Print this page — Done printing
OR search: Catalog | Internet
Sights and Sounds Department Collection and State Library Resources

African American History Resources on DVD/Video

The Sights & Sounds collection at the Enoch Pratt Free Library/State Library Resource Center has a large selection of video and DVD resources dealing with various aspects of African American history. If you are interested in any of these resources or would like us to help locate audio-visual materials on a specific topic, please call us directly at 410-396-4616, fax us at 410-545-7517, or e-mail us at sas@prattlibrary.org. 

Quick Jump Contents:

 

 

 

 

African American History Series

 

African American Artists (11-volume video series)
This series looks at the most important African American artists. (2001, 28 minutes per tape) Titles and those profiled include: Emma Amos, Benny Andrews, Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Robert Colescott, Jacob Lawrence, Richard Mayhew: Spiritual Landscapes, Howardena Pindell: Atomizing ArtHorace Pippin, Faith Ringgold Paints Crown Heights, Betsye and Alison Saar.

African American Culture Series (7-volume DVD series)
Each DVD in this 2010 series is between 20 to 30 minutes long. Titles in this series include: African American Writers, Blacks in the War, Inventions by African Americans, Life for Black Teens After Integration, Mental Health in African American Communities, Plantation LIfe and Its Culture, Tuskeegee Airmen: The Dream.

Africans in America: America's Journey Through Slavery (4 episodes on 1 DVD)
This award-winning PBS series, directed by Baltimore native Orlando Bagwell, has been called “the documentary equivalent of Roots.” It combines interviews of historians with dramatic re-creations of important events – from the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia in 1619 to the outbreak of the Civil War – to tell the compelling story of over 400 years of tragedy. (1998, 90 minutes per episode, Public Performance Rights) Episodes include: The Terrible Transformation (Vol. 1), Revolution, 1750-1805 (Vol. 2), Brotherly Love, 1791-1831 (Vol. 3), Judgement Day (Vol. 4). The DVD contains all four series episodes on two discs: Check for this item on DVD in our catalog

Against the Odds (4-volume video series)
This 4-volume 1988 series is intended for young people, with each video running 15 minutes. Includes profiles of: George Washington Carver, Malcolm X, Jackie Robinson and Bessie Smith.

Black Americans of Achievement (16-volume video series)
Each 30-minute video in this series provides concise biographical material on an influential African American.  (1992, 30 minutes per tape, Grades 5 and up) Among those profiled are: James Baldwin, Mary McLeod Bethune, George Washington Carver, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey, Jesse Jackson, Langston Hughes, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Colin Powell, Jackie Robinson, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Madam C.J. Walker, and Booker T. Washington.

Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Movement (7-volume DVD series)
Considered the most comprehensive television documentary on the American Civil Rights Movement ever produced, this 1986 PBS television series combines rare film footage with incisive present-day interviews to bring the events of the years 1954-1966 to life. A followup series called Eyes on the Prize II aired in 1990, picking up where the first one left off, examing the Civil Rights Movement from the late 1960s up through the 1980s. Long available only on video, the 2006 DVD release combined all 14 hours of broadcasting into 7 DVDs (the original Eyes on the Prize on DVD discs 1-3 and Eyes on the Prize II on DVD discs 4-7) . Each DVD contains two 60-minute episodes for a running time of 120 minutes. Series titles include: Vol. 1: Awakenings/Fighting Back; Vol. 2: Ain't Scared of Your Jails/No Easy Walk; Vol. 3: Mississippi - Is This America?/Bridge To Freedom; Vol. 4: Time Has Come /Ain’t Gonna Shuffle No More; Vol. 5: Power!/Two Societies; Vol. 6: The Promised Land/Nation of Law; Keys to the Kingdom/Back To the Movement. (DVD, 2006)

Eyes on the Prize (6-volumes, 1986) and Eyes on the Prize II (8 volumes, 1990) are also available on video.

Furious Flowers (4-part video series)
This four-volume video anthology examines African American poetry from the 1940s to 1995, offering intimate portraits of leading poets reading and discussing their own works.

A History of Black Achievement in America (4-volume DVD series)
This original eight-part series on four volumes 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.

I’ll Make Me a World: A Century of African-American Arts (6-volume video series)
This PBS series documents the last century of African-American literature, poetry, music, film, theater and dance through the lives of its creators, from writer James Baldwin to rap star Queen Latifah. Series titles include: Lift Every Voice (1900-1924); Without Fear or Shame (1920-1937); Bright Like a Sun (1935-1954); The Dream Keepers (1940-1965); Not a Rhyme Time (1963-1986); The Freedom You Will Take (1985-Present). (Video, 1999, 60 minutes per tape)

In Black and White (5-volume video series)
This series features prominant African American writers such as Alice Walker, Charles Johnson, Gloria Naylor, John Wideman and Toni Morrison talking about and reading from their work.

In Search of the American Dream: The African American Experience (6-volume video series)
This 1991 series (directed by Robert E. Frye and narrated by Arthur Ashe and Haskell G. Ward) looks at various aspects ofthe African American experience in America. Series titles include: Resurrection; Stirrings; Origins; Saviors; Inspirations; Liberty.

The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow (4-volume video series)
This award-winning series, narrated by Richard Roundtree, examines the history of American segregation laws from the period following the Civil War through the end of the Korean War. (2002, 60 minutes per tape, Public Performance Rights) Series titles include: VOL. 1 - Promises Betrayed (1865-1896), VOL. 2 - Fighting Back (1896-1917), VOL. 3 - Don’t Shout Too Soon (1917-1940),  VOL. 4 - Terror and Triumph (1940-1954).

Roots (6-volume video and 7-volume DVD series)
This 1977 TV mini-series, based on the book by Alex Haley, follows the family saga of Kunta Kinte (LeVar Burton), a young boy abducted from his village, sold into slavery and taken to America. Throughout the series, the family observes notable events in U.S. history, such as the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, slave uprisings, and emancipation.  (1977, 90-99 minutes per tape)

Roots: The Next Generations (7-volume video and DVD series)
This 1979 TV mini-series continues the story of Alex Haley's family line from the post-American Civil War era to Alex Haley's geneological search to discover his roots. James Earl Jones portrays Alex Haley. (1979, 120 minutes per tape)

Slavery and the Making of America (4-DVD series)
Each volume oft his 4-disc DVD series examines the history of slavery in the United States and the role it played in shaping the new country's development. (DVD, 2005, 60 minutes per DVD) Volumes include: Challenge of FreedomSeeds of DestructionLiberty in the Air, and Downward Spiral.

African American Artists

African American Artists (11-volume video series)
This series looks at the most important African American artists. (2001, 28 minutes per tape) Those profiled include:

The Art of Romare Bearden
This National Gallery of Art film traces Bearden's entire career, including his paintings and watercolors of the 1940's, experimental collages of 1964, large scale murals and late landscapes. Featuring commentary by friends including Wynton Marsalis, Albert Murray, and Emma Amos. (DVD, 2003, 30 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Black Artists of the U.S.A.
This video discusses the contributions of black artists to American cultural history including the work of slave artisans, Black portrait painters, and the Harlem Renaissance. (Video, 1977, 25 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Faith Ringgold: The Last Story Quilt (Portrait of an Artist series)
A profile of the life and work of Faith Ringgold, noted Afro-American woman artist who specializes in painting on quilts and other cloth surfaces. (Video, 1991, 28 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks
A look at the African-American photographer, poet, novelist, composer and filmmaker Gordon Parks. (DVD, 2006, 90 minutes) 
Check for this item in our catalog

Kindred Spirits: Contemporary African-American Artists
Based on the highly acclaimed exhibition, "Black Art: Ancestral Legacy," organized by the Dallas Museum of Art.  The exhibition toured the United States from 1989 until 1991 and lives on in this program which includes interviews with artists from the exhibition, John Biggers, Bessie Harvey, Lois Mailou Jones, Jean Lacy, Ed Love, Charles Searles, and Renee Stout; curator Alvia Wardlaw; and poet/author Maya Angelou. (Video, 1992, 30 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

African American Cinema

The films that follow examine significant titles, genres, actors, and directors in the history of African American filmmaking.

For more information about African Americans films and filmmakers, see these recommended books that are available in our Humanities Department:

For a more detailed list of books on this subject, see "African Americans in Movies and Television."

The African American Cinema I
The earliest surviving feature directed by an African American director, Oscar Micheaux's Within Our Gates tells the story of a young African-American woman who seeks a northern white patron for a southern school for black children.  The scenes of lynching and attempted white-on-black rape may be a response to D.W. Griffith's The birth of a nation. (Video, 1995, 80 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The African American Cinema II
Contains two early silent “race” films: Scar of Shame (1926), a melodrama addressing class bias and the color caste system within the African American community, and the short Sissle and Blake (1923), which captures Baltimore-born jazz pianist Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle performing "Affectionate Dan" and a jazzed-up spiritual. (Video, 1995, 80 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

BaadAsssss Cinema: A Bold Look at 70’s Blaxploitation Films
Director Isaac Julien surveys 1970’s“blaxploitation” movies - action films made primarily for black audiences and starring black actors. This documentary combines film clips with interviews of experts, including actor Samuel L. Jackson, critic Elvis Mitchell and directors Mario Van Peebles and Quentin Tarantino. (Video, 2002, 56 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Color Adjustment
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. Includes Part 1: Color blind TV? 1948-1968 (47 minutes) and Part 2: Coloring the Dream, 1968-1988 (40 minutes). (Video, 1991, 88 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

The Films of Spike Lee (The Directors series)
Through in-depth interviews, behind the scenes footage and clips from his films, Spike Lee talks about the ideas, influences, motivations, struggles and successes behind his work. "I have been blessed with the opportunity to express the views of black people who otherwise don't have access to power and the media. I have to take advantage of that while I am still bankable." Originally produced for the American Film Institute's series The Directors. (DVD, 1997, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

I Shall Not Be Removed: The Life of Marlon Riggs
A film biography of Marlon Riggs, the gifted, gay, black filmmaker who produced documentary films addressing issues of identity among Afro-Americans and gays. Clips from his films show how he evolved a unique experimental documentary style, mixing poetry, criticism, the personal and the political. It also documents his long battle against AIDS until his death in 1994 and includes interviews with family, friends, and co-workers. (Video, 1996, 58 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

In Black and White: Black Cinema
Using archival newsreels, feature film footage and interviews with African-American actors and directors (including Paul Robeson, Josephine Baker, Oscar Micheaux, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright and Marcus Garvey), this film explores the inception, struggle, suppression, and survival of the Black cinema from the 1920s through the 1950s. (1992, 92 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Midnight Ramble (part of the American Experience series)
This PBS documentary recounts the history of the independent film industry that produced over 500 “race movies” for African-American audiences between 1910 and 1940, singling out the work of pioneering filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. Micheaux wrote, produced, and directed over 40 features, including Body and Soul with Paul Robeson. (Video, 1994, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

Movies of Color: Black Southern Cinema
Black films of the 1920s through mid 1950s are shown as a mirror of the Black experience of the time. They developed as a reaction to the way African Americans were depicted by film makers such as D.W. Griffith. This program focuses on the innovative works of film makers Spencer Williams, Oscar Micheaux, Eloyse Gist, and Clarence Muse. Includes clips from their various works. Special features: Two bonus short films (an extra 107 minutes runtime): "The Blood of Jesus and "Go Down, Death." (DVD, 2002, 55 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Oscar's Black Odyssey: From Hattie to Halle
From Hattie MacDaniel in 'Gone With The Wind' to Halle Berry in 'Monster's Ball', this documentary examines the history of African-Americans in film and their journey to Oscar recognition. (DVD, 2003, 90 minutes)
Check for this item in the catalog

That's Black Entertainment
Volume 1 of this two-tape film 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 "Race Film" shorts: St. Louis Blues (starring Bessie Smith), Hi-de-ho (starring Cab Calloway), and Boogie-woogie Dream (starring Lena Horne). (Video, 1997, 106 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

"Race Movies" (films featuring all-Black casts)

The race movie or race film was a film genre which existed in the United States between about 1915 and 1950. It consisted of films produced for an all-black audience, featuring all-black casts.

The Blood of Jesus
This 1941 movie written and directed by (and starring) Spencer Williams was the first "race film" added to the U.S. National Film Registry, in 1991. It is available as an extra feature on the DVD documentary Movies of Color: Black Southern Cinema . (DVD 2002)
Check for this item in our catalog

Body and Soul (Paul Robeson Centennial series)
Paul Robeson, in his first screen role, plays two parts in this Oscar Micheaux film - an evil preacher and his good brother, who wage a personal war for the body and soul of the heroine. Includes introductory segment on the censoring of the original film. (Video, Oscar Micheaux, 1925, 100 minutes, Public Performance Rights)
Check for this item in our catalog

Broken Earth (Tyler Texas Black Film Collection)
Baltimore's own native son Clarence Muse plays a farmer who is a widower with a sick young son and who prays for his son's health. (Video, 17 minutes)
Check fo this item in our catalog

Cabin in the Sky
The fable of rascally Little Joe, torn between the love of his good wife Petunia and the wiles of good-time bad girl Georgia Brown ... and caught in a tug-of-war between emissaries from the Lord and Satan. Cast: Lena Horne, Ethel Waters, Eddie Anderson. (DVD, 1943, 98 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Green Pastures
This is a 1936 Warner Brothers film, based on the play by Marc Connelly, directed by Marc Connelly and William Keighley. It recreates stories from the Bible as visualized by African American characters, including Rex Ingram (in several roles, including "De Lawd"), Oscar Polk, and Eddie "Rochester" Anderson. (Video, 1936, 93 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Juke Joint (Tyler Texas Black Film Collection)
In this 1947 Spencer Williams film, two young men heading west stop in Dallas and meet the Holiday family. The plot revolves around Mama Holiday's efforts to keep her family intact. cast: Spencer Williams, July Jones, Inez Newman, Melody Duncan, Katherine Moore, Leonard Duncan. (Video, 1947, 70 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Midnight Shadow (Tyler Texas Black Film Collection)
Mr. Wilson who owns Texas land with oil on it is murdered. Two young family friends solve the crime in Shreveport, La. (Video, 1939, 54 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Miracle in Harlem (Tyler Texas Black Film Collection)
A sweet old woman, who runs a candy manufacturing business out of her home, is swindled out of her business by a big businessman and his son, who has connections with the underworld. Two murders follow in this suspenseful film that also has touches of humor. Cast: Hilda Offay, Sheila Guyse, William Greaves, Kenneth Freeman, Stepin Fletchit, Savannah Churchill. (Video, 80 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Scar of Shame
This 1923 movie is included on the video African American Cinema II. Directed by Frank Perugini, it is the first film made by the Temple Studios, which hoped to create a black Hollywood in Philadelphia. In a revealing melodrama dealing with intraracial prejudice of the period, a young pianist rescues a poor working-class girl from the evils of her environment, marries her out of pity, and then realizes that he is unable to accept her as one of his own class.
Check for this item in our catalog

Stormy Weather
Dancing great Bill Williamson takes a look back on the beginnings of his career and his romance with fellow rising star Selina. Their romance is brief because Selina does not want to settle down. The movie includes an all-star show hosted by Cab Calloway, with performers such as Lena Horne, Bill Robinson, Fats Waller, and Katherine Dunham. (DVD, 1943, 77 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

African American Culture/Identity

African American Culture Series (7-volume DVD series)
Each DVD in this 2010 series is between 20 to 30 minutes long. Titles in this series include:

  • African American Writers: The life and times of Frederick Douglass. Historic photos and docudrama segments cover the life of this great orator, emancipator, and statesman.
  • Blacks in the War: Contains extensive film footage of blacks fighting in World War II in D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge, Italy, and the Pacific. Interviews with veterans, including Congressional Medal of Honor winners. This program will show the courage blacks used to help fight for our country.
  • Inventions by African Americans: This tribute to minority inventors touches upon many inventions that have contributed to American science, technology, and medicine.
  • Life for Black Teens After Integration: 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 thrust of the discussion is the necessity of being one's own self
  • Mental Health in African American Communities: This film is based on everyday aspects of mental health in an African-American community in the South before segregation. Viewers will see how parents can help shape the mental health of their children.
  • Plantation LIfe and Its Culture: Eurocentric view of the plantation system and its effect on Southern U.S. culture. A bonus section has been added to this program on Henry Brown's daily life of a patriotic African-American farmer in Georgia during World War II.
  • Tuskegee Airmen: The Dream: Shows the achievements and contributions of the Tuskegee Airmen on a recurring basis. A historical summary of the 'Tuskegee Experiment' during World War II. A bonus section on blacks and aviation is a part of this program.

