix ; co-producer, Juanita Brown.  San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, c2008.  1 vDVD ideodisc (videodisc) (86 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  HT985 .T73 2008 VideoDVD  (Also available as streaming video from Films on Demand) : Katrina Browne makes a troubling discovery-- her New England ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. She and nine fellow descendants set off to retrace the Triangle Trade: from their old hometown in Rhode Island to slave forts in Ghana to sugar plantation ruins in Cuba. Step by step, they uncover the vast extent of Northern complicity in slavery while also navigating their way through the minefield of contemporary race relations.

Traffic Stop.   HBO.  30 minutes.  Streaming video from Films on Demand.  From the two-time Peabody Award-winning team of director Kate Davis and producer David Heilbroner (The Newburgh Sting, Stonewall Uprising), this haunting and compelling Academy Award®-nominated, 30-minute, documentary short tells the story of Breaion King, a 26-year-old African-American school teacher from Austin, Texas, who was stopped in 2015 for a routine traffic violation -- an encounter that escalated into a dramatic and violent arrest. Caught on police dashcams, the 108 pound Breaion (who had never been arrested before) is seen pulled from her parked car by the white arresting officer, repeatedly slammed to the ground, handcuffed, and placed into the back of the police car with the help of a second officer. En route to jail in a squad car, Breaion engages in a revealing conversation with the escorting officer about race and law enforcement in America. Footage from the disturbing incident is juxtaposed with scenes from Breaion’s everyday life as a schoolteacher and dancer, offering a fuller portrait of the woman who now struggles to make sense of her clash with law enforcement.

The trials of Muhammad Ali / Kartemquin Films ; Independent Lens ; Independent Television Service ; a film by Bill Siegel ; directed and produced by Bill Siegel ; produced by Rachel Pikelny ; a co-production of Kartemquin Educational Films, Projecto Willis, LLC, and the Independent Television Service.  New York, NY : Kino Lorber, [2014]   1 videodisc (93 min.) : sound, color with black and white sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  ROVI Movie Collection AD1 D0160096 VideoDVD    Also available as streamng video via Kanopy.  : The powerful documentary examines the life of Muhammad Ali beyond the boxing ring to offer a personal perspective on the American sporting legend. Investigating Ali's spiritual transformation includes his conversion to Islam, resistance to the Vietnam War draft, and humanitarian work. The documentary connects Ali's transcendent life story to America's struggles with race, religion, and war in the twentieth century.

Trouble Behind : The Corbin Race Riot of 1919 / Cicada Films ; produced and directed by Robby Henson.  San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, 1990.  1 DVD videodisc (56 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  E185.61 .T76 1990 VideoDVD : Trouble Behind shows how present and past are tied in a fearful knot as it searches for the origins of today's racism in the past brutality of a seemingly typical American town - Corbin, Kentucky, home of Kentucky Fried Chicken....Like many industrial centers, Corbin attracted African American sharecroppers looking for better paying jobs during World War I. But when white veterans returned from the war, the found their close-knit community changed and economic competition heated up. One October night in 1919, an armed white mob rounded up 200 black railroad workers, locked them into box cars, beat many of them, and then literally railroaded them out of town....Interviews with eyewitnesses, scholars, newsreel clips and photos reconstruct events in Corbin and place that night in the national context of a resurgent Ku Klux Klan, the triumph of Jim Crow and 28 major race riots....Only one black family lives in Corbin today. Corbin's present residents deny the town's "whites only" reputation and evade the town's past in a haunting ritual of selective memory and forgetting. Blacks, says one white, "have chosen to live elsewhere."  ...Trouble Behind evokes attitudes commonly found today in many all-white towns and suburbs and how racism is passed down from generation to generation. Most of all, it demonstrates that our refusal to confront the past cripples our ability to build an inclusive future.

Trouble the Water  / Louverture Films presents an Elsewhere Films production. New York : Zeitgeist Films, 2008.  1 DVD videodisc (96 min.) : sd., col.; 4 3/4 in. HV636 2005 .N4 T76 2008 VideoDVD : "This astonishing powerful documentary takes you inside Hurricane Katrina in a way never seen on screen. Incorporating remarable home footage shot by Kimberly Rivers Robers-an aspiring rap artist trapped with her husband in the 9th ward-directors/producers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal weave this insider's view of Katrina with a devastating protrait of the hurricane's aftermath. Trouble the Water takes audiences on a journey that is by turns heart-stopping, infuriating, inspiring and empowering. It's not only about the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, but about the underlying issues that remained when the flood waters receded-failing public schools, record high levels of incarceration, poverty, structural racism and lack of government accountability."