African-American Heritage (American Cultures for Children series)
Phylicia Rashad hosts this introduction to the vibrant sights and sounds of Africa. Viewers learn the diverse geography and cultures as well as the history of African Americans in the U.S. Grades K-4 (Video, 1997, 25 minutes)
Check for this title in our catalog

African American Lives
A compelling combination of storytelling and science, this four-part PBS television series hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  uses genealogy, oral histories, family stories and DNA to trace the roots of several accomplished African Americans down through American history and back to Africa. Oprah Winfrey, Chris Tucker, Quincy Jones, Sara-Lawrence-Lightfoot, Mae Jemison, T.D. Jakes, Ben Carson, and Whoopi Goldberg are featured. (DVD, 2006, 240 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

African American Lives 2
Gates returns as host to guide for four more episodes of this PBS television series that features more notable African Americans on a search for their ancestry. Genealogical investigations and DNA analysis help Maya Angelou, Bliss Broyard, Don Cheadle, Morgan Freeman, Peter Gomes, Kathleen Henderson, Linda Johnson Rice, Tom Joyner, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Chris Rock and Tina Turner discover where they come from and who they are. (DVD, 2008, 240 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

America Beyond the Color Line
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. 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. (DVD, 2003, 220 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Badass Supermama (Frameline series)
Race, gender, sexuality, and adolescent notions of beauty and representation are intimately examined through 1970s blaxploitation movie goddess Pam Grier and her characters, particularly Foxy Brown.  Director Etang Ivang tries on the powerful, "badass supermama" role of Foxy Brown, while exploring the space between body and image. (Video 1996, 16 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Baseball, Volume 7: A National Heirloom, 1920-1930: Top of the Fourth Inning (Ken Burns' Baseball series)
This volume of Ken Burns' Baseball documentary series includes a segment on pitcher Andrew "Rube" Foster , who forms the Negro National League, whose eight teams draw over 400,000 black fans by 1923. (Video, 1994, 55 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog.

Baseball, Volume 9: Shadow Ball, 1930-1940: Top of the Fifth Inning (Ken Burns' Baseball series)
In this volume of Ken Burns' Baseball documentary series, the Negro League thrives in the shadow of the all white major leagues, like a parallel world filled with gifted athletes like Josh Gibson, "Cool Papa", Bell, and Satchel Paige. (Video, 1994, 78 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Boys of Baraka
This award-winning documentary by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady follows a group of 12-year-old boys from the most violent ghettos of Baltimore to the Baraka School, an experimental boarding school in rural Kenya, where children live by strict guidelines, yet are given the freedom to grow. (DVD, 2005, 84 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Crips & Bloods: Made in America
A cluster of neighborhoods lies in the heart of Southern California, streets that form a grid between concrete ribbons of freeway. Nearly a quarter of its young men will end up in prison. Many other will end up dead. These neighborhoods in South Los Angeles are home to two of the most infamous African-American gangs, the Crips and the Bloods. On these mean streets over the past 30 years, more than 15,000 people have been murdered in an ongoing cycle of gang violence that continues unabated. Here is where America's most bloody and costly outbreaks in civil unrest erupted - not once, but twice, 27 years and just three miles apart. Combines archival footage with in-depth interviews. (DVD, 2009, 99 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Ethnic Notions: Black People in White Minds
This documentary by Marlon Riggs traces the deep-rooted stereotypes of African Americans as portrayed in popular culture (cartoons, feature films, popular songs, advertisements, household artifacts, even children's rhymes)  from the 1820s to the Civil Rights era and which have fueled anti-black prejudice. (Video, 1986, 56 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Family Across the Sea
The ancestors of the Gullah were African slaves brought to South Carolina's Sea Islands because of their expertise in rice cultivation. Family Across the Sea documents how the Gullahs incorporated many aspects of African culture inthe daily life of the plantations. The Gullah language itself contains over 3,000 words of African origin and resembles the Krio language of Sierra Leone. The film concludes with a delegation of Gullah people from South Carolina traveling from the United States to Sierra Leone to trace the roots of their heritage. (Video, 1991, 56 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Goin' Back To T-Town (American Experience series)
This episode of the PBS television series American Experience describes the history of the all-black community of Greenwood, Tulsa, Oklahoma, where segration kept blacks apart from white Tulsans, but black Greenwood thrived. In 1921, the community experienced one of the most vicious race riots in American history only to have its enterprising black citizens rebuild a new Greenwood from the ashes that was stronger and more alive than ever. By 1936, Greenwood boasted the largest concenration of black businesses in the United States. But Greenwood couldn't survive the progressive policies of integration and urban renewal of the 60s. (Video, 1995, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

Good Hair
Comedian Chris Rock tackles the very personal issue of  hair, and how attaining good hair can impact African American's activities, relationships, wallets, and a self-esteem. Engages in frank, funny conversations with haircare professionals, beautyshop and barbershop patrons, as well as featuring interviews with Dr. Maya Angelou, Nia Long, Ice-T, Raven Symone, and more. (DVD, 2009, 95 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Great Black Women
Looks at the African-American women who succeeded and made significant contributions in politics, entertainment, civil rights, business, public service, music and sports. Includes: Coretta Scott King, Lena Horne, "Mother Hale" and more. (DVD, 1987, 52 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Harlem Globetrotters: The Team That Changed the World
For nearly 75 years the 'Clown Princes of Basketball' have brought laughs and ball-handling wizardry to fans all over the globe. Follow the team from their Chicago beginnings to their present-day success. (DVD, 2005, 116 minutes)
Check fort his item in our catalog

A History of Black Achievement in America (4-volume DVD series)
This original eight-part series on four volumes 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.

  • Volume 1: Program 1. 1619-1621: Blacks arrive at Jamestown -- 1705: The Virginia General Assembly passes the Slave Codes -- 1762: Entrepreneur Samuel Fraunces opens New York City's most cherished revolutionary war site: the Fraunces Tavern -- 1770: Crispus Attucks and the Black Patriots. Program 2. 1772: Chicago is settled by Jean DuSable -- 1776: Lemuel Haynes helps lay the Foundation for Abolition -- 1791: The first Black Man of Science, Benjamin Banneker, surveys Washington, D.C. -- 1821: African Grove Theater founded in New York -- 1822: Denmark Vessy and the slave revolts -- 1823: Legendary mountain man James Beckwourth enters the Rockies -- 1849: Harriet Tubman uses underground railroad to become free. (DVD, 2005, 54 minutes) Check for this item in our catalog
  • Volume 2: Program 3. 1851: Sojourner Truth delivers famous Ain't I a Woman? speech -- 1854: First Black University founded: Lincoln University -- 1855: Frederick Douglass publishes My bondage and My Freedom --  1857: Dred Scott decision helps trigger the Civil War -- 1863: Lincoln signs Emancipation Proclamation --  1863: Black Regiment storms Fort  Wagner in the Civil War --1865-1869: 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments establish Civil Rights for all. Program 4. Program 4.1875: Robert Smalls, former slave, elected to House -- 1878: The Black cowboy and George McJunkin --1881: Booker T. Washington opens Tuskegee Institute -- 1884: T. Thomas Fortune prophesies the long and bitter struggle for equality -- 1887: Granville T. Woods, called the Black Edison, patents the Industrial Telephone System -- 1893: Ida B. Wells-Barnett crusades against the Black lynching in America -- 1896: Plessy v. Ferguson case upholds segregation. (DVD, 2005, 54 minutes) Check for this item in our catalog
  • Volume 3: Program 5. 1904: Scott Joplin and Ma Rainey initiate the merger of Two Cultures -- 1909: Matthew Henson discovers the North Pole -- 1909: W.E.B. DuBois founds the NAACP -- 1924: George Washington Carver Renaissance man -- 1925: Alain Locke leads Harlem Renaissance -- 1926: Satchel Paige stars in the National Negro Baseball League. Program 6. 1935: Mary McLeod Bethune: American Woman of the 20th century -- 1936-38: Jesse Owens and Joe Louis debunk Hitler's claim of Aryan superiority -- 1939: Hattie McDonald wins the Oscar -- 1940: First Black general, Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., is stepping stone to desegregation of U.S. Army -- 1943: Duke Ellington's band perform "Black, Brown and Beige" at Carnegie Hall. (DVD, 2005, 54 minutes) Check for this item in our catalog
  • Volume 4: Program 7. 1950: Ralph Bunche wins the Nobel Peace Prize -- 1950: Gwendolyn Brooks becomes the first Black recipient of the Pulitzer Prize -- 1954: Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas -- 1955: Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to a White passenger on a Montgomery bus -- 1956: Althea Gibson, first Black woman to win a tennis grand slam event -- 1959: Lorraine Hansberry's play A Raisin in the sun is produced -- 1963: Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his I Have a Dream speech. Program 8. 1967: Muhammad Ali refuses induction into the U.S. Army on religious grounds -- 1967: Thurgood Marshall first Black U.S. Supreme Court justice -- 1977: Alex Haley's Roots: the saga of an American family appears on TV -- 2001: Colin Powell appointed Secretary of State -- 2004: Neil deGrasse Tyson becomes Astrophysics' superstar. (DVD, 2005, 54 minutes) Check for this item in our catalog 

The History Makers, Volume 1: Success
This first installment of Russell Simmons' Higher Self series focuses on the achievement of success of both well-known and unsung African Americans in the face of adversity through a series of real-life stories and experiences. (DVD, 2004, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Hoop Dreams
Hoop Dreams is director Steve james' critically acclaimed documentary film about two African-American high school students in Chicago and their dream of becoming professional basketball players. The film follows William Gates and Arthur Agee, who are recruited by St. Joseph High School in Westchester, Illinois, a predominantly white high school with an outstanding basketball program. As Gates and Agee struggle to improve their athletic skills in a job market with heavy competition, their families celebrate their successes and support each other during times of hardship. The film raises a number of issues concerning race, class, economic division, education and values in contemporary America. It also offers one of the most intimate views of inner-city life to be captured on film. (DVD, 1994, 171 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

In Search of the American Dream: The African American Experience (6-volume video series)
This 1991 series (directed by Robert E. Frye and narrated by Arthur Ashe and Haskell G. Ward) looks at various aspects ofthe African American experience in America. Each video is aprroximately 52 minutes. Series titles include:

  • Resurrection: This program opens in Griffin, Georgia, the home town of Haskell Ward. A prominent African American with vast experience in government, Ward narrates a personal story of accomplishments, struggle and joy.  Conversations with his 9th grade teacher and other residents of this community recapture the ambiance of black life in a small southern town between 1900 and 1950 - a marked contrast with the present. Check for this item in our catalog
  • Stirrings: College students played a pivotal role in the protests of the 50's and 60's.  Haskell Ward recalls his own college years, evaluates new trends and developments with students at Morehouse, Spelman, Morris Brown, Clark and Atlanta University.  He discusses African-American progress with student activists, educators and civil rights leaders.  The program shows how Atlanta has become the cathedral city of African-American success. Check for this item in our catalog 
  • Origins: Shows the history of the Afro-American experience from slavery at Jamestown through stereotypes to how African cultural heritage is manifested in American life. Check for this item in our catalog 
  • Saviors: This program provides insight into the role of the federal government in legislating and enforcing the rights of African Americans.  It tells the story of the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, a landmark in the battle to end segregation in public schools.  Rep. William Gray, William Coleman, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Vernon Jordan Jr., and Rep. John Lewis assess the Court's role in establishing and protecting civil rights and the impact of the Reagan/Bush era on the civil rights movement. Check for this item in our catalog 
  • Inspirations: In low-income neighborhoods throughout the nation, local leaders are pulling together to improve the quality of life by addressing issues such as child care, urban violence, "black-on-black" crime, housing, teenage pregnancy, economical inequities and community development. Check for this item in our catalog
  • Liberty: Discussed is the broad spectrum of race relations in the 1990s.  To what extent should African-Americans strive to maintain their cultural heritage and to what degree should they seek to become assimilated into American society today? Check for this item in our catalog 

Keeping the Faith
Examines the Black church in America as a source of Black heritage and cultural identity, a wellspring of social and political action, and a refuge for impoverished urban Blacks. Two churches in Chicago are also examined, one which serves a Black middle class community and one which serves the urban poor. (Video, 1987, 56 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Kwanzaa (Holidays for Children series)
Through the rhythmic sounds of traditional West-African drums and a look into the colorful significance of the clothes and candles, young viewers are introduced to the African American family celebration of Kwanzaa.  The seven principles of the Kwanzaa festival (Unity, Self-determination, Collective work, Cooperation, Purpose, Creativity and Faith in self) are explored, and an African folk tale, Unanana and The Enormous One-Tusked Elephant, vividly illustrates the idea of conflict resolution within the community. Ages K-4. (Video, 1994, 30 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

Middle Passage ‘N Roots
This video examines attitudes about hair and its connection to self-image in the African-American community. (Video, 2001, 30 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Miles of Smiles, Years of Struggle
Miles of Smiles
chronicles the organizing of the first black trade union - the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Thsi inspiring story of the Pullman porters provides the most in-depth account on film of African American working life between the Civil War and World War II. This documentary is crafted from historical records, movies and photos, but mostly the reminiscences of six retired porters. The narrator is Rosina Tucker, a 100-year-old porter's widow and union organizer. (Video, 1983, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The N Word: An In-Depth Discussion
Director Todd Larkins' The N Word is a brave and bold confrontation of the taboo, exploring the history and relevance of the word and the social status within and between the races. (DVD, 2004, 90 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Nappy (Women Make Movies series)
Ten African American women discuss the reasons why they chose to stop straightening their hair and go natural in this film by director Lydia Ann Douglas. The video also touches on the consequences of their decisions and on the importance and significance of hairstyles in African American culture. (Video, 1998, 28 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Only the Ball Was White
This documentary pays tribute to the many top-flight baseball players from the Negro Leagues, documenting a bygone bittersweet era in baseball and the men who were denied stardom by the color line. (Video, 1992, 30 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog
 

Sankofa
Sankofa is an Akan word meaning, "one must return to the past in order to move forward." This film is the story about the transformation of Mona, a self-possessed African American woman sent on a spiritual journey in time to experience the pain of slavery and the discovery of her African identity. Cast: Kofi Ghanaba, Oyafunmike Ogunlano, Alexandra Duah. (Available on DVD and video, 2003, 125 minutes)
Check for this item on DVDcheck for this item on video

Seven Candles for Kwanzaa
Shows how one family celebrates their faith and unity through the seven-day sequence of Kwanzaa, a festival during which African Americans rejoice in their ancestral values. (Video, 1997, 12 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

So You Want To Be a Cowboy?
Examines the careers of three African-American rodeo riders dedicated to changing the way people view the cowboy myth. (Video, 1998, 18 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

That's My Face
Winner of the Ecunemical Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival, That's My Face (E Minha Cara) shows some of what filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris saw when he visited Salvador Da Bahia, Brazil, to learn about the spirits who haunt his dreams. He connects his time in Brazil with his childhood experience living in Tanzania with his mother, who went to Africa in search of a mythic motherland. This visually rich and deeply evocative journey of self-discovery is a profound cinematic experience that offers a refreshing perspective on African-American identity. (Video, 2002, 56 munites)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Songs Are Free
Bill Moyers joins Bernice Johnson Reagon for a celebration of the power of song. Reagon traces the history of communal singing and the repertoire rooted in the Black church that continues to preserve and transmit the spiritual strength of African-American culture. (Video, 1991, 58 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

The Story of English, Part 5: Black On White
This episode of the PBS television series The Story of English examines the roots of Black English, including the American slave trade, plantation life, the Creole influence, and Harlem's jive talk. Host Robert MacNeil also discusses the influence of this variety of English on white American speech and literature. (Video, 1986, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

This House of Power
Host Hosea Sanders traces the development of the African American church from its origins as an “invisible institution” among the slaves to its present-day role as a major force for social change. (Video, 1998, 44 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Two Nations of Black America (Frontline series)
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 episode of the PBS television series Frontline 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. (DVD, 2008, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

What Black Men Think
Documentary film examines the role that myths, stereotypes and misrepresentations have played in the decimation of modern era black relationships and how the symbiotic relationship between government, media and black leadership perpetuates misinformation to further marginalize the role of black men in society. (DVD, 2007, 87 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

African Americans in the Military

The Bicycle Corps
In 1897, the U.S. Army theorized that the newly developed 'safety' bicycle could replace the horse as means of troop transport. As a result, the 25th Infantry established a Bicycle Corps to test the overall practicality of military cycling. Twenty African-American soldiers put their bicycles, their bodies and the Army's theory to the test with a 2000-mile ride from Montana to St. Louis, Missouri. The Bicycle Corps: America's Black Army on Wheels chronicles their journey through the eyes of two black sergeant who guided and motivated the men. ((Video, 2000, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Blacks in the War (African American Culture series)
Contains extensive film footage of blacks fighting in World War II in D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge, Italy, and the Pacific. Interviews with veterans, including Congressional Medal of Honor winners. This program will show the courage blacks used to help fight for our country. (DVD, 2010, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Buffalo Soldiers
A photographic history of the two black cavalry regiments that served to keep peace on the frontier from 1867 to 1891. Also shown is the dedication ceremony at Fort Leavenworth of a monument to the Buffalo soldiers by sculptor Eddie Dixon, with speeches by Gen. Colin Powell and other high ranking black officers of the U.S. Armed Forces. (Video, 1991, 47 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

The Different Drummer
Using rare photographs, archival footage, and interviews with Black military personnel, tells of the growth of importance of Black soldiers from World War I to the war in Vietnam. (Video, 1984, 58 minutes, Public Performance Rights)
Check for this item in our catalog

Held In Trust
Flipper (1856-1940) was the first black graduate from West Point Military Academy. Following assignments with the 10th Calvary 'Buffalo Soldiers', he fell victim to racial prejudice, was framed on trumped up charges of embezzlement and was dishonorably discharged for 'conduct unbecoming an officer'. (Video, 1995, 59 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

For Love of Liberty: The Story of America's Black Patriots
Gain an unprecedented look at the experiences and accomplishments of African Americans in the military, and learn why such a group of heroic men and women would fight for the freedom of others that they themselves weren't able to enjoy. Hosted by Halle Berry with an introduction by Colin Powell, and features the voices of Morgan Freeman, Bill Cosby, Danny Glover, John Travolta, and many more. (DVD, 2009, 240 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

Glory 
Based on the true story of the first black regiment to fight for the North in the Civil War. Robert Gould Shaw and Cabot Forbes are two idealistic young Bostonians that lead the regiment; Sgt. Maj. John Rawlins is the inspiration who unites the troops ; Pvt. Trip is a runaway slave who joins the regiment. Cast: Matthew Broderick, Denzil Washington, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman, Jihmi Kennedy, Andre Braugher, John Finn, Donovan Leitch, J.D. Cullum. (DVD, 1989, 124 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Men of Bronze
This documentary tells the story of the all-African American 369th infantry regiment in World War I. Although relegated to non-combat duty, the 369th was sent to France and spent 191 days in front line trenches - longer than any other U.S. infantry unit. The 369th distinguished themselves at the campaigns of Champagne, Marne and Meuse-Argonne, fighting alongside French, Moroccan and Senegalese soldiers. Their story is told through the use of photographs, interviews with regiment veterans, and film from the French and American national archives. It was these men as well who brought American jazz to Paris and Europe. (Video, 1986, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Nightfighters
The 332nd Fighter group has a unique place in the annals of WWII air force fighter groups. The group was completely Black. It confounded the expectations and prejudices held by white Americans in the 1930's and 1940's. The group excelled as pilots and became a crack unit, accomplishing goals others couldn't. Included are interviews with Alfred Anderson, Lee Archer, and Roscoe Brown. (Video, 1996, 52 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

No Vietnamese Ever Called Me Nigger
Documentary footage of Harlem's 1967 protest march against America's involvement in the Vietnamese War. Includes interviews with three Black Vietnam veterans who discuss the relationship between racism and war. (Video, 1968, 68 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Proudly We Served: The Men of the USS Mason
Tells the story of the African-American crew of the USS Mason which escorted six convoys across the perilous North Atlantic, from the weeks leading up to the D-Day invasions until V-E day in 1945.  Their service as members of the "Hunter-Killer Groups" helped win the Battle of the Atlantic by defeating the German U-boat Wolfpacks. (Video, 1995, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Tuskegee Airmen (1992)
Shows old black & white footage of the training and work of the black pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group in World War II, and present day interviews with former pilots. (Video, 1992, 23 minutes, Public Performance Rights)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Tuskegee Airmen (1995)
Tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American cadets who received military training during the Second World War and were sent into combat as a segregated unit. Cast: Laurence Fishburne, Allen Payne, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Courtney Vance, Andre Braugher, Chris McDonald, John Lithgow, Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Video, 1995, 105 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Tuskegee Airmen (2001)
Crooked U.S. soldiers are stationed on an American Army base in West Germany during the waning days of the cold war. Special Fourth Class Elwood guards against the Soviets while on duty, and rips off the U.S. military while off duty. Elwood runs a profitable black-market business that operates just below the official radar. One day, he and his gang uncover some loot that will land them some real money - high-tech military weaponry. As they try to quietly offload the stuff, the new sergeant catches on to the nefarious deeds and sets out to put him out of businesses. Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Ed Harris, Scott Glenn, Anna Paquin, Gabriel Mann, Leon Robinson, Sheik Mahmud-Bey, Dean Stockwell, Elizabeth McGovern.(Video, 2001, 99 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Tuskegee Airmen: They Fought Two Wars
The inspiring WWII story spotlights 450 men who fought two fronts at once: the Axis powers in Europe, and racism at home. (DVD, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Tuskegee Airmen: The Dream (African American Culture series)
Shows the achievements and contributions of the Tuskegee Airmen on a recurring basis. A historical summary of the 'Tuskegee Experiment' during World War II. A bonus section on blacks and aviation is a part of this program.
Check for this item in our catalog

 

Barack Obama

Barack Obama (A&E Biography)
Follow Obama through his teenage struggles for self-identity, his student days at Columbia University and Harvard Law School, and his political career in Chicago. Go behind the scenes of Obama's extraordinarily successful presidential campaign and his journey towards the 2008 Democratic Convention.(DVD, 2008, 47 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

By the People: The Election of Barack Obama
Documents Barack Obama's history-making road to the White House as the nation's first African-American president. Follows the former Senator from his decision to throw his hat in the ring to his historic election, and inauguration. Includes interviews, candid moments with his wife Michelle, and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, plus his senior campaign staff, his supporters, aids, and the media. (DVD, 2009, 116 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

A Moment in History: The Inauguration of Barack Obama
Features one of the most important events in history, and includes the pre-inaugural events from the morning of January 20, 2009, the Oath of Office and Inaugural Speeches in their entirety, benediction from Dr. Joseph Lowery, recitation by Elizabeth Alexander, and much more. (DVD, 2009, 151 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Obama, All Access: Barack Obama's Road to the White House
60 Minutes tracks the rise of Barack Obama from Senator to President with behind-the-scenes access over a two-year period. Contains material from six separate broadcast segments, and includes major public appearances and speeches. (DVD, 2009, 240 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

President Barack Obama: The Man and His Journey
Share the incredible, inspirational story of President Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States. See how this one man inspired us. In this defining moment, America has proven once again that her story is constantly evolving towards greater freedom and justice for all. (DVD, 2009, 89 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Ben Carson

Ben Carson
This documentary profiles the life and career of Baltimore’s Dr. Ben Carson (Johns Hopkins Hospital), who gained international acclaim in 1987 for separating conjoined twins and is regarded as one of the best neurosurgeons in the field. In an exclusive interview, Dr. Carson discusses the hurdles he overcame to become a physician. (Video, 2000, 30 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Gifted Hands
Follows the life of Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, who overcame problems in school and obstacles in life to become a world-renowned neurosurgeon. His lifelong journey led him to become director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children's Center, a bestselling author, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Includes behind-the-scenes, and featurettes. Cast: Cuba Gooding, Jr., Kimberly Elise, Ron Coden. (DVD, 2009, 88 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

Biographies

See also: Barack ObamaBen CarsonFrederick DouglassMarcus GarveyMartin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks.

Against the Odds (4-volume video series)
This 4-volume 1988 series is intended for young people, with each video running 15 minutes. includes profiles of:

  • George Washington Carver: Born of slave parents in Missouri, Carver became the scholar and researcher whose work revolutionized agriculture in the post-Civil War South.
  • Malcolm X: Though he began by espousing violence, Malcolm X found his true voice and leadership position when he modulated his rage and began to work constructively to help his people.
  • Jackie Robinson: A short study of Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in major league baseball.
  • Bessie Smith: Describes the life and contributions of Blues singer, Bessie Smith. Illustrates her poverty-stricken childhood, her development of the classical Blues style and finally her early death in an automobile accident.

Benjamin Banneker: The Man Who Loved the Stars
A documentary drama about Benjamin Banneker, the eighteenth- century, Black tobacco farmer, who taught himself mathematics, astronomy, and clockmaking, became famous for his almanacs, and assisted in the original survey of Washington, D.C. (Video, 1979, 58 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Bill Robinson: Mr. Bojangles
This A & E Biography documentary explores the life of Bill Robinson, aka "Mr. Bojangles," from his orphaned, penniless childhood to his success as a popular African-American entertainer. (Video, 1997, 45 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Black Americans of Achievement (16-volume video series)
Each 30-minute video in this series provides concise biographical material on an influential African American.  (1992, 30 minutes per tape, Grades 5 and up) Among those profiled are:

Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin
A documentary examining the life of Bayard Rustin, 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. However, Rustin was forced to play a background role in landmark civil rights events because he was homosexual. This feature-length portrait unfolds both chronologically and thematically, using interviews with others, and Rustin's own voice, taken from his writings, papers, correspondence, and recorded interviews. (DVD, 2002, 83 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Colin Powell
(A&E Biography, 1995, 50 minutes)

First Person Singular: John Hope Franklin
This is a 2007 PBS television documentary on the life of African American historian John Hope Franklin. (DVD, 2007, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Great Black Women
Looks at the African-American women who succeeded and made significant contributions in politics, entertainment, civil rights, business, public service, music and sports. Includes: Coretta Scott King, Lena Horne, "Mother Hale" and more. (DVD, 1987, 52 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks
A look at the African-American photographer, poet, novelist, composer and filmmaker Gordon Parks. (DVD, 2006, 90 minutes) 
Check for this item in our catalog

Jackie Robinson
(A&E Biography, 1995, 50 minutes)
In this episode of A&E's television series Biography, Peter Graves reviews the life of Jackie Robinson, the American hero whose accomplishments went far beyond the ballpark and who personified a new definition of the phrase All-Star. (Video, 1991, 50 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Jackie Robinson (Against the Odds series)
A short study of Jackie Robinson, the first Black to play in major league baseball (Video, 1988, 14 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket
Presents a look at author James Baldwin's life as reflected in his own words and reminiscences of family and friends. (Video, 1989, 87 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Josephine Baker Story
This HBO biopic tells the story of Josephine Baker, the African-American woman who became an international star only after emigrating to France. Cast: Lynn Whitfield, Rubén Blades, David Dukes, Craig T. Nelson.(DVD, 1991, 131 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday
This documentary on legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday features TV and movie clips, along with commentary by jazz instrumentalists and singers who knew her well. (Video, 1991, 60 minutes)

Lady Sings the Blues
Diana Ross, Billie Dee Williams and Richard Pryor star in this Hollywood version of the Billie Holliday story. (Video, 1972, 144 minutes)

Langston Hughes (part of the Voices and Visions series)
This PBS documentary mixes depictions of the life of Langston Hughes with recitations from his poetry. (Video, 1988, 60 minutes)

The Legend of Harriet Tubman
In this episode of the Juba television series, Margo Barnett dramatizes the story of Harriet Tubman, a former slave who helped free other slaves. (Video, 1977, 15 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog
 

Oprah Unathorized: A Tribute to the Leading Lady of Television
A look at Oprah Winfrey, from her broken past to becoming one of the world's most powerful celebrities. Includes interviews with former employers, talk show hosts, and friends on her personal life, relationships, the Angel Network, and more. (DVD, 2007, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Partners of the Heart (American Experience series)
This episode of the PBS television series American Experience tells the story of African American Vivian Thomas and Dr. Alfred Blalock, whose discoveries at Johns Hopkins Univesity saved the lives of thousands of "blue babies" - children born with a deadly heart defect. The men's stunning success ushered in a new era of cardiac medicine and led to the development of modern heart surgery. With only a high school diploma and at a time of segregation when his color barred him from being treated in many hosiptals, Thomas' unprecedented 34-year partnership with Dr, Blalock is a bittersweet, overlooked American story of personal triumph. Initially hired as a janitor, Thomas eventually became a trainer of novice surgeons and a major force in the advancement of African Americans in medicine. (Available on DVD and video, 2003, 58 minutes)
Check for this DVD in our catalogcheck for this video in our catalog 

Richard Wright: Black Boy
Biographical sketch of the Afro-American writer, Richard Wright. Includes a discussion of his literary works and the times in which he lived. (Video, 1994, 87 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Richard Wright: Writing Is His Weapon
Discusses the life, work, and ideas of the Black American novelist Richard Wright. (Video, 1995, 25 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

To Be Young, Gifted, and Black
This winner of the American Film Festival's "Blue Ribbon" is a dramatic portrayal of the life and works of the late playwright, Lorraine Hansberry, author of A Raisin in the Sun. Cast: Ruby Dee, Al Freeman, Jr., Claudie McNeil, Roy Scheider, Blythe Danner. (Video, 1972, 90 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Two Dollars and a Dream
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. herfortune was built on skin and hair products, as she parlayed a homemade beauty formula into a prosperous business. Her daughter, A'Leilia Walker, was an important patron of the Harlem Renaissance. By interweaving social, economic and political history, it offers a view of Black America from 1867 to the 1930s. As such, it's an important film for anyone interested in Black studies, as well as women's studies or American social history.(Video, 1988, 56 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Zora's Roots
This documentary examines the life of author and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston. The film follows Hurston, best known for her novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, to the subtropical paradise that shaped her childhood and her life's work - where she returned again and again for inspiration and solace. This documentary tells her story through the people who knew her and the places and events that she brought to the world through her writing. (DVD, 2008, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Black Panther Party

A Huey P. Newton Story
Director Spike Lee directs this intimate portrait of Huey P. Newton, the late co-founder of the Black Panther Party. Lee and Roger Guenveur Smith collaborate for the seventh time and bring Newton's thoughts, philosophies, history and flavor to life. Adapted from Smith's Obie Award-winning off-Broadway solo performance of the same name, Lee brings the play from the stage to the screen as only he could. Shot before a live audience, Lee uses his signature mix of film and archival footage to capture Newton's "inner mind." Nominated for two NCAAP Image Awards and winner of the prestigious Peabody Award.  (DVD, 2001, 90 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Leaving Cleaver: Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Remembers Eldridge Cleaver
This episode of the PBS television series Frontline includes 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. (DVD, 1998, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

Passin' It On
Black Panther leader Dhoruba Bin Wahad served 19 years in prison for the shooting of two New York City police officers, before his conviction was overturned because of prosecutorial misconduct. This video by director John Valadez examines his story against the background of the issues that gave rise to the Black Panther Party. (Video, 1992, 57 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

What We Want, What We Believe: The Black Panther Party Library (12-hour, 4-disc DVD series)
Features three films on the Black Panther Party made in 1968-1969 by the Newsreel film collective and additional footage on Black Panther history and legacy from Roz Payne and the Newsreel filmmakers. Includes extensive video and audio interviews with party members and movement participants as well as documents from the Roz Payne Archives chronicling both the movement and government attempts to suppress it. (Four DVDs, 2006)
Check for Disc 1 in our catalog (275 minutes)
Check for Disc 2 in our catalog (251 minutes)
Check for Disc 3 in our catalog (431 minutes)
Check for Disc 4 in our catalog (80 minutes)

Brown Vs. Board of Education

Eyes on the Prize, Volume 2: Fighting Back (1957-1962) (Eyes on the Prize series)
This episode of the award-winning Eyes on the Prize series examines the law both as a tool for change and resistance to change, particularly as it relates to education.  Covers the court cases of the late 1940's  that led to the 1954 Supreme Court Brown vs. Board of Education decision, the nine black teenagers who integrated Little Rock's Central High School in 1957, and James Meredith's enrollment at the University of Mississippi. (Video and DVD, 1986, 60 minutes)
Check for this video in our catalog; check for this DVD in our catalog

A History of Black Achievement, Volume 4
Program 7 ("Civil Rights") of Volume 4  of this series includes "1954: Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas." (DVD, 54 minutes, 2005)
Check for this item in our catalog.