The True Welcome in Ken Burns's Jazz Episode 4 (Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), 2000) 119:09 mins.  Streaming video in American History in Video.  Access limited to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Tulia, Texas  (2007) / a film by Cassandra Herrman and Kelly Whalen ; a co-production of Cassandra Herrman and Kelly Whalen and the Independent Television Service (ITVS)  [San Francisco, Calif.] : California Newsreel, c2008.  1 DVD videodisc (54 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in  HV8148.T85 T85 2008 VideoDVD : Through its scrupulous investigation of a landmark case, Tulia, Texas uncovers the deep-rooted assumptions about race and crime that still permeate our society and undermines our justice system. The film convincingly shows how the 'war on drugs' has become a war on due process, waged against African Americans. Today America has the largest prison population in the world; in some states as much as 15 percent of the black male population is incarcerated. Tulia, Texas shows one reason why. ...The film tells the story from multiple points of view, presenting the evidence in the order in which it came to light, putting viewers in the same position as the jury, judging the credibility of the prosecution's case. Then, as new facts surface after the trial, the audience is forced to question its own beliefs about the criminal justice system and the disproportionate number of African Americans it convicts....Tulia appears to be a typical American small town located in the Texas Panhandle. Vacant storefronts line a Main Street straight out of the 1950's, suggesting that Tulia has been left behind by the tidal economic and cultural changes of the past fifty years. It has a small African American community, known as "Black Town", originally made up of agricultural laborers, since displaced by modernization. Many local black youth are unemployed; good jobs are still closed to them and some have turned to drugs. But it was only when drug use was perceived to have "crossed the tracks" to white neighborhoods that Tulia's civic leaders became alarmed. Here, as throughout the country, black youth became scapegoats for simmering white anxiety over social forces beyond their control and comprehension....In response to drug hysteria fanned by the media and politicians, Tulia's sheriff called in a federally trained undercover agent, Tom Coleman, to conduct a sting operation. In a July 1999 dawn raid, local law enforcement rounded up dozens of people in Tulia and threw them behind bars. Of the 46 arrested, 39 of them were black, all charged with selling Coleman cocaine. Eight were prosecuted, found guilty and sentenced to unusually stiff jail terms of twenty to ninety-nine years. The rest, fearing similar punishment, agreed to plea bargains. Most had been represented by ill-prepared court appointed attorneys; the trials were quick and perfunctory; the juries convicted based on the time-honored Texas tradition of accepting the uncorroborated testimony of a law enforcement officer as proof of guilt....And there matters would have stood had it not been for a determined group of townspeople, and a crusading Amarillo defense attorney, Jeff Blackburn, who decided to take a closer look at the evidence. He discovered numerous inconsistencies in Coleman's investigation: physical descriptions of perpetrators bore no resemblance to the actual defendants, crimes were allegedly committed on days Coleman was off-duty, and sales were reported at times when defendants were at work or out of town. As discrepancies started to leak out, the case attracted national media attention; In response, a multi-racial coalition, the "Friends of Justice," was formed in Tulia. Soon, Blackburn was joined by attorneys from the NAACP and ACLU, as well as one of the top law firms in the country. The team of lawyers helped win a hearing before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to present new evidence on behalf of several defendants. The lawyers also revealed the shocking discovery that Coleman himself had a criminal record. At the time he was working in Tulia, he was wanted on a warrant for theft in another county. The Sheriff and regional narcotics taskforce covered up the charges and put Coleman back to work. In addition to his legal entanglements, Coleman, had left several towns owing merchants thousands of dollars; one community where he had worked had asked that he be removed, while fellow officers testified that he had made frequent racist comments....How could a man with such a record be empowered to put 46 people in prison, some for what amounted to life? Tulia Texas convincingly argues this was an inevitable consequence of the mass hysteria and vigilante law enforcement whipped up by the "War on Drugs." In the waning years of the Reagan administration, the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program was created to provide federal grants to special regional narcotics taskforces that partnered with local Sheriffs and police departments. Grants were renewed largely on the basis of the number of arrests, changing the strategy of law enforcement from apprehending drug kingpins to sweeps targeting low-level drug users. Undercover agents were hurriedly recruited often without background checks and sent into poor, mostly black communities. As one agent recalls, "it was all a question of numbers," a built-in mechanism for giving short shrift to due process, allowing racial stereotypes to trump reasonable doubt....As a result of the revelations about Coleman, all the defendants were eventually set free and pardoned by the Texas governor. Coleman himself was convicted of perjury, but the West Texas jury gave him only a suspended sentence. As one of the former defendants sadly observes, many white residents of Tulia will always think Coleman's targets were guilty as charged. Neither the local sheriff nor regional narcotics officials have been held accountable for hiring Coleman and robbing so many innocent people of years of their lives. The underlying prejudices and policies that made the real crimes of Tulia possible are still widespread in American society. As of 2008, despite scandals involving more than 30 taskforces, 600 operations like the one in Tulia remain. Tulia, Texas challenges viewers to question the deep ties between race, poverty and the criminal justice system in this country.  Trailer.

The Tuskegee Airmen / Rubicon Productions ; produced and directed by W. Drew Perkins, Bill Reifenberger ; written by Bill Reifenberger ; associate producer, Alex Jennings, Anne Greene.  [Alexandria, VA] : PBS Home Video ; Hollywood, Calif. : Distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment, [2004]  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 60 min.) : sd., col. (with b&w sequences) ; 4 3/4 in.  D810.N4 T87 2004 VideoDVD : The story of an experiment -- "to see if Blacks had the intellectual and physical ability to fly an aircraft in combat." These pilots, trained in the "deep South," became the Tuskegee Airmen, flying combat aircraft during World War II for their country. They battled on two fronts: against the Axis powers in Europe and North Africa, and the racism at home.

Two dollars and a dream  / a film by Stanley Nelson ; produced and directed by Stanley Nelson ; narration written by Lou Potter.  New York, N.Y. : Filmakers Library, [200-?]  1 videodisc (56 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 2/4 in.  HD9970.5.C672 W3559 2000z VideoDVD : A biography of Madame C.J. Walker, the child of slaves freed by the Civil War, who became America's first self-made millionairess. By interweaving social, economic and political history, it also offers a view of black America from 1867 to the 1930's....Mrs. Walker's fortune was built on skin and hair care products. She parlayed a homemade beauty formula into a prosperous business, marketing her products from coast to coast. Her daughter, A'Leilia Walker, was an important patron of the Harlem Renaissance. The two women lived in royal style, complete with a mansion and chauffeured limousines....This little known story is both entertaining and informative. It combines interviews, historical stills and unique film footage including scenes from Harlem's famous Cotton Club. The film is punctuated with the music of Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and other masters of that era.

Two Dollars and A Dream / A film by Stanley Nelson.  1989.  52 minutes.  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : This is a biography of Madame C.J. Walker, the child of slaves freed by the Civil War, who became America's first self-made millionairess. By interweaving social, economic and political history, it also offers a view of black America from 1867 to the 1930's....Mrs. Walker's fortune was built on skin and hair care products. She parlayed a homemade beauty formula into a prosperous business, marketing her products from coast to coast. Her daughter, A'Leilia Walker, was an important patron of the Harlem Renaissance. The two women lived in royal style, complete with a mansion and chauffeured limousines....This little known story is both entertaining and informative. It combines interviews, historical stills and unique film footage including scenes from Harlem's famous Cotton Club. The film is punctuated with the music of Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and other masters of that era. Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

The Two Nations of Black America / WGBH Educational Foundation ; produced by June Cross ; correspondent: Henry Louis Gates, Jr. ; written by June Cross and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  Distributed by PBS Home Video, [2008]  1 DVD videodisc (60 min.)  E185.8 .T96 2008 VideoDVD : There is a growing economic divide in black America. Today, America's black middle class is the largest in its history, yet roughly one-third of black America continues to live in poverty. This film measures the economic and social success of the civil rights movement and the gap between middle class and poor African-Americans through interviews with noted Afro-Americans and historical film footage.

Selected Documentary Films, U-V

All African American documentaries are located in the Digital and Multimedia Center unless otherwise indicated.  Movies can be checked out unless reserved for a class. 

Unchained Memories : Readings From the Slave Narratives / an HBO Documentary Film in association with the Library of Congress ; producers, Jacqueline Glover, Thomas Lennon ; writer, Mark Jonathan Harris ; directors, Ed Bell, Thomas Lennon.  New York, N.Y. : HBO Video, c2003.  1 DVD videodisc (75 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  E444 .U63 2003 VideoDVD :  When the Civil War ended in 1865, more than 4 million slaves were set free. By the late 1930's, 100,000 former slaves were still alive. In the midst of the Great Depression, journalists and writers traveled the country to record the memories of the last generation of African-Americans born into bondage. Over 2,000 interviews were transcribed as spoken, in the vernacular of the time, to form a unique historical record.  Cast : Angela Bassett, Michael Boatman, Roscoe Lee Browne, Don Cheadle, Sandra Daley, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Robert Guillaume, Jasmine Guy, Samuel L. Jackson, C.C.H. Pounder, LaTanya Richardson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Roger Guenveur Smith, Courtney B. Vance, Vanessa L. Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Alfre Woodard.   Narrator : Whoopi Goldberg.