The Road To Brown
Presents the role of Charles Hamilton Houston in the cases which led to the landmark Supreme Court case of Brown vs. Board of Education. Gives a history of segregation, Jim Crow Laws, the NAACP and biographical information on persons influential in the desegregation movement. (DVD, 1996, 56 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Saviors (In Search of the Dream series)
This volume of the In Search of a Dream series provides insight into the role of the federal government in legislating and enforcing the rights of African Americans.  It tells the story of the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, a landmark in the battle to end segregation in public schools.  Rep. William Gray, William Coleman, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Vernon Jordan Jr., and Rep. John Lewis assess the Court's role in establishing and protecting civil rights and the impact of the Reagan/Bush era on the civil rights movement. (Video, 1991, 52 minutes)
Check for this item our catalog

Simple Justice (American Justice series)
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.  (Video,)
Check for this item in our catalog

With All Deliberate Speed
On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Brown vs. Board of Education that the concept of "separate but equal" school segregation was unconstitutional. Director Peter Gilbert explores the history and legacy of the legal decision. (DVD, 2004, 111 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Buffalo Soldiers

Buffalo Soldiers
A photographic history of the two black cavalry regiments that served to keep peace on the frontier from 1867 to 1891. Also shown is the dedication ceremony at Fort Leavenworth of a monument to the Buffalo soldiers by sculptor Eddie Dixon, with speeches by Gen. Colin Powell and other high ranking black officers of the U.S. Armed Forces. (Video, 1991, 47 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Held In Trust
Flipper (1856-1940) was the first black graduate from West Point Military Academy. Following assignments with the 10th Calvary 'Buffalo Soldiers', he fell victim to racial prejudice, was framed on trumped up charges of embezzlement and was dishonorably discharged for 'conduct unbecoming an officer'. (Video, 1995, 59 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Civil Rights

See also Brown Vs. Board of Education, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rosa Parks.

Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin
A documentary examining the life of Bayard Rustin, 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. However, Rustin was forced to play a background role in landmark civil rights events because he was homosexual. This feature-length portrait unfolds both chronologically and thematically, using interviews with others, and Rustin's own voice, taken from his writings, papers, correspondence, and recorded interviews. (DVD, 2002, 83 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Century: Memphis Dreams - Searching for the Promised Land (The Century video series)
When Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated in 1968, Memphis--like Dallas in 1963--became a symbol of hope extinguished. This ABC News program examines the Civil Rights Movement and the last few years of Martin Luther King's life with emphasis on the sanitation workers strike in Memphis, Tennessee and the killing of America's greatest civil rights leader, and its impact on African Americans and the nation. (Video, 1999, 46 minutes, Public Performance Rights)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Century: 1965-1970 Unpinned (The Century video series)
Riots and protests intensified in the U.S. as the war in Vietnam dragged on, with anti-war and civil rights activists seeking violent ways to agitate for peace and equality. This program presents the unrelenting rage that divided the nation during those perilous years, as the Watts race riots, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, and the Kent State killings made headline news. (Video, 1999, 45 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Movement (7-volume DVD series)
Considered the most comprehensive television documentary on the American Civil Rights Movement ever produced, this 6-volume PBS series combines rare film footage with incisive present-day interviews to bring the events of the years 1954-1966 to life. Titles Include:

  • VOL 1 - Awakenings (1954-1956)/Fighting Back (1957-1962): Awakenings shows southern race relations in the years prior to 1964, and discusses racial discrimination; Fighting Back examines the law both as a tool for change and resistance to change, particularly as it relates to education.  Covers the court cases of the late 1940's that led to the 1954 Supreme Court Brown vs. Board of Education decision, the nine black teenagers who integrated Little Rock's Central High School in 1957, and James Meredith's enrollment at the University of Mississippi.
  • VOL 2 - Ain’t Scared of Your Jails (1960-1961)/No Easy Walk (1962-1966) Ain't Scared looks at the Civil Rights movement in the United States focusing on the demonstrations, marches, and sit-ins; No Easy Walk explores a crucial phase in the civil rights movement: the emergence of mass demonstrations and marches as a powerful protest vehicle - specifically Albany, Georgia, Birmingham, Alabama, and the 1963 march on Washington, D.C., events which captured worldwide attention, garnered broad national support, and helped to shift federal policy.
  • VOL. 3 - Mississippi – Is This America? (1962-1964)/Bridge To Freedom (1965): Mississippi focuses on the push for voting rights and how Medgar Evers, Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and others died fighting for them; Bridge To Freedom examines how the assault on the civil rights protesters marching from Selma to Montgomery and the national outrage over the subsequent brutality led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
  • VOL. 4 - Time Has Come (1964-1965)/Two Societies (1965-1968): In Time Has Come, Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael lead a call for "Black Power" power, while Two Societies examines the color lines outside of the south in places like Chicago and Detroit with personal testimony by Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, and others who survived the times; also looks at the Kerner Commission.
  • VOL. 5 - Power! (1967-1968)/Promised Land: Power! examines the call across America for "Black Power," which mobilizes communities for change in strikingly different ways as told through the perspectives of Black Panther Party members, teachers, and politicians; in Promised Land, leaders and activists reflect on Martin Luther Kings, Jr's crusade to overcome the fragmenting civil rights movement.
  • VOL. 6 - Ain’t Gonna Shuffle No More (1964-1972)/Nation of Law? (1968-1971): In Ain't gonna shuffle no more, a  call to pride and a renewed push for unity galvanizes Black Americans in telling interviews with athletes, entertainers, and community participants - including Muhammad Ali's Supreme Court battle, Howard University students' battle to bring their African heritage into the halls of learning, and the 1972 National Black Political Convention in Gary, IN, that set the stage for unprecedented black political participation; In A nation of law?, civil rights activists and government officials provide unprecedented insight into the sometimes violent and unethical response to black activism from local and federal law enforcement agencies.
  • VOL. 7 - Keys To the Kingdom (1974-1980)/Back To the Movement (1979-mid-1980s): Keys To the Kingdom examines discrimination in schools and the workplace,  court-ordered busing in Boston, Atlanta's first black mayor Maynard Jackson and his pursuit of affirmative action to offset poverty, and The Bakke Supreme Court case (challenging affirmative action on the grounds of "reverse discrimination"), while Back To the Movement looks at the power and powerlessness felt in black communities during the movement's third decade through firsthand knowledge and stories.

Eyes on the Prize (6-volumes, 1986) and Eyes on the Prize II (8 volumes, 1990) are also available on video.

Free At Last: Civil Rights Heroes
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 of heroism - some even victims who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. See the stories of those whose fates stirred the nation and forged an amazing new path. This DVD includes: Part 1: Emmett Till/Medgar Evers -- Part 2: The Birmingham 4/Shwerner, Chaney and Goodman -- Part 3: Viola Liuzzo/Rev. James Reeb/Jimmy Lee Jackson/Vernon Dahmer. (DVD, 2004, 95 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Integration and Busing: The Early Years – Busing: Complying with Swann in 1976
In 1971, when busing was first mandated by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Swann ruling, it strongly polarized public opinion in many communities. Filmed only five years after the controversial precedent was first put into practice, this news program looks at events in Charlotte and Boston, two places that stand as icons in the busing battle. This video originally aired on CBS television in 1976.  (Video, 1976, 53 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Integration in the North and South
Shows the civil rights movement in 1959 and 1960: sit-ins, marches, boycotts, and rallies in Montgomery, AL; Brooklyn, NY; and Washington, D.C. Part two of this program will show how a New York City school district promoted racial integration and intergroup tolerance. (DVD, 2009, 45 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later
In 1957, Little Rock Central became a symbol of the struggles and hopes of the Civil Rights Movement. African-American students were not allowed into the building. This HBO documentary takes an eye-opening look at racial equality, education, and class at the high school today. (DVD, 2007, 70 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Road To Brown
Presents the role of Charles Hamilton Houston in the cases which led to the landmark Supreme Court case of Brown vs. Board of Education. Gives a history of segregation, Jim Crow Laws, the NAACP and biographical information on persons influential in the desegregation movement. (DVD, 1996, 56 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Sisters of Selma: Bearing Witness for Change
This PBS television documentary looks back at 1965 and the unsung soldiers of the voting rights marches. Catholic nuns from across the country answered Martin Luther King's call to join the protests in Selma, Alabama. Examines their story and how the experience changed them forever. (DVD, 2006, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Two Nations of Black America (Frontline series)
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 episode of the PBS television series Frontline 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. (DVD, 2008, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

 

We Shall Overcome
Traces the transformation of the title song from an old slave spiritual to the anthem of the civil rights movement, while chronicling its effect on human rights movements in the United States and in other parts of the world, using historical footage and personal recollections. Performers include: Performed by Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Taj Mahal, Peter, Paul & Mary, and the Freedom Singers. (Video, 1990, 58 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Feature Film Dramas

These are narrative "feature film" motion pictures theatrically released by major studios.

Amistad
Steven Speilberg’s 1997 film chronicles the real-life 1839 mutiny  aboard a slave ship bound for America. Much of the story involves the courtroom drama about the slave Cinque (Djimon Hounsou) who led the revolt. Also stars Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins and Matthew McConaughey. (1997, 155 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
Cicely Tyson stars as Miss Jane Pittman in this Emmy award-winning story about the woman who began her life as a slave in the South and later marched for her civil rights at the age of 110. (Video, 1973, 110 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Brother To Brother
Director Rodney Evans's acclaimed feature film drama that invokes the glory days of the Harlem Renaissance. As an elderly man, poet Bruce Nugent meets a young, black, gay artist struggling to find his voice, and together they embark on a journey through his inspiring past. Cast: Anthony Mackie, Larry Gilliard Jr., Duane Boutte, Daniel Sunjata, Alex Burns. (Video, 2004, 90 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Cabin in the Sky
The fable of rascally Little Joe, torn between the love of his good wife Petunia and the wiles of good-time bad girl Georgia Brown ... and caught in a tug-of-war between emissaries from the Lord and Satan. Cast: Lena Horne, Ethel Waters, Eddie Anderson. (DVD, 1943, 98 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

 

The Color Purple
Decades-spanning story of Celie, an uneducated woman living in the rural American South. Forced to marry a brutal man she calls 'Mr.,' Celie turns inward and shares her grief only with God. But she is transformed by the friendship of two remarkable women, acquiring self-worth and the strength to forgive. (Video, 1985, 154 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Cora Unashamed
Based on a short story by Langston Hughes and originally broadcast on the PBS television series Masterpiece Theater, this film follows the life of Cora Jenkins, who works as a servant for a middle class white family in 1920s Iowa, and her family – the only African American family in town. (Available on DVD and video, 2000, 95 minutes)
Check for this DVD in our catalogcheck for this video in our catalog 

Dutchman
One of the masterpieces of the Black Theatre Movement of the 1960s and '70s, Amiri Baraka's (LeRoi Jones) high-powered parable Dutchman remains one of the most explosive statements on race in American theatre. Baraka's original one-act play was expanded to 55 minutes for this production, which features Al Freeman, Jr. and Shirley Knight. Dutchman captures the tensions that erupt in America when race, class and gender collide. It won Best Film honors at the 1967 Cannes Film Festival. (Video, 55 minutes, 1967, Public Performance Rights)
Check for this item in our catalog

Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and Other Identities
On Aug. 19, 1991 in Crown Heights (Brooklyn, N.Y.) a Hasidic man accidentally ran over a 7-year old Black boy (Gavin Cato). Three hours later a young Jewish scholar (Yankel Rosenbaum) was murdered by Black youths. Four days of fire-bombing and riots ensued. Utilizing verbatim excerpts from interviews she conducted, Anna Deavere Smith acts out the roles of 18 people involved in the racial conflict, trying to present the differing viewpoints. Includes actual film footage of the riots and violence. Originally aired on the PBS television series American Playhouse. (DVD, 1993, 87 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

Green Pastures
This is a 1936 Warner Brothers film, based on the play by Marc Connelly, directed by Marc Connelly and William Keighley. It recreates stories from the Bible as visualized by African American characters, including Rex Ingram (in several roles, including "De Lawd"), Oscar Polk, and Eddie "Rochester" Anderson. (Video, 1936, 93 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Glory 
Based on the true story of the first black regiment to fight for the North in the Civil War. Robert Gould Shaw and Cabot Forbes are two idealistic young Bostonians that lead the regiment; Sgt. Maj. John Rawlins is the inspiration who unites the troops ; Pvt. Trip is a runaway slave who joins the regiment. Cast: Matthew Broderick, Denzil Washington, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman, Jihmi Kennedy, Andre Braugher, John Finn, Donovan Leitch, J.D. Cullum. (DVD, 1989, 124 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Based on the autobiography by Maya Angelou. Young Maya leads a precarious existence in racist, Depression-era Arkansas, where she is shunted between her grandmother's house and mother's -- where she is raped -- and withdraws into total silence.  She endures to share her realization in her valedictory address: "In order to lift your voice, you have to lift your head." Cast: Diahann Carroll, Ruby Dee, Esther Rolle. (Video, 1978, 96 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Killer of Sheep
Charles Burnett's Killer of Sheep (1977) has long been hailed as a masterpiece of African American filmmaking and one of the finest directorial debuts in history. It was chosen for the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress and was named one of the 100 Essential Films by the National Society of Film Critics. It tells the story of a sensitive dreamer living in the Watts section of Los Angeles who, working in a slaughterhouse and frustrated by money problems, finds solace in moments of simple beauty in tyhe midst of his surroundings. This special edition DVD also includes Burnnett's film My Brother's Wedding (1983), about a young man working at his parents' store who tries to find himself. Bonus short films and features are also included. (DVD, 2007, 164 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Malcolm X
This is director Spike Lee’s 1992 screen version of the life of Malcolm X, who, through his religious conversion to Islam, found the strength to rise from a criminal past to become an influential civil rights leader. Stars Denzel Washington and Angela Bassett. (Video and DVD, 1992, 3 ½ hours)
Check for this item in our catalog

Miss Evers' Boys
In 1932, Nurse Eunice Evers is invited to work with doctors on the "Tuskegee Experiment" to study the effects of syphilis. She is faced with a terrible dilemma when she learns the patients are denied treatment that could cure them. cast: Alfre Woodard, Laurence Fishburne, Craig Sheffer, Joe Morton, Obba Babatundé, E.G. Marshall, Ossie Davis. (DVD, 1997, 118 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Murder in Mississippi
This 1989 feature film is based on a true tragedy that occurred in 1964 when members of the Ku Klux Klan murdered three civil rights leaders who had traveled to the South to encourage African-American voter registration. The film examines the last three weeks in the lives of the slain activists. Cst: Tom Hulce, Jennifer Grey, Blair Underwood. (DVD, 1989, 97 minutes)
Check for this item in the catalog

Nothing But a Man
Set against the stirrings of the civil rights movement and a rising wave of burgeoning Black pride. This tells the story of Duff, a railroad section hand who is forced to confront racial prejudice and self-denial when he falls in love with Josie, an educated preacher's daughter. An uplifting story about a man and a woman whose love overcomes racial and class barriers. Cast: Ivan Dixon, Abbey Lincoln, Gloria Foster, Julius Harris, Yaphet Kotto. (DVD, 1964, 92 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

A Raisin in the Sun
Sidney Poitier stars in this film adaptation of the of the award-winning play by Lorraine Hanseberry about the Youngers, a struggling black family living on Chicago's South Side who cope with bigotry, hatred, and the strains of everyday living in 1950s Chicago. (Available in DVD and video, 1961, 128 minutes)
Check for this DVD in our catalogcheck for this video in our catalog

 

Roots (6-volume series on video and DVD)
This 1977 TV mini-series, based on the book by Alex Haley, follows the family saga of Kunta Kinte (LeVar Burton), a young boy abducted from his village, sold into slavery and taken to America. Throughout the series, the family observes notable events in U.S. history, such as the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, slave uprisings, and emancipation.  (1977, 90-99 minutes per tape)

Roots: The Next Generations (7-volume series on video and DVD)
This 1979 TV mini-series continues the story of Alex Haley's family line from the post-American Civil War era to Alex Haley's geneological search to discover his roots. James Earl Jones portrays Alex Haley. (1979, 120 minutes per tape)

Rosewood
This feature film is based on the true story of the 1923 razing of a black town in Florida in which many of people were murdered over a lie. But someescaped and survived because of the courage and compassion of a few extraordinary people. Cast: Jon Voight, Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, Bruce McGill, Loren Dean, Esther Rolle, Elise Neal, Robert Patrick, Michael Rooker. (DVD, 1997, 142 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Ruby Bridges
This Disney made-for-TV movie is based on a true story. When bright six year old Ruby is chosen to be the first African-American to integrate her local New Orleans elementary school, she is subjected to the true ugliness of racism for the very first time. Cast: Penelope Ann Miller, Kevin Pollak, Michael Beach, Jean Louisa Kelly, Peter Francis James, Patrika Darbo, Chaz Monet, Diana Scarwid, Lela Rochon. (Video, 1999, 90 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Something the Lord Made
This HBO movie is based on a true story. It tells the emotional story of two men who defined the rules of their time to launch a medical revolution, set against the backdrop of the Jim Crow south. Working in 1940s Baltimore on an unprecedented technique for performing heart surgery on "blue babies", Dr. Alfred Blalock and lab technician Vivien Thomas from an impressive team. As Blalock and Thomas invent a new field of medicine, saving thousands of lives in the process, social pressures threaten to undermine their collaboration and tear them apart. (DVD, 2004, 110 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Sounder
Director Martin Ritt’s heartwarming story of a black sharecropper family in Louisiana during the Depression stars Cicely Tyson and Paul Winfield with a soundtrack by legendary blues musician Taj Mahal. (Available on DVD and Video, 1972, 105 minutes)
Check for this DVD in our catalogcheck for this video in our catalog

Stormy Weather
Dancing great Bill Williamson takes a look back on the beginnings of his career and his romance with fellow rising star Selina. Their romance is brief because Selina does not want to settle down. The movie includes an all-star show hosted by Cab Calloway, with performers such as Lena Horne, Bill Robinson, Fats Waller, and Katherine Dunham. (DVD, 1943, 77 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

Their Eyes Were Watching God
In this drama based on the novel by Zora Neale Hurston and set in the 1920s, where free-spirited Janie Crawford's search for happiness leads her through several different marriages, challenging the mores of her small town. Cast: Halle Berry, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Michael Ealy, Nicki Micheaux, Lorraine Toussaint, Ruby Dee, Terrence Dashon Howard, Gabriel Casseus, Artel Kayàru, Kevin Daniels, Henry Brown. (DVD, 2005, 113 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

To Be Young, Gifted, and Black
This winner of the American Film Festival's "Blue Ribbon" is a dramatic portrayal of the life and works of the late playwright, Lorraine Hansberry, author of A Raisin in the Sun. Cast: Ruby Dee, Al Freeman, Jr., Claudie McNeil, Roy Scheider, Blythe Danner. (Video, 1972, 90 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

To Kill a Mockingbird
Gregory Peck plays a southern lawyer who defends a black man accused of rape in this film version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. The way in which it captures a time, a place, and above all, a mood, makes this film a masterpiece. (DVD, 1962, 90 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

 

 

Tuskegee Airmen
Crooked U.S. soldiers are stationed on an American Army base in West Germany during the waning days of the cold war. Special Fourth Class Elwood guards against the Soviets while on duty, and rips off the U.S. military while off duty. Elwood runs a profitable black-market business that operates just below the official radar. One day, he and his gang uncover some loot that will land them some real money - high-tech military weaponry. As they try to quietly offload the stuff, the new sergeant catches on to the nefarious deeds and sets out to put him out of businesses. Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Ed Harris, Scott Glenn, Anna Paquin, Gabriel Mann, Leon Robinson, Sheik Mahmud-Bey, Dean Stockwell, Elizabeth McGovern.(Video, 2001, 99 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Tuskegee Airmen
This HBO feature film the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American cadets who received military training during the Second World War and were sent into combat as a segregated unit. Cast: Laurence Fishburne, Allen Payne, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Courtney Vance, Andre Braugher, Chris McDonald, John Lithgow, Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Video, 1995, 105 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Uncle Tom's Cabin
In this 1927 silent film by director Harry Pollard, Eliza flees the security of a Kentucky plantation when her young son and her dignified protector, Uncle Tom, are sold to a rival landowner. Her experiences culminate in her arrival at the swampy lair of the murderous Sam Legree. (DVD, 1927, 112 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

A Woman Called Moses
Dramatization of the life of Harriet Tubman, the founder of the Underground Railroad, who led hundreds of slaves to freedom before the Civil War. During the war, she was a reconnaissance agent for the North and helped mobilize black troops who raided Southern plantations and freed slaves. After the war she became active in the suffragette movement. Cast: Cicely Tyson, Will Geer, Robert Hooks, Dick Anthony Williams, James Wainwright, Hari Rhodes. (Available on DVD and video, 1978, 200 minutes)
Check for this DVD in our catalog; check for this video in our catalog 

The Women of Brewster Place 
Mattie Michael, whose life has been plagued by misfortunes, is alone in a ghetto tenement on Brewster Place. She gradually unites the other tenement women to help them struggle for a new life. Cast: Oprah Winfrey, Robin Givens, Cicely Tyson.  (DVD, 1988, 180 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

 

Frederick Douglass

African American Writers (African American Culture series)
The life and times of Frederick Douglass. Historic photos and docudrama segments cover the life of this great orator, emancipator, and statesman. (DVD, 2010, 20 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Frederick Douglass (A & E Biography series)
The story of Frederick Douglass, escaped slave and abolitionist orator. (DVD and video, 2005, 42 minutes)
Check for this DVD in our catalogCheck for this video in our catalog 

Frederick Douglass, Abolitionist Editor (Black Americans of Achievement series)
A biography of the man who, after escaping slavery, became an orator, writer, and leader in the anti-slavery movement of the early nineteenth century. Ages 13 and up. (Video, 1992, 30 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

Soldiers Without Swords
"Too long have others spoken for us." This video 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. (Video, 1998, 86 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

 

The Great Migration

Goin' To Chicago
A group of longtime Chicago residents returns to Greenville, Mississippi for a reunion with family and friends. Participants talk about their lives and their reasons for moving north. Includes historical footage of Mississippi and Chicago. (Video, 1994, 70 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

 

The Harlem Renaissance

See also: W.E.B. Du Bois

Harlem was a magnet for black artists and intellectuals (among them Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Dorothy West, Aaron Douglas, Countee Cullen, and Wallace Thurmond) who came from all over America, the West Indies, and Africa to meet, exchange ideas, and create works of art. Urban League founders W.E.B. DuBois and Charles Johnson encouraged talented young blacks by organizing awards dinners and introducing them to potential patrons. Mamie “Bessie” Smith introduced the world to blues with her hit, “Crazy Blues,” in 1920. Her music illustrated the working-class side of life, describing “American culture...from the bottom up, from the roach’s eye view,” as poet Amiri Baraka explains. The Harlem Renaissance was in full swing by the early 1920s. RCA and Columbia each opened a new division of record production called “race records,” recording and selling black music played by black musicians. White artists played versions of black music that gained even greater popularity, raising questions for black musicians as to how they could control their own art. Following are DVD and video resources documenting this movement.

 

Against the Odds: The Artists of the Harlem Renaissance
Harlem in the 1920s and 1930s was the scene of a passionate outburst of creativity by African-American visual artists. Rich archival footage, including newsreels and photographs, recalls the influential force of the exhibitions, the vibrancy of Harlem and the many significiant personalities that shaped the movement, such as William E. Harmon, W.E.B. DuBois and Alain Locke. (DVD, 1994, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

Been Rich All My LIfe
This documentary looks at the Silver Belles, five tap dancers (Bertye Lou Wood, Cleo Hayes, Elaine Ellis, Fay Ray, Marion Coles) who performed in 1930's Harlem at the famed Apollo and Cotton Club. Together again, they're dancing to standing ovations and sharing stories of the Harlem Renaissance. (DVD, 2006, 80 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Brother To Brother
Director Rodney Evans's acclaimed feature film drama that invokes the glory days of the Harlem Renaissance. As an elderly man, poet Bruce Nugent meets a young, black, gay artist struggling to find his voice, and together they embark on a journey through his inspiring past. Cast: Anthony Mackie, Larry Gilliard Jr., Duane Boutte, Daniel Sunjata, Alex Burns. (Video, 2004, 90 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

From These Roots: A Review of the Harlem Renaissance
Uses still photographs and filmed sequences to recreate the social and political climate of the Harlem renaissance--a period of great artistic and cultural activity in the 1920's which had, and still has, a profound influence on black American art and self-awareness and life-style. (Video, 1974, 30 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

I'll Make Me a World: A Century of African-American Arts (6-volume video series)
These two volumes of the I'll Make Me a World series deal with artists of the Harlem Renaissance cultural movement that spanned the 1920s through the early 1940s.

  • Without Fear or Shame, 1920-1937: This video focuses on the years of the Harlem Renaissance.  Female blues singers bring their southern sounds north and a flourishing African-American arts scene in New York City creates widespread interest in black culture. (Video, 1999, 60 minutes)
  • The Dream Keepers, 1940-1965: Examines African-Americans in the arts from 1940-1965 as racial barriers were steadily being broken and a stunning series of African-American firsts in all fields helped with racial inequities. Some fields, however, still remained closed. (Video, 1999, 60 minutes)

Harriet Tubman

See also: Underground Railroad

Harriet Tubman, Antislavery Activist (Black Americans of Achievement series)
Describes the life of the energetic abolitionist; her origins as a slave in Maryland, her role in the Underground Railroad, her service to the Union during the Civil War, and her role in establishing an old-age home for Afro-Americans. (Video, 1992, 30 minutes)

Check for this item in our catalog

A History of Black Achievement in America,Volume 1 
Volume 1, Program 1 of this four-volume DVD series contains the segment "1849: Harriet Tubman," in which the abolitionist uses the underground railroad to become free. (DVD, 2005, 54 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Legend of Harriet Tubman
In this episode of the Juba television series, Margo Barnett dramatizes the story of Harriet Tubman, a former slave who helped free other slaves. (Video, 1977, 15 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog
 

Underground Railroad
This A&E documentary, originally produced for television,  tells the story of a loosely organized network of runaway slaves, freed blacks and anti-slavery whites, all willing to risk their lives in the name of liberty. A story of a two hundred year struggle to break the bonds of slavery in the American South, which chronicles the achievements of abolitionists Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Tubman and William Lloyd Garrison. (Video, 1999, 93 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

Whispers of Angels: A Story of the Underground Railroad
Thomas Garrett, William Still and Harriet Tubman, along with hundreds of lesser-known and nameless opponents of slavery, formed a Corridor of Courage stretching from Maryland's eastern shore through the length of Delaware to Philadelphia and beyond.
Check for this item in our catalog
 

A Woman Called Moses
Dramatization of the life of Harriet Tubman, the founder of the Underground Railroad, who led hundreds of slaves to freedom before the Civil War. During the war, she was a reconnaissance agent for the North and helped mobilize black troops who raided Southern plantations and freed slaves. After the war she became active in the suffragette movement. Cast: Cicely Tyson, Will Geer, Robert Hooks, Dick Anthony Williams, James Wainwright, Hari Rhodes. (Available on DVD and video, 1978, 200 minutes)
Check for this DVD in our catalog; check for this video in our catalog 

 

Hate Crimes/Injustice/Ku Klux Klan    

Birth of a Nation
Director D. W. Griffith's epic silent feature about two families during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Controversial for heroic portrayal of Ku Klux Klan. Includes an abbreviated version of "The birth of a race" (1918) which was conceived as a protest against the racism of Birth of a Nation. (DVD, 1915, 200 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Daughters of the Black Revolution
Phil Donahue interviews the daughters of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. (Video, 1988, 26 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Deadly Deception (Nova series)
This episode of the PBS television series Nova investigates the "Tuskegee Experiment." Officially known as the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male, this was a medical experiment conducted in Alabama from 1932-1972 in which African American men believed they were receiving free treatment for syphilis, but were given worthless medicines by government physicians. (Video, 1993, 60 minutes)
Check forthis item in our catalog

Eyes on the Prize, Vol. 3: Mississippi: Is This America? (1962-1964)
Focuses on the right to vote and tells how the black citizens who had been denied the right to vote stepped forward and demanded a place in the political process. Medgar Evers, Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and others, died trying to help them. Shows the formation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party to challenge the 1964 Democratic Party Convention.
Check for this item in our catalog 

Forgotten Fires
Concerns a young Ku Klux Klan member's burning of two black churches near Manning, S.C. in June 1995. (Video, 1998, 56 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

4 Little Girls
An HBO documentary film by Spike Lee. When a bomb tears through the basement of a black Baptist church on a peaceful fall morning, it takes the lives of four young girls; Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Addie Mae Collins. This racially motivated crime, taking place at a time when the civil rights movement is burning with a new flame, could have doused that flame forever. Instead it fuels a nation's outrage and brings Birmingham, Alabama to the forefront of America's concern. (DVD, 2000, 102 minutes).
Check for this item in our catalog 