Uncommon Images: James Van DerZee / A film by Evelyn Barron.  1978.  22 minutes.  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : This is a touching portrait of one of the first and foremost photographers of black American life, who set up shop in Harlem at the beginning of the century and spent the next sixty years taking pictures there. His work is now recognized for its artistic and historic value, representing a fascinating record of the public and private life of the black community....Mr. Van DerZee, a man who loved deeply and experienced both joy and sorrow in his life, brings to his reminiscences the wisdom of a ripe old age.  Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

The Uncomfortable Truth : The History of Racism in America. Joan Trumpauer Mulholland Foundation, 2016. 86 minutes. Streaming video via Kanopy. : When the son of a Civil Rights Hero dives into the 400 year history of institutional racism in America he is confronted with the shocking reality that his family helped start it all from the very beginning. A comprehensive and insightful exploration of the origins and history of racism in America told through a very personal and honest story.  Winner of Best Documentary at the Utah Film Awards, National Black Film Festival, and the Park City International Film Festival.

Underground Railroad  / produced by Triage, Inc. for the History Channel ; producer, Susan Michaels.  [Burlington, VT] : A & E Home Video ; [New York] : Distributed by New Video, [2002]  1 DVD videodisc (150 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. E450 .U53 2002 VideoDVD : Traces the journey to freedom taken by countless slaves, showing how they were guided, protected and pursued along the way. The extraordinary story is told through historical documents, visits to important sites, interviews with the descendants of noted abolitionists and commentary from experts.  Traces the journey to freedom taken by countless slaves, showing how they were guided, protected and pursued along the way. The extraordinary story is told through historical documents, visits to important sites, interviews with the descendants of noted abolitionists and commentary from experts.

The Underground Railroad in Michigan / produced by Teatro Internacional and Grand Rapids Public School.  [Grand Rapids, Mich.?] : Great Lakes Video Service, 1980?  4 VHS videocassettes  E450 .U535 1980 Videocassette : History of the Undergraound Railroad in Michigan which fugitive slaves took to reach Canada where slavery was illegal.

Underground Railroad : the William Still Story / a production of 90th Parallel Productions Ltd., in association with Rogers Broadcasting Limited and WNED-TV Buffalo/Toronto ; director, producer, and writer, Laine Drewery.  [United States] : PBS Home Video, [2012]  1 DVD videodisc (60 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  E450 .U52 2012 VideoDVD  : William Still was one of the most important, yet largely unheralded heroes of the Underground Railroad. Still was determined to get as many runaways as he could to "Freedom's Land," smuggling them across the US border to Canada. Bounty hunters could legally abduct former slaves living in the so-called free northern states, but under the protection of the British, Canada provided sanctuary for fugitive slaves....Still kept meticulous records of the many escaped slaves who passed through the Philadelphia 'station' of the Underground Railroad. His notes provide some of the best evidence of the workings of the Underground Railroad, detailing the freedom seekers who used it, including where they came from, how they had escaped, and the families they left behind....Today, Still's book, a compilation of the secret notes he kept during those years, is regarded as the most authentic account of some of America's most heroic stories. It was an extraordinary risk to keep such records, risking his own freedom to be able to tell the stories of those who had the courage to run. But it was worth the risk. After meeting his own long-lost brother while working in the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery office, he was determined to reunite families separated by slavery. His compelling story is one of North America's greatest sagas.   Available from PBS as streaming video in 2013.

Unforgivable Blackness : the Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson / a Florentine Films production ; a film directed by Ken Burns ; written by Geoffrey C. Ward ; produced by David Schaye, Paul Barnes, Ken Burns ; produced in association with WETA Washington, DC ; American Lives Film Project. [Alexandria, Va.] : PBS Home Video, c2005.  2 DVDs (ca. 220 min.)  GV1132.J7 U54 2005 VideoDVD  (Also available as part of the ROVI Movie Collection) : Chronicles the life and career of Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight boxing champion in history, and examines how he was able to rise above the suspicion and racism in America at that time to win the greatest prize in sports in 1908.

An Unlikely Friendship / A film by Diane Bloom.  2002.  45 minutes.  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : An Unlikely Friendship is a film about a surprising friendship which emerged beween an embittered Ku Klux Klan leader and an outspoken black woman activist. Told in their own words, this compelling story is as sincere and down-home as the protagonists....In the early 1970's, when Durham, North Carolina was experiencing acrimonious racial tensions, Ann Atwater, a poor welfare mother and CP Ellis, the Exalted Grand Cyclops of the Durham Ku Klux Klan were on opposite sides of the public school integration debate. They were appointed to co-chair a community committee to resolve problems arising from a court-ordered school desegregation. Initially, their relationship was fraught with distrust and hatred. By getting to know each other as they worked together, they formed a deep and loving friendship which changed race relations and shocked Durham's residents. On the final night of the ten-day community meeting, in front of one thousand people, including his fellow Klansmen, CP Ellis tore up his Klan card....The change came with a heavy price: Ellis became an outcast among his former friends who have not forgiven him to this day. The stories told by CP and Ann are comic and poignant. These two very different people finding common ground and overcoming their hatred for each other provide a helpful and hopeful model for us all. Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Unnatural causes  : is inequality making us sick? / produced by California Newsreel ; in association with Vital Pictures ... [et al.] ; presented by National Minority Consortia ; series creator & executive producer, Larry Adelman.  [San Francisco, Calif.]  California Newsreel, c2008.  1 DVD videodisc (236 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  RA448.4 .U53 2008 VideoDVD : A four-hour documentary series arguing that "health and longevity are correlated with socioeconomic status, people of color face an additional health burden, and our health and well-being are tied to policies that promote economic and social justice. Each of the half-hour program segments, set in different racial/ethnic communities, provides a deeper exploration of the ways in which social conditions affect population health and how some communities are extending their lives be improving them....In sickness and in wealth: "What connections exist between healthy bodies, healthy bank accounts and skin color? Follow four individuals from different walks of life to see how their position in society, shaped by social policies and public priorities, affects their health....When the bough breaks: "African American infant mortality rates remain twice as high as for white Americans. African American mothers with college degrees or higher face the same risk of having low birth-weight babies as white women who haven't finished high school. How might the chronic stress of racism over the life course become embedded in our bodies and increase risks?...Becoming American: "Recent Mexican immigrants tend to be healthier than the average American. But those health advantages erode the longer they've been here. What causes health to worsen as immigrants become American? What can we all learn about improved well-being from new immigrant communities?"...Bad sugar: "O'odham Indians, living on reservations in southern Arizona, have perhaps the highest rate of Type 2 diabetes in the world. Some researchers see this as the literal 'embodiment' of decades of poverty, oppression, and loss. A new approach suggests that communities may regain control over their health if they can regain control over their futures....Place matters: "Increasingly, recent Southeast Asian immigrants, along with Latinos, are moving into long-neglected African American urban neighborhoods, and now their health is being eroded as a result. What policies and investment decisions create living environments that harm, or enhance, the health of residents? What actions can make a difference?" ...Collateral damage: "In the Marshall Islands, local populations have been displaced from their traditional way of life by the American military presence and globalization. Now they must contend with the worst of the 'developing' and industrialized worlds: infectious diseases such as tuberculosis due to crowded living conditions, and extreme poverty and chronic disease, stemming in part from the stress of dislocation and loss...Not just a paycheck: "Residents of Western Michigan struggle against depression, domestic violence and higher rates of heart disease and diabetes after the largest refrigerator factory in the country shuts down. Ironically, the plant is owned by a company in Sweden, where mass layoffs, far from devastating lives, are relatively benign because of government policies that protect and retrain worker.