Free At Last: Civil Rights Heroes
Part 1 of this Civil Rights documentary discusses the murders of Emmett Till and Medgar Evers.  (DVD, 2004, 95 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Hate Crime
Shows two examples of communities that are having some success in solving the problem of hate crimes. In South Carolina after the burning of Afro-American churchs, law enforcement officials arrested members of the Ku Klux Klan and one black church filed a lawsuit against the KKK winning a $38 million judgment against the Klan from a racially mixed jury. The second case spotlights a pioneering high school class on tolerance developed by teacher Joe Moros that has changed the social climate at San Clemente High School in California where tensions among whites, Latinos, blacks and Asian-Americans led to brutal violence and killing in the 1990s. (Video, 1999, 56 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

A Lynching in Marion
In August, 1930, a 16 year-old African-American named James Cameron survived a lynching.  Now, 65 years later, Cameron tells his compelling story in vivid detail. (Video, 1995, 28 minutes, Public Performance Rights)
Check for this item in our catalog

Murder in Mississippi
This 1989 feature film is based on a true tragedy that occurred in 1964 when members of the Ku Klux Klan murdered three civil rights leaders who had traveled to the South to encourage African-American voter registration. The film examines the last three weeks in the lives of the slain activists. Cst: Tom Hulce, Jennifer Grey, Blair Underwood. (DVD, 1989, 97 minutes)
Check for this item in the catalog

The Rodney King Case
This episode of Court TV presents the key portions of both the prosecution and defense cases, condensing 150 hours of gavel-to-gavel coverage and including the 81-second amateur videotape which recorded the events that occurred during the evening of March 3, 1991. (Video, 1992, 116 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Rosewood
This feature film is based on the true story of the 1923 razing of a black town in Florida in which many of people were murdered over a lie. But someescaped and survived because of the courage and compassion of a few extraordinary people. Cast: Jon Voight, Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, Bruce McGill, Loren Dean, Esther Rolle, Elise Neal, Robert Patrick, Michael Rooker. (DVD, 1997, 142 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Scottsboro: An American Tragedy (American Experience series)
This documentary originally aired as an episode on the PBS television series American Experience. In March 1931, two white women stepped from a boxcar in Paint Rock, Alabama to make a shocking accusation: they had been raped by nine black teenagers on the train. So began one of the most significant legal fights of the twentieth century. The trials of the nine young men would draw North and South into their sharpest conflict since the Civil War, yield two momentous Supreme Court decisions and give birth to the civil rights movement. (DVD, 2005, 90 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Scottsboro Boys, 1931 (Landmark American Trials series)
The trial of nine black men who were wrongfully accused of raping two white women. (Video, 2000, 52 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Strange Fruit
Explores the history and legacy of the Billie Holiday classic "Strange Fruit." Tells a dramatic story of America's radical past using one of the most influential protest songs ever written as its epicenter. (Video, 2002, 57 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Trouble Behind
White racism is discussed in the context of the town of Corbin, Kentucky (the home of Kentucky Fried Chicken), where on Oct. 31, 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.  Since that date few Blacks have attempted to settle in Corbin. Residents are interviewed to give their perceptions of whether or not racism still exists in their town. (Video, 1990, 56 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Inventors

Inventions by African Americans
This tribute to minority inventors (which is part of the multi-volume African American Culture DVD series) touches upon many inventions that have contributed to American science, technology, and medicine. (DVD, 2010, 27 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Making It Happen: Masters of Invention
Starting with the days of slavery and moving forward to the present, this film profiles the ingenuity of African Americans whose inventions have helped to shape the modern world.  (Video, 1995, 22 minutes, Public Performance Rights)
Check for this item in our catalog 

Jim Crow

The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow (4-volume series)
This award-winning series, narrated by Richard Roundtree, examines the history of American segregation laws from the period following the Civil War through the end of the Korean War. (2002, 60 minutes per tape, Public Performance Rights) Series titles include:

  • VOL. 1 - Promises Betrayed (1865-1896): Examines the Emancipation Proclamation that was to set African Americans free. The promises of the proclamation are quickly forgotten and exchanged for a set of segregation laws known as the Jim Crow laws.
  • VOL. 2 - Fighting Back (1896-1917): Explores the segregation in the South from the time the Advancement of Colored People through the beginning of World War I.
  • VOL. 3 - Don’t Shout Too Soon (1917-1940): The years between World War I and World War II marked a time of civil conflict between blacks and whites in the United States. Blacks continued to fight for rights, while whites continued to support Jim Crow laws.
  • VOL. 4 - Terror and Triumph (1940-1954): Following World War II, blacks came home determined to receive equal rights. Again, whites fought to keep these rights from blacks and violence ensued.

Malcolm X

Eyes on the PrizeI I: The Time has Come (1964-1965)
This episode ofthe award-winning television documentary series Eyes on the Prize examines how Malcolm X, the National Minister of the Nation of Islam practices his influence on the staff of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). (Video, 1990, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Great American Speeches, Volume 5: 80 Years of Political Oratory (Great American Speeches series)
Includes Malcolm X.'s "Easter Speech in Harlem." (Video, 1995, 39 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Malcolm X
This is director Spike Lee’s 1992 screen version of the life of Malcolm X, who, through his religious conversion to Islam, found the strength to rise from a criminal past to become an influential civil rights leader. Stars Denzel Washington and Angela Bassett. (DVD, 1992, 201 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Malcolm X (Against the Odds series)
Though he began by espousing violence, Malcolm X found his true voice and leadership position when he modulated his rage and began to work constructively to help his people. (Video, 1988, 15 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Malcolm X: A Search for Identity
This episode of the A&E Biography television program takes an in-depth look at the life of Malcolm X, a controversial man who shocked a nation out of comfortable complacency, and whose boldness gave hope to millions of African Americans. (Video, 1995, 50 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Real Malcolm X
CBS News examines the facts of the extraordinary life of Malcolm X in exclusive, never-before-shown footage and excerpts from some of his most important speeches.  Family, friends, and contemporary artists discuss his legacy in the black community. (Video, 1992, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

 

Marcus Garvey

In Black & White: Black Cinema
Using archival newsreels, feature film footage and interviews with African American actors and directors, this film explores the inception, struggle, suppression, and survival of the Black cinema from the 1920s through the 1950s. This documentary, a stinging indictment of racism in the arts and in American culture, examines the lives and influence of Paul Robeson, Josephine Baker, Oscar Micheaux, Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Marcus Garvey and many others on Afro-American cinema. (Video, 1997, 92 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Marcus Garvey: Black Nationalist (Black Americains of Achievement series)
Chronicles the events in the life of African-American leader Marcus Garvey, with commentary on his contributions to society. (Video, 1994, 30 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Marcus Garvey: Toward Black Nationhood
This documentary combines archival material and live interviews with Marcus Garvey, Jr. and others to introduces the life and work of the pioneering Black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey. (Video, 1983, 45 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Martin Luther King, Jr.

At the River Stand I
This documentary of two 1968 events in the civil rights movement (the sanitation workers' strike in Memphis, Tennessee, and the assassination of 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. (Video, 1993, 58 minutes, Public Performance Rights)
Check for this item in our catalog

Been To the Mountaintop
Original footage highlights Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dramatic speeches and conversations spanning 1956 to 1968, including his last address on April 3, 1968, the night before his assassination. (DVD, 2006)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Century: Memphis Dreams - Searching for the Promised Land (The Century video series)
When Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated in 1968, Memphis--like Dallas in 1963--became a symbol of hope extinguished. This ABC News program examines the Civil Rights Movement and the last few years of Martin Luther King's life with emphasis on the sanitation workers strike in Memphis, Tennessee and the killing of America's greatest civil rights leader, and its impact on African Americans and the nation. (Video, 1999, 46 minutes, Public Performance Rights)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Century: 1965-1970 Unpinned (The Century video series)
Riots and protests intensified in the U.S. as the war in Vietnam dragged on, with anti-war and civil rights activists seeking violent ways to agitate for peace and equality. This program presents the unrelenting rage that divided the nation during those perilous years, as the Watts race riots, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, and the Kent State killings made headline news. (Video, 1999, 45 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

Citizen King (American Experience series)
This documentary by Baltimore native Orlando Bagwell originally aired on the PBS television series American Experience. It explores the last few years of Dr. King's efforts to recast himself by embracing causes beyond the civil rights movement, by becoming a champion of the poor and an outspoken opponent of the war in Vietnam. Tapping into a rich archive of photographs and film footage and using diaries, letters, and eyewitness accounts of fellow activists, friends, journalists, political leaders and law enforcement officials, this film brings fresh insights to King's impossible journey, his charismatic leadership and his truly remarkable impact. (Video, 2004,1 20 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

A Day To Remember: August 28, 1963
This documentary examines Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. (1978, 29 minutes, Public Performance Rights)
Check for this item in our catalog

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: A Historical Perspective
Historical overview of the struggle for racial equality in America. Focuses on the extraordinary life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. using rare and largely unseen film footage and photographs. (DVD, 2002, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Eyes on the Prize II: The Promised Land (1967-1968)
Part of the award-winning PBS series Eyes on the Prize II, this volume looks at the final year of Martin Luther King's life, when King and his staff searched for a strategy to effect an economic redistribution of wealth. It also includes the assassination of Dr. King in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968. Filed under “E” for Eyes on the Prize II series. (Available on DVD and video, 1990, 60 minutes, Public Performance Rights
Check for this DVD in our catalog; check for this video in our catalog 

Great American Speeches, Volume 4: 80 Years of Political Oratory (Great American Speeches series)
Includes Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" and "When a Man has Already Died" speeches. (Video, 1995, 45 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Great American Speeches, Volume 5: 80 Years of Political Oratory (Great American Speeches series)
Includes Robert F. Kennedy's "Eulogy for Martin Luther King, Jr." (Video, 1995, 39 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

In Remembrance of Martin
This tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. is composed of testimonies by his family, associates, and government leaders, and includes documentary footage. Recommended audience: ages 12 through adults. (Video, 1987, 60 minutes, Public Performance Rights)
Check for this item in our catalog

King: Montgomery To Memphis
This documentary covers Martin Luther King, Jr.'s struggle for racial equality and justice from 1955 to his death in 1968, when he had become known the world over as the most influential spokesman for black citizens in the United States. (Video, 1970, 104 minutes, Public Performance Rights)
Check for this item in our catalog

Legacy of a Dream
In addition to looking at Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and achievements, this documentary focuses on the work being done by King's followers – including Andrew Young and Coretta Scott King -  to fulfill his dream and continue his legacy. (Video, 1974, 29 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Martin Luther King, Jr: Black History Month (America's Special Days DVD series)
This volume of the national holidays series America's Special Days focuses on Martin Luther King, Jr. who believed in peaceful protesting for civil rights. The program visits King's birthplace, church and museums. At the Civil Rights Museum, viewers get to see the Rosa Parks bus and a replica of the historic Woolworth lunch counter "sit-in." (DVD, 2006, 15 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Martin Luther King, Jr.: Civil Rights Leader (Black Americans of Achievement  video series)
Ideal for young audiences (ages 13 and up), this video combines interviews with leading authorities, archival footage, photographs and period music to present the life of the civil rights leader. Filed under “B” for Black Americans of Achievement series.(Video, 1992, 30 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Martin Luther King, Jr: The Man and the Dream
Jack Perkins hosts this episode of A&E's Biography television program, which examines the legendary civil rights leader's personal and public life using interviews (including with Harry Belafonte, Marcus Woods, Betty Moat, Howard Baugh, and Taylor Mead, ) and rare footage of the Reverend. (DVD, 1997, 50 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Martin’s Big Words: the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Aimed at children aged 5-8, this iconographic presentation of the book by Doreen Rappaport (illustrated by Bryan Collier) explains how Martin Luther King, Jr. helped bring a peaceful end to segregation. (2002, 8 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Our Friend Martin
Blending a time-travel adventure premise with historical newsreel footage, this animated film enables children to actually “meet” the legendary Civil Rights leader and share his inspiring message of hope and courage. Our Friend Martin features an all-star voice cast (including James Earl Jones, Whoopi Goldberg, and Oprah Winfrey.) and a soundtrack with performances by top contemporary artists and classic Motown greats (including Stevie Wonder’s ode to Dr. King, “Happy Birthday”). (1998, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr.
This collection presents Martin Luther King, Jr. electrifying speeches from his days as a young pastor in Montgomery, Alabama to the great march on Washington, including the final prophetic speech in Memphis just days before his assassination. (Video, 1988, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Speeches Collection, Volume 1
This two-disc set contains the important and famous speeches of a number of  American leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr. (DVD, 2 discs, 2002, 240 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

 

Oscar Micheaux/Paul Robeson

The African American Cinema I
The earliest surviving feature directed by an African American director, Oscar Micheaux's Within Our Gates tells the story of a young African-American woman who seeks a northern white patron for a southern school for black children.  The scenes of lynching and attempted white-on-black rape may be a response to D.W. Griffith's The birth of a nation. (Video, 1995, 80 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Aida's Brothers & Sisters: Black Voices in Opera
This documentary chronicles the history and present situation of African-American opera singers in the U.S. Examines struggles and successes in the careers of prominent names including Paul Robeson, Marian Anderson, Kathleen Battle, Leontyne Price, Jessye Norman, Robert McFerrin and more. Rare archival and contemporary footage. (Video, 2000, 90 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Big Fella (Paul Robeson Centennial series)
Joe is a Marseilles dockworker who is asked by police to help find a young boy missing from an ocean liner.  When Joe finally discovers the child, he learns that the boy escaped of his own will, and takes him to  stay with a local cafe singer, Miranda.  Joe and Miranda become surrogate parents to the boy, offering a welcome change from his wealthy and somewhat repressed white parents. (Video, 1937, 73 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Body and Soul (Paul Robeson Centennial series)
Paul Robeson, in his first screen role, plays two parts in this Oscar Micheaux film - an evil preacher and his good brother, who wage a personal war for the body and soul of the heroine. Includes introductory segment on the censoring of the original film. (Video, Oscar Micheaux, 1925, 100 minutes, Public Performance Rights)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Emperor Jones
Paul Robeson plays a cunning manipulator who takes control of a Caribbean island and declares himself emperor. (DVD, 1933, 76 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

In Black and White: Black Cinema
Using archival newsreels, feature film footage and interviews with African-American actors and directors (including Paul Robeson, Josephine Baker, Oscar Micheaux, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright and Marcus Garvey), this film explores the inception, struggle, suppression, and survival of the Black cinema from the 1920s through the 1950s. (1992, 92 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Jericho (Paul Robeson Centennial series)
Paul Robeson plays an African American soldier in World War I flees from an unjust criminal conviction and is chased across Africa. (Video, 1937, 75 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Lift Every Voice, 1900-1924 (I'll Make Me a World series)
The video looks at the trials and triumphs of the first generation of African Americans in the performing arts who were born to freedom, including director Oscar Micheaux. (Video, 1999, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Midnight Ramble (part of the American Experience series)
This PBS documentary recounts the history of the independent film industry that produced over 500 “race movies” for African-American audiences between 1910 and 1940, singling out the work of pioneering filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. Micheaux wrote, produced, and directed over 40 features, including Body and Soul with Paul Robeson. (Video, 1994, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

Movies of Color: Black Southern Cinema
Black films of the 1920s through mid 1950s are shown as a mirror of the Black experience of the time. They developed as a reaction to the way African Americans were depicted by film makers such as D.W. Griffith. This program focuses on the innovative works of film makers Spencer Williams, Oscar Micheaux, Eloyse Gist, and Clarence Muse. Includes clips from their various works. Special features: Two bonus short films (an extra 107 minutes runtime): "The Blood of Jesus and "Go Down, Death." (DVD, 2002, 55 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

Paul Robeson
Examines the life of Paul Robeson, including his career as a singer and actor and his controversial role in world politics. Includes film clips and interviews. Largely still images. (Video, 1994, 37 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

 

Paul Robeson: Here I Stand
This American Masters TV documentary examines the life and achievements of the remarkable athlete, singer, scholar, actor and champion of the poor and disenfranchised. (Video, 1999, 127 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

 

Song of Freedom (Paul Robeson Centennial series)
Paul Robeson is a successful concert singer who discovers he is the descendant of a West African queen whose tribe is now in need of a leader. (Video, 1936, 80 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

 

Performing Arts

General

The Entertainers
This Ebony Jet magazine-produced video includes interviews/profiles of three noted and respected Afro-American entertainers: Bill Cosby, Maya Angelou, & Charles Dutton. All stress the importance of self-esteem, motivation, perseverance, education, and dedication. (Video, 1991, 35 minutes, video).