The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till / Thinkfilm ; director, Kevin A. Beauchamp.  New York : Thinkfilm, c2005.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 70 min.) : sd., b&w with col. sequences ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 CD-ROM.  E185.6 .U5865 2005 VideoDVD & CD-ROM discs 1-2 :  In August 1955, Mamie Till-Mobley of Chicago sent her only child, 14 year-old Emmett Louis Till, to visit relatives in the Mississippi Delta. Little did she know that only 8 days later, Emmett would be abducted from his Great-Uncle's home, brutally beaten and murdered for one of the oldest Southern taboos: whistling at a white woman in public. The murderers were soon arrested but later acquitted of murder by an all-white, all-male jury. Keith Beauchamp's groundbreaking film is the result of a 10-year journey to uncover the truth behind the nightmarish murder of an innocent African-American teenager. Emmett's brutal murder - and his family's brave actions in the horrifying aftermath - served as a major impetus for America's civil rights movement and led to Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to make decisions that changed the course of history. Includes a  featurette The Impact of the Emmett Till Case in American History and Today from the Civil Rights Project of Harvard University.

Up From Slavery / Kevin R. Hershberger. Golden Valley, Minn.] : Mill Creek Entertainment, c2011. 2 videodiscs (ca. 5 hr., 6 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. E441 .U65 2011 VideoDVD  discs 1-2 : With incredibly detailed historical reenactments, expert commentary and the stories of slavery told through first-hand accounts, this is an epic struggle 400 years in the making. A journey into the past like none other. This is the story of these men and women who by their hands laid the foundation of what would become the most powerful nation on Earth. Join us as we rise...UP FROM SLAVERY.  Contents : 1619 Virginia, the first African slaves arrive -- 18th century colonial America and slavery under the rule of the British Empire -- Slavery in the United States after the Revolution -- Nat Turner's rebellion, 1831 -- Abolition from the north grows -- The Civil War, Emancipation Proclamation -- Aftermath of the Civil War and new "freedom."

Up from the Bottoms : The Search for the American Dream / presented by Alcoa Howmet ; Clear Vision Films ; produced by Jim Schaub, Rod Schaub ; writers, Jim Schaub, Barbara Roos ; directed by Jim Schaub ; wit songs by Stevie Wonder & Miles Davis.    Muskegon, Mich.] : Clear Vision Films ; c2009.  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 58 min.) ; sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. F574.M9 U73 2009 VideoDVD  : A documentary that explores the struggles and triumphs of African Americans as they migrated from the old south to the prosperous north -- including Muskegon, Michigan.

Up south  : African-American migration in the era of the great war / American Social History Project ; produced and directed by Andrea Ades Vasquez, Pennee Bender and Joshua Brown.  New York : American Social History Productions ; Wyckoff, N.J. : American Social History Project Film Library [distributor], 1996.  1 videocassette (30 min.) : sd., b&w with col. sequences ; 1/2 in.  F548.9.N4 U6 1996 Videocassette : Between 1916 and 1921, 500,000 African-Americans moved from the south to cities in the North. Mississipians chose Chicago as their destination in the great migration. This is their story.  Viewer's guide and trailer.

Urban roots : when everything collapses plant your field of dreams / Tree Media Production in association with Choir Vandals ; produced by Mathew Schmid, Leila Conners ; directed by Mark MacInnis. Santa Monica, CA : Tree Media Group, c2011.  1 DVD videodisc (92 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. S494.5.U72 U72 2011 VideoDVD :  Produced by Leila Conners (The 11th Hour) and Mathew Schmid and directed by Mark MacInnis, the film follows the urban farming phenomenon in Detroit. Urban Roots is a timely, moving and inspiring film that speaks to a nation grappling with collapsed industrial towns and the need to forge a sustainable and prosperous future.  Trailer.

Voices of Civil Rights / The History Channel ; A&E Television Networks.  A&E Home Video ; New York : Distributed by New Video, c2006.  2 videodiscs (ca. 243 min.); DVD E185.61 .C5855 2006 VideoDVD (Also available as part of ROVI Film Collection) : From the fearless resolve of a single woman to the remarkable voice of thousands marching, this History Channel special offers an overview of one of America's great defining periods. A compilation of materials on the civil rights movement, from personal narratives of life in the period, to insights into the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission, to the 1965 march on Montgomery, along with biographies of two of the leaders of the movement.  Contents : v. 1. Voices of civil rights / executive producer/director, Jeffrey Tuchman (host, Mekhi Phifer) (44 min., c2005) ; Mississippi State secrets / CBS News Productions (host, Arthur Kent) (44 min., c2001) ; Crossing the bridge / produced & written by David C. Taylor (narrator, Arthur Kent) (44 min., c2001) -- v. 2. Martin Luther King, Jr. : the man and the dream / director, John Akomfrah (narrator, Jack Perkins) (59 min., c1997) ; Thurgood Marshall : justice for all / producers, Eileen M. Lucas, Arden Ostrander (narrator, Bob Brown) (44 min., c1997).

Voices of PowerPrinceton, NJ : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 2000, c1999.  1 VHS videocassette (29 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.  E185.86 .V65 2000 Videocassette : African-American women have captured the moral imagination of mainstream America through their essays, novels, poetry, and other artistic endeavors, breaching the static lines of race, gender, and class. How have their reflections so clearly articulated the hopes and philosophies of so many? In this program, writers Alice Walker and Bell Hooks and Ohio State University faculty Dr. Martha Wharton and Dr. Valerie Lee examine the emergence of African-American women as popular and powerful voices of social conscience.

Selected Documentary Films, W-Z

The Water Front  / Red Lizard Media presents a film by Liz Miller ; director, producer ... Liz Miller.  Oley, PA : Bullfrog Films, [2008]  1 DVD videodisc (53 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  TD224.M5 W3834 2008 VideoDVD : What if you lived by the largest body of fresh water in the world but could no longer afford to use it? Residents of Highland Park, Michigan, known as the birthplace of the auto industry, have received water bills as high as $10,000; they have had their water turned off and are struggling to keep water, a basic human right, from becoming privatized. The Water Front is the story of an American city in crisis, but it is not just about water. The story touches on the very essence of our democratic system and is an unnerving indication of what is in store for residents around the world facing their own water struggles.