I’ll Make Me a World: A Century of African American Arts (6-volume video series)
This PBS series documents the last century of African-American literature, poetry, music, film, theater and dance through the lives of its creators, from writer James Baldwin to rap star Queen Latifah. Series titles include:

  • Without Fear or Shame, 1920-1937: This video focuses on the years of the Harlem Renaissance.  Female blues singers bring their southern sounds north and a flourishing African-American arts scene in New York City creates widespread interest in black culture. (Video, 1999, 60 minutes)
  • The Dream Keepers, 1940-1965: Examines African-Americans in the arts from 1940-1965 as racial barriers were steadily being broken and a stunning series of African-American firsts in all fields helped with racial inequities. Some fields, however, still remained closed. (Video, 1999, 60 minutes)
  • Not a Rhyme in Time, 1963-1986: Between 1963 and 1986, a cultural revolution began as black artists challenged mainstream aesthetics, identity and power, and ultimately defied the very notion of a mainstream. (Video, 1999, 60 minutes)
  • Freedom You Will Take, 1985-Present: (Video, 1999, 60 minutes): In reaction to the narrow depiction of African Americans, the contemporary culture landscape has been transformed by the power of African-American film, dance, rap-music and spoken-word scene. (Video, 1999, 60 minutes)
  • Lift Every Voice, 1900-1924: This video looks at the trials and triumphs of the first generation of African-Americans in the performing arts who were born to freedom. (Video, 1999, 60 minutes)

The Jazz Age in Paris
Examines the impact of jazz and associated performing arts on French culture in Paris roughly between the two World Wars. Also examines the experiences and influence of African American performing artists in Paris during that period.  Combines period footage with recent interviews. Interviewees: Clayton "Peg Leg" Bates, Juanita Boisseau, Jack Butler, Hyacinth Curtis, Edna Mae Robinson, Walter Schaap, Louis Simms. (Video, 1997, 32 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

 

Cinema, Theatre & Television

Film and television are the most popular media in America.  They reach the largest audiences and have the largest impact on our culture.  Whites have traditionally controlled television and film, which has impacted the way race is represented in these media. These representations are important because they shape the way race is perceived in our culture.  The degree to which African Americans have access to these media as a creative outlet determines how and to what extent African Americans can express themselves and present their unique culture and viewpoints to the wider world.

The African American Cinema I
The earliest surviving feature directed by an African American director, Oscar Micheaux's Within Our Gates tells the story of a young African-American woman who seeks a northern white patron for a southern school for black children.  The scenes of lynching and attempted white-on-black rape may be a response to D.W. Griffith's The birth of a nation. (Video, 1995, 80 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The African American Cinema II
Contains two early silent “race” films: Scare of Shame (1926), a melodrama addressing class bias and the color caste system within the African American community, and the short Sissle and Blake (1923), which captures Baltimore-born jazz pianist Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle performing "Affectionate Dan" and a jazzed-up spiritual. (Video, 1995, 80 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

BaadAsssss Cinema: A Bold Look at 70’s Blaxploitation Films
Director Isaac Julien surveys 1970’s“blaxploitation” movies - action films made primarily for black audiences and starring black actors. This documentary combines film clips with interviews of experts, including actor Samuel L. Jackson, critic Elvis Mitchell and directors Mario Van Peebles and Quentin Tarantino. (Video, 2002, 56 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Color Adjustment
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. Includes Part 1: Color blind TV? 1948-1968 (47 minutes) and Part 2: Coloring the Dream, 1968-1988 (40 minutes). (Video, 1991, 88 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

 

The Films of Spike Lee (The Directors series)
Through in-depth interviews, behind the scenes footage and clips from his films, Spike Lee talks about the ideas, influences, motivations, struggles and successes behind his work. "I have been blessed with the opportunity to express the views of black people who otherwise don't have access to power and the media. I have to take advantage of that while I am still bankable." Originally produced for the American Film Institute's series The Directors. (DVD, 1997, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

I Shall Not Be Removed: The Life of Marlon Riggs
A film biography of Marlon Riggs, the gifted, gay, black filmmaker who produced documentary films addressing issues of identity among Afro-Americans and gays. Clips from his films show how he evolved a unique experimental documentary style, mixing poetry, criticism, the personal and the political. It also documents his long battle against AIDS until his death in 1994 and includes interviews with family, friends, and co-workers. (Video, 1996, 58 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

 

In Black and White: Black Cinema
Using archival newsreels, feature film footage and interviews with African-American actors and directors (including Paul Robeson, Josephine Baker, Oscar Micheaux, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright and Marcus Garvey), this film explores the inception, struggle, suppression, and survival of the Black cinema from the 1920s through the 1950s. (1992, 92 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Midnight Ramble (part of the American Experience series)
This PBS documentary recounts the history of the independent film industry that produced over 500 “race movies” for African-American audiences between 1910 and 1940, singling out the work of pioneering filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. Micheaux wrote, produced, and directed over 40 features, including Body and Soul with Paul Robeson. (Video, 1994, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

Movies of Color: Black Southern Cinema
Black films of the 1920s through mid 1950s are shown as a mirror of the Black experience of the time. They developed as a reaction to the way African Americans were depicted by film makers such as D.W. Griffith. This program focuses on the innovative works of film makers Spencer Williams, Oscar Micheaux, Eloyse Gist, and Clarence Muse. Includes clips from their various works. Special features: Two bonus short films (an extra 107 minutes runtime): "The Blood of Jesus and "Go Down, Death." (DVD, 2002, 55 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Oscar's Black Odyssey: From Hattie to Halle
From Hattie MacDaniel in 'Gone With The Wind' to Halle Berry in 'Monster's Ball', this documentary examines the history of African-Americans in film and their journey to Oscar recognition. (DVD, 2003, 90 minutes)
Check for this item in the catalog

That's Black Entertainment
Volume 1 of this two-tape film 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 "Race Film" shorts: St. Louis Blues (starring Bessie Smith), Hi-de-ho (starring Cab Calloway), and Boogie-woogie Dream (starring Lena Horne). (Video, 1997, 106 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

For more information about African Americans films and filmmakers, see these recommended books that are available in our Humanities Department:

For a more detailed list of books on this subject, see "African Americans in Movies and Television."

Dance

Been Rich All My Life
This documentary looks at the Silver Belles, five tap dancers (Bertye Lou Wood, Cleo Hayes, Elaine Ellis, Fay Ray, Marion Coles) who performed in 1930's Harlem at the famed Apollo and Cotton Club. Together again, they're dancing to standing ovations and sharing stories of the Harlem Renaissance. (DVD, 2006, 80 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Beyond the Steps: Alvin Ailey Dance Theater
Originally produced as a 2006 episode of the television program Great Performances : Dance in America, this DVD follows the extraordinary dancers and renowned choreographers of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater as they do everything it takes to keep modern dance fresh and a legacy alive. (DVD, 2006, 54 minutes)
Check fo this item in our catalog

Bill T. Jones: Dancing to the Promised Land
This video guides the viewer through rehearsals and performance of African American choreographer Bill T. Jones' most highly regarded work, Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin/The Promised Land, as performed by the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Co. (Video, 1994, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Bill T. Jones: Still Here
A look at African American dancer/choreographer Bill T. Jones's highly acclaimed dance,"Still/Here". At workshops around the country, people facing life-threatening illnesses are asked to remember the highs and lows of their lives, and even imagine their own deaths. They then transform these feelings into expressive movement, which Jones incorporates into the dance "Still/Here". Jones deomonstrates the movements of his life story--his first encounter with white people, confusion over his sexuality, his partner Arnie Zane's untimely death from AIDS, and Jones's own HIV status. (Video, 1997, 56 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Carmen and Geoffrey: The Extraordinary Lives of Dancers Carmen de Lavallade & Geoffrey Holder
An intimate and revealing documentary that follows the careers of Carmen de Lavallade, a dynamic dancer and choreographer from California, and her husband Geoffrey Holder, an actor, dancer, choreographer, and theater director. Filmed in the United States, Trinidad, and Paris, and featuring interviews and dance performances with legends such as Alvin Alley, Herbert Ross, Lester Horton, Joe Layton, Duke Ellington, and Josephine Baker. (DVD, 2009, 80 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

Dance Theatre of Harlem
New York City’s legendary all-black ballet company performs several signature selections from its repertoire, including “Fall River Legend,” “Troy Game,” “The Beloved,” and “John Henry.” (Video, 1977, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Dancing Man, Peg Leg Bates
Documentary about Clayton "Peg Leg" Bates, who became a vaudeville star and the founder of the largest black-owned resort in the country. (Video, 1992, 60 minutes, Public Performance Rights)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Jazz Age in Paris
Examines the impact of jazz and associated performing arts on French culture in Paris roughly between the two World Wars. Also examines the experiences and influence of African American performing artists in Paris during that period.  Combines period footage with recent interviews. Interviewees: Clayton "Peg Leg" Bates, Juanita Boisseau, Jack Butler, Hyacinth Curtis, Edna Mae Robinson, Walter Schaap, Louis Simms. (Video, 1997, 32 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Planet B-Boy
Set in the international world of B-boying - the urban dance more commonly known as 'breakdancing.' Weaving between the vivid backdrops of Osaka, Paris, Seoul and Las Vegas, unforgettable images frame the intimate stories of dancers who struggle for their dreams despite being misunderstood by the larger society and even their own families. An American dancer in Vegas looks for his big break; a Korean son seeks his father's approval; a twelve-year-old boy in France confronts his family's racism. All the dancers lives collide in Germany where their skills are put to the ultimate test: the "Battle of the year" finals, with crews from 18 nations vying for the title of World Champion. (DVD, 2008, 95 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey
This DVD is a celebration of the global beat, an exploration of sights and sounds of continents and cultures, guided by the internationally acclaimed performers of the sensational stage show Stomp.  Pulse is rich in educational and entertaining content and provides stunning large-format visuals and unparalleled sound.  It introduces audiences to percussion groups from locales and backgrounds all over the world, including a segment on the "soul steppin'" Jackie Robinson Steppers of New York. (DVD, 2006, 81 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Rize
This dance documentary by David LaChappelle is an intimate, completely fresh portrayal of inner city youth who have created art where before there was none. Surrounded by drug addiction, gangs and impoverishment, they have developed a completely unique style of dance that evolves on a daily basis. (DVD, 2005, 87 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Soul Steppin'
Take a trip with the Brothers of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, Incorporated and their national step team from the University of Houston as they travel to Philadelphia to partake in a "step show" competition featuring Alpha Phi Alpha and many other Greek-letter organizations. Get insight on the origin of stepping and find out all that goes on behind the scenes of step shows. (DVD, 2003, 63 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

 

Literature & Writing

African American Writers (African American Culture series)
The life and times of Frederick Douglass. Historic photos and docudrama segments cover the life of this great orator, emancipator, and statesman. (DVD, 2010, 20 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Cora Unashamed
Based on a short story by Langston Hughes and originally broadcast on the PBS television series Masterpiece Theater, this film follows the life of Cora Jenkins, who works as a servant for a middle class white family in 1920s Iowa, and her family – the only African American family in town. (Available on DVD and video, 2000, 95 minutes)
Check for this DVD in our catalogcheck for this video in our catalog 

In Black and White (5-volume video series about African American authors)

  • Alice Walker: A Conversation with Toni Morrison: Alice Walker discusses her life, contemporary America, the "womanist" perspective, and reads from her poetry. (Video, 1992, 30 minutes) Check for this item in our catalog
  • Charles Johnson: A Conversation with Charles Johnson: Johnson describes his literary objective: to explore classic, metaphysical questions from East and West against the backdrop of African life and history. (Video, 1992, 27 minutes)Check for this item in our catalog
  • Gloria Naylor: A Conversation with Gloria Naylor: Gloria Naylor reads from her works and discusses the value and difficulty of maintaining an African American identity in a world dominated by whites. (Video, 1992, 21 minutes) Check for this item in our catalog 
  • John Wideman: A Conversation with John Wideman: 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." (Video, 1992, 26 minutes) Check for this item in our catalog
  • Toni Morrison: A Conversation with Toni Morrison: 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. (Video, 1992, 25 minutes) Check for this item in our catalog 

James Baldwin (Black Americans of Achievement series)
Chronicles the events in the life of African-American author James Baldwin, with commentary on his contributions to society. (Video, 1994, 30 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket
Presents a look at author James Baldwin's life as reflected in his own words and reminiscences of family and friends. (Video, 1989, 87 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Langston Hughes (part of the Voices and Visions series)
This PBS documentary mixes depictions of the life of Langston Hughes with recitations from his poetry. (1988, 60 minutes)

A Raisin in the Sun
Sidney Poitier stars in this film adaptation of the of the award-winning play by Lorraine Hansberry about the Youngers, a struggling black family living on Chicago's South Side who cope with bigotry, hatred, and the strains of everyday living in 1950s Chicago. (Video and DVD, 1961, 128 minutes)
Check for this DVD in our catalogcheck for this video in our catalog

Ralph Ellison: An American Journey (American Masters series)
This episode of the PBS television series American Masters profiles the life of African American author Ralph Ellison. (Video, 2002, 87 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Richard Wright: Black Boy
This is the first film on the life and legacy of Richard Wright, tracing his development as an author back to his brutal childhood in Jim Crow Mississippi where his father desrted his family, his uncle was lynched, and Wright often went hungry. It follows his involvement in many of the most important social events of his time, including the Chicago black cultural renaissance of the '30s, the Communist Party during the Depression, the witch hunts of the McCarthy era, the Pan-African liberation movement of the '50s. (Video, 1994, 87 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Richard Wright: Writing Is His Weapon
Discusses the life, work, and ideas of the Black American novelist Richard Wright. (Video, 1995, 25 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Soldiers Without Swords
"Too long have others spoken for us." This video 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. (Video, 1998, 86 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

To Be Young, Gifted, and Black
This winner of the American Film Festival's "Blue Ribbon" is a dramatic portrayal of the life and works of the late playwright, Lorraine Hansberry, author of A Raisin in the Sun. Cast: Ruby Dee, Al Freeman, Jr., Claudie McNeil, Roy Scheider, Blythe Danner. (Video, 1972, 90 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Their Eyes Were Watching God
In this drama based on the novel by Zora Neale Hurston and set in the 1920s, where free-spirited Janie Crawford's search for happiness leads her through several different marriages, challenging the mores of her small town. Cast: Halle Berry, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Michael Ealy, Nicki Micheaux, Lorraine Toussaint, Ruby Dee, Terrence Dashon Howard, Gabriel Casseus, Artel Kayàru, Kevin Daniels, Henry Brown. (DVD, 2005, 113 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Toni Morrison (Profile of a Writer series)
Toni Morrison discusses slavery and its legacy and the difficulties of writing about the painful subjects that occur in her novel Beloved. (Video, 1987, 52 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

A World of Ideas: A Writer's Work with Toni Morrison
Bill Moyers hosts this PBS video that features Toni Morrison discussing the difficulties of writing about the painful subjects that occur in her novels. (Video, 1990, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Zora's Roots
This documentary examines the life of author and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston. The film follows Hurston, best known for her novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, to the subtropical paradise that shaped her childhood and her life's work - where she returned again and again for inspiration and solace. This documentary tells her story through the people who knew her and the places and events that she brought to the world through her writing. (DVD, 2008, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

 

Music

Black Music In America: From Then Till Now
Filmed performances of black singers and musicians, photographs, old newsreel footage, sequences from other films, and graphics combine to trace black music in America. Those shown performing in the film are Cannonball Adderly, Louis Armstrong, Josephine Baker, Count Basie, Roy Eldridge, Duke Ellington, Colman Hawkins, Billie Holliday, Mahalia Jackson, B. B. King, Leadbelly, Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Nina Simone, and Sly and the Family Stone. (Video, 1970, 28 minutes)

Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes
A riveting examination of masculinity, sexism and homophobia in hip-hop culture. Critically acclaimed for its fearlesss engagement with issues of race and racism, gender violence, and the corporate exploitation of youth culture. (DVD, 61 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Hip Hop Immortals
Watch Hip Hop history as well as its future revealed through interviews with the most recognizable names in the culture. Rap artists, pioneers of graffiti and tastemakers in the world of fashion, television and film lent their energy to this creation. (DVD, 2004, 81 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Hip Hop 101: The Game
Want to know what it takes to make it? The Game is aimed at educating both the aspiring artist and seasoned veteran, with some of the music industry's top names sharing their perspectives on what it takes to enter, navigate, and thrive in the music biz. (Video, 2003, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Jazz (10 -volume series available on DVD and video)
Ken Burns’ award-winning PBS television documentary mini-series originally aired on PBS in 2001. The series begins in New Orleans, 19th-Century America's most cosmopolitan city, where the sound of marching bands, Italian opera, Caribbean rhythms, and minstrel shows filled the streets with a richly diverse musical culture. Here, in the 1890s, African-American musicians created a new music out of these ingredients by mixing in ragtime syncopations and the soulful feeling of the blues. Soon after the start of the new century, people are calling it "jazz."