Wattstax (1973) / a Stax Films/Wolper Pictures production ; directed by Mel Stuart ; produced by Larry Shaw, Mel Stuart. Burbank, CA : Distributed by Warner Home Video, c2004. 1 DVD videodisc (103 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  M1670 .W37 2004 VideoDVD : They called Wattstax the "black Woodstock," but there are many differences between that seminal hippie event and the 1972 concert documented in this 30th-anniversary special-edition reissue. Woodstock was all about peace, love, and music. Wattstax, held three years later in Los Angeles, had those elements as well; but as this 103-minute film reminds us, it was a more socio-politically charged event, with its emphasis on black pride and the simple opportunity for African Americans to assert that, in opening speaker Jesse Jackson's words, "I am somebody." There's also a good deal less music in this film than in the Woodstock movie. As the title suggests, a host of great Stax Records artists (including Rufus and Carla Thomas, the Bar-Kays, the Staple Singers, Albert King, and show closer Isaac Hayes) performed, but much of Wattstax doesn't even take place inside the L.A. Coliseum, where the concert was held, but rather in the churches and shops and on the streets of Watts itself (music fans would be better off checking out the Wattstax double CD). Wattstax, in fact, is much less a music movie than a chronicle of black life seven years after the Watts race riots, as well as what comedian Richard Pryor (who delivers several hilarious but scathing bits) calls "a soulful expression of the black experience."

W.E.B. Du Bois : a Biography in Four Voices / Scribe Video Center ; produced and directed by Louis Massiah.   California Newsreel, 1995.  1 DVD videodisc (116 min.)   E185.97.D73 W163 1997 VideoDVD : In this film four prominent African-American writers each narrate a period in the life of the sociologist and author, W.E.B. Du Bois, and describe his impact on their work. They chronicle Du Bois' role as a founder of the NAACP, organizer of the first Pan-African Congress, editor of Crisis, a journal of the black cultural renaissance, and author of a series of landmark sociological studies. Anathematized during the McCarthy years, Du Bois immigrated to Ghana, the first independent African state, where he died.  For more information, visit California Newsreel.

We Shall Overcome / producers, Jim Brown ... [et al.] ; director, Jim Brown.  San Francisco, CA : California Newsreel, c1988.  1 VHS videocassette (58 min.) : sd., col. ; 3/4 in.  M1977.C47 W47 1988 Videocassette :  We Shall Overcome was produced for PBS by Ginger Group Film Productions. This film chronicled the history of the song that was originally an old slave spiritual and became the anthem of the civil rights movement both nationally and internationally. Includes footage and interviews with Harry Belafonte, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Taj Mahal, Peter, Paul & Mary, and the Freedom Singers.

We Were Known As-- : Negroes, Colored People     East Lansing, MI : WKAR-TV, 2001.  1 VHS videocassette (56:44 min.) : sd., col. and b&w ; 1/2 in.  F575.N3 W43 2001 Videocassette : A nostalgic snapshot look at African-American life in Lansing, Michigan from the mid-1930s to the mid-1970s. Uses archival photographs, film, and interviews. Included is a follow-up discussion focusing on the years after the documentary ends, from the mid-1970s to the present. Includes interviews with Lansing community members Cyril McGuire, Wilber Howard, Fred Porter, Stuart Dunnings, Jr., Dick Letts, Chuck Brown, Mary Jane McGuire, and Josephine Tinsley. Recorded Dec. 21, 2001. Originally broadcast on WKAR-TV Jan. 8, 2002.

Whatever happened to Idlewild? / written and produced by Coy W. Davis Jr. ; C. Davis & Associates.  [Michigan] : The Way Productions, [2001?]  1 DVD videodisc (49 min.) : sound, color, black and white ; 4 3/4 in. F574.I35 W47 2001 VideoDVD : History of African American culture and customs at Idlewild in Lake County, Michigan. African American entertainers Sammy Davis Jr., Bill Cosby, Louie Armstrong and others played at the Idlewild Club.

What's race got to do with it?  / California Newsreel presents ; written, directed and produced by Jean Cheng.  Berkeley, CA : California Newsreel, 2006.  1 DVD videodisc (49 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  LC1099.3 .W437 2006 VideoDVD : This program "chronicles the experiences of a new generation of college students, in this case over the course of 16 weeks of intergroup dialogue on the U.C. Berkeley campus. As they confront themselves and each other about race, they discover they often lack awareness of how different their experience of campus life is from their peers, to the detriment of an inclusive campus climate.

When African Americans came to Paris / six videos by Joanne Burke ; a Blue Lion Films release in partnership with Walking the Spirit Tours.    [New York] : Blue Lion Films, 2012.  1 DVD (approximately 36 minutes) : sound, color with black& white sequences ; 4 3/4 in.    DC718.A36 W44 2012 VideoDVD : Blue Lion Films Inc. and Walking The Spirit Tours of Black Paris have launched a groundbreaking DVD of short videos that showcases pioneering African Americans and their remarkable achievements in Paris. Archival film plus commentary by experts. Featured in this first set of "When African Americans Came To Paris" are WEB Dubois, Henry O. Tanner, The Harlem Hellfighters, Lt. James Reese Europe, Jazz in Paris after WWI and 3 Women Artists: Lois Mailou Jones, Augusta Savage and Nancy Elizabeth Prophet. Trailer.

When African Americans Came to Paris, Part 2 / a Blue Lion Films release.  DVD.  DC718.A36 W442 2014 VideoDVD : This dynamic 2nd part focusses on the stars: Josephine Baker, Sidney Bechet, Langston Hughes & Diaspora Writers - Aime Cesaire, Leopold Senghor, the Nardal Sister, Rene Maran. In each 12-15 minute video, the commentary by academics such as Tyler Stovall, Bennetta Jules-Rosette, Rashida Braggs, Robert O'Meally, Mamadou Diof, Tracy Sharpley-Whiting brings new understanding to these familiar figures, their experiences in France and their influence.  Trailer.

When the Levees Broke : a Requiem in Four Acts / [a Spike Lee film] ; 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks ; HBO Documentary Films ; [director, Spike Lee] ; producers, Sam Pollard, Spike Lee ; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.  HBO Video, c2006.  3 DVD videodiscs (4 hr., 17 min.)  HV636 2005 .L8 W496 2006 VideoDVD : The world watched in horror as Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on August 29, 2005. Many were shocked, not only by the scale of the disaster, but the slow, inept and disorganized response of the emergency and recovery efforts. Structured into four acts, each dealing with a different aspect of the events that preceded and followed Katrina's catastrophic passage through New Orleans. Tells the heartbreaking personal stories of those who endured this harrowing event and survived it.

When We Were Kings / a Gramercy Pictures release ; a DASFilms presentation ; a David Sonenberg production ; a film by Leon Gast and Taylor Hackford.  [S.l.] : PolyGram Video, c1997.  1 DVD videodisc (94 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  GV1132.M84 W47 1997 VideoDVD : It's 1974, Muhammed Ali is 32 and thought by many to be past his prime. George Forman is ten years younger and the Heavyweight champion of the world. Promoter Don King wants to make a name for himself and offers both fighters five million dollars apiece to fight one another, and when they accept, King has only to come up with the money. He finds a backer in Mobutu Sese Suko, the dictator of Zaire and the "Rumble in the Jungle" is set.  Cast : Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, James Brown, B.B. King, Norman Mailer, George Plimpton, Spike Lee, The Crusaders, The Spinners.

Where Did You Get That Woman? / A film by Loretta Smith.  1994.  28 minutes.  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : This engaging portrait of a 77-year-old African-American washroom attendant stands as a piece of social history. Richly illustrated with archival photographs, it documents the odyssey of Joan Williams from an Oklahoma farm to the wartime factories of Chicago. Not ready to retire to the loneliness of senior citizens' housing, she has forged a new career in the powder room of one of Chicago's night spots....A spirited, enterprising woman who has rebounded from life's hard knocks, Ms. Williams takes pride in her profession. She provides towels and lotions at her own expense, as well as a sympathetic ear for the romantic misadventures of the women who freshen up in her domain. Her employer pays only her cab fare, and her clients hopefully leave tips. However, her real payoff is "being in showbusiness."...With archival photographs and blues music, Where Did You Get That Woman? represents the shared experience of a generation of African-American women during the Great Migration north.  Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Whispers of Angels  : A Story of the Underground Railroad / a presentation of Janson Media ; writer/director, Sharon A. Baker. [Wilmington, Del.] : Janson Media, c2004.  1 DVD videodisc (60 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  E450 .W45 2004 VideoDVD : The Underground Railroad was the principle means used by slaves to escape their captivity. Two important "stationmasters", Thomas Garrett and William Still, are depicted in this documentary on the Underground Railroad in Delaware....Interviews with historians and dramatic reenactments explain the fight to end slavery.  Also see the accompaning website.

White Scripts and Black Supermen : Black Masculinities in Comic Books / Grace Films ; produced, written, and directed by Jonathan Gayles.    California Newsree,  2012.  1 DVD-R videodisc (52 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in  PN6725 .W473 2011 VideoDVD : Twenty years ago, Marlon Riggs produced an essential documentary critique of the images of African Americans in US television in his award-winning Color Adjustment. Now comes a documentary on representations of Black masculinity in comic books; a popular culture genre which existed before television and whose reach extends into other areas of cultural production such as movies and animated TV series. White Scripts and Black Supermen: Black Masculinities in Comic Books analyzes the subject for the first time and looks at it over a 40 year period....In a serious, lively and humorous manner, the film examines the degree to which some of the first Black superheroes generally adhered to and were burdened by stereotypes about Black men. However we also witness how some images shifted – oftentimes clumsily - to reflect the changing times. In fact the documentary was formerly entitled Shaft or Sidney Poitier: Black Masculinity in Comic Books to signify two types of characters, one with hyper-masculine urban swagger (Shaft) and one with remarkably “dignified” behavior (Sidney Poitier). Ultimately, it became clear that there was much more "Shaft" than "Sidney Poitier" in these early Black superheroes....Along with images from the comic books themselves, it features commentary by scholars and cultural critics (Jelani Cobb, Mark Anthony Neal, Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua) producers, writers and artists (Reginald Hudlin, John Jennings, Tony Isabella and the late pioneer Dwayne McDuffie.) They provide tools for critiquing all media as they introduce and analyze the leading Black comic book superheroes of the late 60's to late 70's including Black Panther, the Falcon, John Stewart (the Green Lantern), Luke Cage and Black Lightning....For more information on the subject of African Americans and comic books, please go to   Trailer.

Whitewash  1 hr. 17 min. Streaming video available from Hulu : A film exploring the complexity of race in America through the eyes of the ocean. Examining the history of "black consciousness" as it triumphs and evolves into the minds of black surfers, we learn the power of transcending race as a constructive phenomenon. The story is narrated by the legendary, Grammy Award winner Ben Harper (Fistful of Mercy, Relentless 7, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals) along with Tariq "Blackthought" Trotter of the Grammy Award winning hip hop group, The Roots whom also originally scored the film.

Who do you think you are?  Season 1  / Wall to Wall Productions in association with Is or Isn't Entertaiment, LLC. and Shed Media ; executive producers, Alex Graham ... [et al.]   Silver Springs, MD : Acorn Media, c2010.  2 DVD videodiscs (293 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  CS69 .W48 2010 VideoDVD discs 1-2 : To know who you are, you have to know where you came from. In this fascinating reality series, seven celebrities share their life-altering discoveries. Working with genealogists, historians, and researchers, they travel the world to uncover the secrets and surprises in their family trees....Sarah Jessica Parker’s (Sex and the City) search leads back to the Salem witch trials. Dallas Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith follows his slave ancestors to Benin. Lisa Kudrow (Friends) learns the truth of her great-grandmother’s fate in the Holocaust. Tony® winner Matthew Broderick (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Glory) traces his family to battlefields in France and America. Brooke Shields (Suddenly Susan) unearths her royal connections. Oscar® winner Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking) explores the racy life of her grandmother. And Emmy® -winning director Spike Lee (Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X) meets a relative he didn’t know he had....Intriguing, moving, and ultimately uplifting, this series proves that genealogy is more than a pastime. It’s a journey through history that changes everything.

Who do you think you are? Season 2 / Wall to Wall Productions in association with Is or Isn't Entertaiment, LLC. and Shed Media ; executive producers, Alex Graham ... [et al.].  United States : Acorn Media, 2012.  2 DVDs.  335 minutes.  CS69 .W46 2012 VideoDVD  discs 1-2 : Join eight beloved celebrities as they journey through time to trace their family trees. Working with genealogists, historians, and researchers, they uncover long-buried secrets, come face-to-face with their ancestors, and learn surprising, often life-changing truths about their families and themselves.  Vanessa Williams (Desperate Housewives) finds that breaking down barriers runs in her family. Country music superstar Tim McGraw discovers the source of his own pioneering spirit.  Rosie O'Donnell follows her mother’s roots to the grim realities of the Irish potato famine. Kim Cattrall (Sex and the City) learns why her grandfather abandoned his family. Grammy®-winning singer and songwriter Lionel Ritchie explores his great-grandfather’s mysterious past. Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire) uncovers a family history of depression. Oscar® winner Gwyneth Paltrow explores both sides of her family, which couldn’t be more different. And Ashley Judd, actress and activist, learns she’s not the first in her family to fight for human rights. Touching, sometimes shocking, and profoundly inspiring, these stories are more than glimpses into the personal lives of famous people. Each is "a look inside the human heart".

The Whole Gritty City  / directed and produced by Richard Barber.  New York, NY : Band Room Productions, 2013.  1 streaming video file (89 min.)   Available online as part of Filmakers library online.  :  The Whole Gritty City is a 90-minute documentary that plunges viewers into the world of three New Orleans school marching bands.This New Orleans marching band story is at the same time a unique portrayal of an American inner city. It highlights men with an open-eyed, deep commitment to the community they've grown up in and the children in their charge. Viewers who know first-hand the African American urban experience will find a celebration of the strength and insight of these men, and the potential and resilience of their students. Others will find a moving, empathetic portrayal of an unfamiliar world, and come to feel a stake in the struggles and triumphs of these children and their mentors.

Whose Streets? An Unflinching Look at the Ferguson Uprising.  Magnolia Pictures, 2017.  102 minutes.  Streaming video available via Kanopy. : Told by the activists and leaders who live and breathe this movement for justice, Whose Streets? is an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising. When unarmed teenager Michael Brown is killed by police and left lying in the street for hours, it marks a breaking point for the residents of St. Louis, Missouri. Grief, long-standing racial tensions and renewed anger bring residents together to hold vigil and protest this latest tragedy. Empowered parents, artists, and teachers from around the country come together as freedom fighters. As the National Guard descends on Ferguson with military grade weaponry, these young community members become the torchbearers of a new resistance. Filmmakers Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis know this story because they are the story. Whose Streets? is a powerful battle cry from a generation fighting, not for their civil rights, but for the right to live. Nominated for Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival

Why We Laugh : Black Comedians on Black Comedy (2009) [United States] : Code Black Entertainment, 2010.  1 DVD videodisc (86 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. PN6231.N5 W479 2010 VideoDVD : An off-screen narration, four dozen talking heads, and clips of performances tell a chronological story about Black comedy: who has made us laugh since 1901, what is the nature of their humor, and what social and political contexts inform it. We look at minstrels, Stepin Fetchit, "Amos 'n Andy," "Beulah," Redd Foxx, Dick Gregory, Flip Wilson, Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, "The Cosby Show," Chris Rock, Whoopi, "Hollywood Shuffle," entrepreneurship and Black comedy clubs, Robert Harris, urban street culture and "In Living Color," the rise of the Fox network, Def Comedy Jam, and the Original Kings of Comedy. The film asserts Black comedy helps America change.

Wild Women Don't Have the Blues (1988), see  Black by Popular Demand. Black and Blue : Black Women in Jazz and Blues Music / British Film Institute presentsBFI, [1990?]  1 VHS videocassette (90 min.)  VHS, PAL format, not compatible with American VCR players.  ML82 .B528 1990 PAL Videocassette : Features two American films that highlight black women's contribution to the blues and jazz. Tiny & Ruby, Hell Divin' Women (1988) reconstructs, through interviews, animation and home movies the lives of trumpeter Ernestine 'Tiny' Davis and pianist, bass player and drummer Ruby Lucas. Wild Women Don't Have the Blues (1988) shows rare footage of many blues women including Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters and other talking about the history of their contribution to American culture.

Willa Beatrice Brown: An American Aviator / Narrated by Debbie Allen.  2009.  28 minutes.  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library : Willa Beatrice Brown, the first African- American woman in the U.S. to be a licensed pilot, earned her license in 1937. She and her husband, Cornelius Coffey, founded a fully accredited flying school at Harlem Airfield, near Chicago. The school provided basic through advanced mechanic training and flight instruction for thousands of men and women, both black and white....Willa became a founding member of the National Airmen's Association of America, whose purpose was to lobby Congress for the racial integration of the US Army Air Corps. Her efforts were responsible for Congress' creation of the renowned Tuskegee Airmen, leading to the integration of the U.S. military service in 1948. Despite her many accomplishments, few people have heard of Willa Brown. This documentary tells her story and that of African- American aviation before World War II, highlighting the contributions of the many extraordinary individuals who shaped civil rights history. The program also includes rare interviews with some of the actual participants.  Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

Willa Brown  : An American Aviator / Tthe Connections Leadership Project and Script & Post Script present ; produced, written and directed by Severo Perez. New York : Filmakers Library, c2008. 1 DVD videodisc (28 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. TL540.B7 W54 2006 VideoDVD : Willa Beatrice Brown, the first African- American woman in the U.S. to be a licensed pilot, earned her license in 1937. She and her husband, Cornelius Coffey, founded a fully accredited flying school at Harlem Airfield, near Chicago. The school provided basic through advanced mechanic training and flight instruction for thousands of men and women, both black and white....Willa became a founding member of the National Airmen's Association of America, whose purpose was to lobby Congress for the racial integration of the US Army Air Corps. Her efforts were responsible for Congress' creation of the renowned Tuskegee Airmen, leading to the integration of the U.S. military service in 1948. Despite her many accomplishments, few people have heard of Willa Brown. This documentary tells her story and that of African- American aviation before World War II, highlighting the contributions of the many extraordinary individuals who shaped civil rights history. The program also includes rare interviews with some of the actual participants.

William Kunstler : disturbing the universe : / Arthouse Films, Curiously Bright Entertainment and LM Media GMBh present and Off Center Media Production in association with Chicken & Egg Pictures ; a co-production of Disturbing the Universe LLC and the Independent Television Service (ITVS) ; a film by Emily Kunstler & Sarah Kunstler ; written by Sarah Kunstler ; produced by Jesse Moss and Susan Korda ; produced and directed by Emily Kunstler and Sarah Kunstler.  [United States] : Arthouse Films : Distributed by New Video Group, [2010].  1 DVD videodisc (ca. 86 min.) : sd., col., b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  KF373.K8 W55 2010 VideoDVD : In the 1960s and '70s, radical lawyer William Kunstler fought for civil rights with Martin Luther King Jr. and represented the 'Chicago 8' activists who protested the Vietnam War. When the inmates took over Attica prison, or when the American Indian Movement stood up to the federal government at Wounded Knee, they asked Kunstler to be their lawyer. Kunstler also represented some of the most reviled members of society, including rapists and assassins.

Wilmington on Fire  / Speller Street Films presents ; in association with Double7 Images ; a Christopher Everett film ; producer, Blackhouse Publishing ; director and producer, Christopher Everett.    [Laurinburg, North Carolina] : Speller Street Films, [2015]   1 DVD videodisc (89 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.    F264.W7 W55 2015 VideoDVD :   This film chronicles the attack on the African-American community that unseated elected officials in the port city of Wilmington, North Carolina on November 10, 1898. Previously the city had thrived and been fully integrated both in business relations and socially including interracial marriages. The massacre and coup d'etat was the springboard for the white supremacy movement and Jim Crow segregation throught the state of North Carolina and the American South.

Wings for This Man (1945) (9:41 minutes)  Streaming video by Army Air Force Special Film Unit : Narrated by Ronald Reagan, this film highlights the achievements of the Tuskegee Airmen in WWII.

With All Deliberate Speed  / Discovery Docs, CameraPlanet Pictures present ; a film by Peter Gilbert. Princeton, NJ : Films for the Humanities & Sciences, c2005, 2004.  1 DVD videodisc (112 min) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in. LC212.2 .W58 2005 VideoDVD  : In the powerful documentary With All Deliberate Speed, producer-director Peter Gilbert commemorates the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. the Board of Education. The landmark ruling overturned the doctrine of "separate but equal," but Gilbert takes issue with the phrase "with all deliberate speed" added to the 1955 court order. It meant that schools could take as long as they wanted to comply or, as Julian Bond of the NAACP puts it, "with any conceivable delay." Gilbert, who produced Hoop Dreams, interviews some of the key figures involved with the decision and recreates the original case by having performers read the words of participants, like Alicia Keys as student activist Barbara Johns and Mekhi Phifer as Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. With All Deliberate Speed is a stirring, thought-provoking look at one of the most significant achievements of the civil rights movement. Narrated by Emmy Award-winner Jeffrey Wright (Angels in America).

Within Our Gates / Video Images presents a Video Yesteryear recording ; Oscar Micheaux presents ; with the renowned Negro artist Evelyn Preer.  [Pahrump, Nev.] : Mad Phat Enterprises, 2009.  1 DVD videodisc (78 min.) : silent, black and white ; 4 3/4 in.  PN1997 .W5818 2009 VideoDVD : Abandoned by her fiancé, an educated African American woman with a shocking past dedicates herself to helping a near bankrupt school for impoverished youths.  Originally released as a motion picture in 1919.  Earliest surviving silent feature directed by an African American.  It confronts racism through the story of a young African American woman who seeks to raise money for a Southern school for black children from a rich white Northerner. Scenes of lynching and attempted white-on-black rape are thought to be a response to D.W. Griffith's "The birth of a nation.

Yes, Ma'am / A film by Gary Goldman.  2002.  46 minutes  Streaming video from the Filmakers Library :  Filmed in the stately mansions of New Orleans, Yes, Ma'am shows the role of the black domestic workers in keeping up the gracious lifestyle so closely associated with the old South....On the surface there is a harmonious relationship between employer and employee, but probe a little deeper and grievances emerge. The maids often feel cut off from their own children as they take care of other people's youngsters. The work is physically hard and they are poorly compensated. They have not had an effective labor organization.  Access available to the MSU community and other subscribers.

You Belong to Me : Sex, Race, and Murder in the South.  Vision Films, 2015.  DVD-R   88 minutes.  HV6248.M17 Y68 2015 VideoDVD   : Ruby McCollum’s landmark case haunted jurors for decades. This is the story of an African-American woman who killed a prominent white doctor/ Senator-elect in Live Oak, Florida, after being subjected to years of sexual abuse. Remarkable secrets and terrible truths were revealed during her trial and incarceration, which paved the way for change in our society.

Zora Neale Hurston  : Jump at the Sun / producer and writer, Kristy Andersen ; director, Sam Pollard ; co-produced by Bay Bottom News and Thirteen/WNET's American Masters.  San Francisco, Calif.] : California Newsreel, c2008.   1 DVD videodisc (83 min.) : sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.  PS3515.U789 Z98 2008 VideoDVD : Zora Neale Hurston, path-breaking novelist, pioneering anthropologist and one of the first black women to enter the American literary canon (Their Eyes Were Watching God), established the African American vernacular as one of the most vital, inventive voices in American literature. This definitive film biography, eighteen years in the making, portrays Zora in all her complexity: gifted, flamboyant, and controversial but always fiercely original....Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun intersperses insights from leading scholars and rare footage of the rural South (some of it shot by Zora herself) with re-enactments of a revealing 1943 radio interview. Hurston biographer, Cheryl Wall, traces Zora's unique artistic vision back to her childhood in Eatonville, Florida, the first all-black incorporated town in the U.S. There Zora was surrounded by proud, self-sufficient, self-governing black people, deeply immersed in African American folk traditions. Her father, a Baptist preacher, carpenter and three times mayor, reminded Zora every Sunday morning that ordinary black people could be powerful poets. Her mother encouraged her to "jump at de' sun," never to let being black and a woman stand in the way of her dreams....Zora's mother died when she was thirteen and for the next fifteen years she hustled, moving from place to place, taking odd jobs as a maid or waitress. Finally, at 28, she achieved her goal of entering Howard University where she began to write. In 1925, at the height of the Harlem Renaissance, she arrived in New York "with $1.50 in my pocket and a lot of hope." Novelist Dorothy West, doyenne of that generation, remembers her as the self-anointed "queen" of the "niggerati," a term Zora coined. She became a close friend and collaborator of Langston Hughes, a Mid-westerner who found in Zora a link to the Southern black experience. ...Zora next entered Barnard, becoming its first black graduate and a protege of Franz Boas, the father of modern anthropology. He obtained a fellowship for her to document the disappearing folklore of the rural South. She returned to Eatonville with "a camera and pearl-handled revolver," launching her career as one of the leading ethnologists of African American culture. She recorded over 200 blues and folk songs with legendary ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress and filmed "religious ecstasy" in the "sanctified" churches of Beaufort, South Carolina with anthropologist Margaret Mead. Zora combined her skill as a trained anthropologist with an inherent respect for the syncretic culture formerly enslaved people had created in the Americas. Where some saw superstition and ignorance, she saw people creating meaning and joy in the few spaces left open to them by white society....Her ethnographic research lay the groundwork for the books and plays which secured her place as an essential voice in American letters. Zora was not ashamed to show everyday African American life, the life of rail yards, "juke" joints and the front porch of the Eatonville general store. Her work unabashedly embraced "incorrect" black English and celebrated the eloquence of its rhythms and rhetoric. Harvard scholar, Henry Louis Gates Jr, names her most famous novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, a classic because its use of black vernacular immerses readers in the consciousness of an oppressed people, exuberantly expressing their freedom, creativity and individual worth through everyday speech....While Zora's writing was by and large well received by the white press, it roused discomfort, if not outright hostility, from the emerging black intelligentsia. Her uncensored pictures of black life and speech, embarrassed some. Black writers were expected to confront their white readers with the injustice of racism as exemplified in Richard Wright's seminal novel Native Son. But Zora's work is notably absent of white characters; she refused to write "protest novels" portraying blacks as victims. In the film, biographer Valerie Boyd suggests that while Wright represents the angry, sometimes self-destructive, side of the African American character, Zora expresses the exuberant resilience of black culture....As the Civil Rights struggle gained momentum after World War II, Zora found herself increasingly out of step with her people. A boot-strap Republican and fervent anti-communist, she denounced the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education integration decision as "insulting to black people." No court needed to order white people to associate with her; bigots were simply denying themselves the "pleasure of my company" and the riches of African American culture....A turning point in Zora's life came when she was falsely accused of molesting two pre-adolescent African American boys. Although the charges were thrown out of court, she was pilloried in the black press. Devastated, even suicidal, feeling her reputation ruined, she claimed, "My own race has sought to destroy me." She lived out her life in relative obscurity and poverty in Florida. She died in 1960 at age 69 and was buried in an unmarked grave, leaving behind numerous unpublished works and seven out of print books....As the reassessment of America's literary canon has expanded to include the works of women and people of color, Zora Neale Hurston has been rediscovered. Alice Walker and Maya Angelou both recall how her work inspired their own while a younger generation of writers follow Zora's lead to speak in their own voices without shame. Trailer.

Subject Guide

Erik Ponder's picture
Erik Ponder
African Studies Librarian
MSU Libraries
366 W. Circle Dr. (E 224B)
East Lansing, MI 48824

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Want ot Suggest an Acquisition?

Feel free to recommend your favorite documentary or feature film for acquisition to the library.  Contact Erik Ponder.

Better yet - the Library will be happy to accept donations!

Documentaries to watch for

Sundance 2014: 16 Black Movies That Matter

The annual showcase for independent films will feature stories from across the Diaspora. Plus, Hoop Dreams, which debuted at the festival in 1994, gets a special screening.  Read article.

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