Jubilee Singers: Sacrifice and Glory (American Experience series)
This episode of the PBS television series American Experience portrays the history of the Jubilee Singers, who started as an ex-slave choir singing spirituals on fundraising tours to keep Fisk University from folding. Includes recreations of their historic performances and draws on letters, photographs, and diaries to portray their early years. (Video, 2000, 56 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Ladies Sing the Blues
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. (Video, 1988, 60 minutes)
Check for tis item in our catalog

Liberty Street Blues
This documentary about New Orleans music and musicians celebrates "the rhythm and heartfelt joy of a people whose roots date back to the time of slavery, as they bring us to the heart  of a unique cultural and musical tradition." (Vodeo, 1988, 78 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Music District
The Music District swings to the beat of four vibrant but little known African American musical forms flourishing within blocks of the nation's capitol. The members and fans of four bands (The Orioles, Junk Yard Band, The Four Echoes, and the Kings of Harmony) in Washington, D.C., describe how they emerged from a specific local musical tradition - each exemplifying a different African American musical form - and how they get support from their community. (Video, 1996, 57 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Repercussions: A Celebration of African American Music (4-volume series)
This British series of seven one-hour episodes (Volumes 1-3 have two episodes per tape) celebrates the roots of African-American music, documenting the journey that traditional music made across the Atlantic. (1994, 60-120 minutes per tape)
Check for this item in our catalog

Rock & Roll, Volume 2: Respect (Rock & Roll video series)
This episode of the 10-hour television documentary series chronicles the transformation of black gospel music into a defining sound for all Americans. On hand to tell the tale: Berry Gordy, Jr., Ray Charles, Martha Reeves, Mary Wilson, Booker T. and the MGs, Wilson Pickett, Maxine Powell of the Motown "Charm School," Motown choreographer Cholly Atkins, and many more. The program journeys from Detroit's Motown Records to Stax Records in memphis and the Muscle Shoals studio in Alabama where Aretha Franklin made musical magic. (Video, 1995, 60 minutes) Check for this item in our catalog

Rock & Roll, Volume 4: Make It Funky (Rock & Roll video series)
In this episode of the Rock & Roll television documentary series, soul music stretches to create a rock n' roll revolution in rhythm and attitude in the '70's. Innovators James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, George Clinton and bass players Larry Graham and Bootsy Collins take viewers on a tour of funk as the music becomes bolder and more expressive of the realities of black life. Filmed in New York, San Francisco and Philadelphia, the program also examines how funky dance hits blazed a musical trail to the disco-craze of the late '70's. (Video, 1995, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Saturday Night, Sunday Morning
This film documents, through interviews and early photographs, the life of Arnold Dwight "Gatemouth" Moore, a prominent blues singer who left the stage at the height of his career to preach and sing gospel music. Among those interviewed are Moore, Rufus Thomas, Andrew Chaplin, Jr., B.B. King, and Benjamin Hooks. (Video, 1992, 70 minutes, Public Performance Rights)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Songs Are Free
Bill Moyers joins Bernice Johnson Reagon for a celebration of the power of song. Reagon traces the history of communal singing and the repertoire rooted in the Black church that continues to preserve and transmit the spiritual strength of African-American culture. (Video, 1991, 58 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Strange Fruit
Explores the history and legacy of the Billie Holiday classic "Strange Fruit." Tells a dramatic story of America's radical past using one of the most influential protest songs ever written as its epicenter. (Video, 2002, 57 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

That's Black Entertainment
Volume 1 of this two-tape film 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 "Race Film" shorts: St. Louis Blues (starring Bessie Smith), Hi-de-ho (starring Cab Calloway), and Boogie-woogie Dream (starring Lena Horne). (Video, 1997, 106 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

Tryin' To Get Home
This video presents a one-man musical odyssey from slavery's spirituals to contemporary rap, conducted by multi-talented "tour guide" Kerrigan Black.  Black sings and performs 17 songs as he places the music in historical context with skillful monologues. Extensive use of still photos and documentary film footage further dramatizes the film's message about documenting the significance of African American contributions to United States and international musical culture. (Video, 1993, 54 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Wild Style
Wild Style tells the story of street artists in the South Bronx who put on a large outdoor performance to showcase their unique talents: graffiti, hip hop, and break dancing. The plot concerns the tension between graffiti artist Zoro's passion for his art, and his personal life, particularly his strained relationship with fellow graffiti artist, Rose. (DVD, 1982, 82 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

 

Opera

Aida's Brothers & Sisters: Black Voices in Opera
This documentary chronicles the history and present situation of African-American opera singers in the U.S. Examines struggles and successes in the careers of prominent names including Paul Robeson, Marian Anderson, Kathleen Battle, Leontyne Price, Jessye Norman, Robert McFerrin and more. Rare archival and contemporary footage. (Video, 2000, 90 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

 

Poetry

Def Poetry Season 5
Rusell Simmons presents this "powerful expression of hip-hop culture." Performed live at the Supper Club in New York City, this DVD features talented contemporary urban poets, plus well-known musicians and comedians, and highlights their original material and powerful performances in an unedited, uncensored and definitely unparalleled setting. Hosted by Mos Def with performances by DaveChappelle, Alicia Keyes, and Kanye West. (DVD, 2007, 300 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Furious Flowers (4-part video series)
This four-volume video anthology examines African American poetry from the 1940s to 1995, offering intimate portraits of leading poets reading and discussing their own works. Readings and interviews were conducted at the conference "Furious Flower: A Revolution in African American Poetry 1960-95" held September 29-October 1, 1994 at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

  • Elders: Part 1 introduces the poets who laid the groundwork for today's Black poetry renaissance and mentored many of the younger voices represented in this series. These writers, many of whom began writing during the 1940s provided the wisdom and strong literary voice which brought Black verse to competence and maturity. Samuel W. Allen, Mari Evans, Naomi Long Madgett, Alvin Aubert, and Pinkie Gordon Lane are featured. (Video, 1998, ) Check for this item in our catalog
  • Seers: Part 2 looks at the poetry that followed the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s, which was marked with a broadened scope. While retaining the same political commitment, the poets extended their vision into new regions, exploring personal, sometimes taboo subjects and imbuing traditional forms with a contemporary intensity. Rita Dove, Toi Derricotte, Dolores Kendrick, Sherley Anne Williams, Gerald Barrax, E. Ethelbert Miller, and Michael S. Harper are featured. (Video, 1998, 114 minutes) Check for this item in our catalog 
  • Warriors: Part 3 examines the poets of the Black liberation movements of the 1960s. Their works defined a strong Black cultural identity and waged a war for literary self-determination. Amiri Baraka, Haki R. Madhubuti, Kalamu ya Salaam, Sonia Sanchez, Eugene Redmond, and Nikki Giovanni are featured. (Video, 1998, 114 minutes) Check for this item in our catalog 
  • Initiates: Part 4 features readings by younger poets of the 1990s who represent the promise and diversity of Black poetry as it develops into the 21st century. Elizabeth Alexander and members of the Dark Room Collective: Natasha Trethewey, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Kevin Young, Sharan Strange, Major Jackson, Vera Beatty, and John Keene are featured. (Video, 1998, 27 minutes) Check for this item in our catalog

Langston Hughes (Black American of Achievement series)
Chronicles the events in the life of the African-American poet Langston Hughes, with commentary on his contribution to society. (Video, 1994, 30 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

Langston Hughes (part of the Voices and Visions series)
This PBS documentary mixes depictions of the life of Langston Hughes with recitations from his poetry. Released by South Carolina Educational Television Network on PBS under the auspices of the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the Annenberg/CPB Project. (Video, 1988, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Language of Life with Bill Moyers, Part 1: Welcome to the Mainland (Language of Life series)
From the jazz-laced street speech of African American poet Sekou Sundiata's Harlem Nights, to Naomi Shihab Nye's delight in the wonder of everyday objects, both artists in the opening program of the series celebrate the cultures of today and the way those cultures have become part of the American mosaic. (Video, 1995, 58 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Language of Life with Bill Moyers, Part 8: Come Celebrate with Me (Language of Life series)
In the program, two poets reflect on the cultural legacies they have inherited. Former Maryland Poet Laureate Lucille Clifton and David Mura bring their talent and humor to bear as they look at the past and the lives they live in America today. (Video, 1995, 58 minutes)
Check for this item in our calendar

The Poetry Lounge: Self-Expression Through the Spoken Word
Taken from a "Poetry is the Point" fundraiser at The Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, California, July 23, 2004, this program features 2004 National Slam Champions, performing their work and sharing their inspiration. Learn the fundamentals of writing and performing "spoken word" poetry from some of the most accomplished poets of the movement. (DVD, 2004, 30 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Poetry Lounge 2: The Power of Poetics
Viewers will learn how the use of various poetic devices can make their own poetry more powerful and more clearly illustrate the "univeral" meaning they are trying to convey.  Interviews reveal what inspires each artist, how they edit their poems, and what advice they have for aspiring writers. (DVD, 2007, 33 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Poetry Lounge 3: The Power of Performance
Viewers learn how spoken word artists create the performance of their work on stage. Interviews explore techniques used to connect with an audience, how to select poems to perform, and advice for first-time performers. (DVD, 2007, 32 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Writing LIfe: A Conversation About the Writing Life Between Lucille Clifton and Carolyn Kizer
A conversation about writing life between Lucille Clifton (former Maryland poet laureate) and Carolyn Kizer (1985 Pulitzer Prize winner). (Video,1985, 30 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Rosa Parks

Boycott
When Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat in the "whites only" section of the bus, she sets in motion the Civil Rights movement, making Martin Luther King, Jr. a national leader. Cast: Jeffrey Wright, Terrence Dashon Howard, CCH Pounder. (DVD, 2001, 113 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

March On!: The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World and More Stories About African American History
This children's DVD compiles four stories: March On!, Martin's Big Words, Henry's Freedom Box, and Rosa. Rosa recounts how Rosa Parks set the events of the civil rights movement in motion by refusing to give up her seat on an Alabama city bus.Recommended for ages 5-10. (Video, 2010, 69 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights Movement
This program will show students the role Rosa Parks played in the Civil Rights Movement and her involvement as an officer of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). (DVD, 2001, 24 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Rosa Parks Story
Feature film biography of Rosa McCauley Parks, who in 1955 created the spark that began the modern Civil Rights Movement. cast: Angela Bassett, Peter Francis James, Cicely Tyson. (DVD, 2001, 100 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog 

 

Slavery/Middle Passage/African Diaspora

Africans in America: America's Journey Through Slavery (4-volume series; available on 4 videos or all episodes on 1 DVD)
This award-winning PBS series, directed by Baltimore native Orlando Bagwell, has been called “the documentary equivalent of Roots.” It combines interviews of historians with dramatic re-creations of important events – from the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia in 1619 to the outbreak of the Civil War – to tell the compelling story of over 400 years of tragedy. (1998, 90 minutes per episode, Public Performance Rights)

Video series episodes include:

  • The Terrible Transformation (Vol. 1): Examines the origins of one of the largest forced human migrations in recorded history, part of the great African Diaspora. After the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia in 1619, the British colonies laid the groundwork for a system of racial slavery which generated profits that ensured the colonies' growth and survival
  • Revolution, 1750-1805 (Vol. 2):  While the American colonies challenge Britain for independence, American slavery is challenged from within as men and women fight to define what America will be. When the War of Independence is won, Black people, both enslaved and free, seize on the language of freedom even while the new nation's Constitution codifies slavery and oppression as a national way of life.
  • Brotherly Love, 1791-1831 (Vol. 3): During the first 50 years of the new nation, freedmen and fugitive slaves in Philadelphia push the country to live up to the promises made in its Constitution. But with the invention of the cotton gin, slavery expands into America's western frontier, and a revolution in Haiti inspires slave rebellions throughout the southern United States.
  • Judgement Day (Vol. 4): As the nation expands westward, slavery becomes the most divisive issue in American life. Abolitionists struggle to bring the institution down, and the nation is tested as never before. When tensions over slavery erupt into violence, Americans are forced to consider how long the country can continue as a democracy built on the profits of bondage.

The DVD version of this titles contains all four series episodes on two discs. Check for this item on DVD in our catalog

The Civil War: Disc 1 - The Cause, 1861 (The Civil War series)
This episode of director Ken Burns' award-winning 1989 PBS documentary series The Civil War examines the causes of the the American Civil War. The year is 1861 and the stage is set for war as the nation begins to tear apart. Opposition by the North to slavery in the South fuels a bitter debate, and the country wrestles with conflicts between the Union and States' rights. (DVD, 1989, 99 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Civil War: Disc 2 - A Very Bloody Affair, 1862/Forever Free, 1862 (The Civil War series)
Shows how the war to preserve the Union becomes a war to free the slaves, and political fights become as fierce as those on the battlefield. With unprecedented ferocity, the age of modern warfare takes hold. Also covers events before and after Lincoln's landmark Emancipation Proclamation, including the bloodiest battle of Antietem Creek that gives way to the dawn of emancipation. (DVD, 1989, 145 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Dark Passages
Originally produced as a 1990 PBS television broadcast, this video employs a mixture of interviews, slave narratives, and dramatization to tell the story of the impact of the Atlantic slave trade. Host Tanya Hart takes viewers from the House of Slaves on Goree Island off the coast of Dakar, Senegal, to the village of Juffere on the Gambia River. Shot on location in West Africa and  Virginia. The cast includes Louis Gossett, Jr. and Magaret Avery. (Video, 1995, 50 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

A History of Slavery in America
This 30-minute video aimed at audiences aged 10-years-old and up explores the institution of slavery in North America from the 1600s to the early days of Reconstruction. The section on abolitionist Frederick Douglass dispels the myth of passive slavery, demonstrating that there were persistent attempts to end this institution in America. (1994, 30 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Slavery and the Making of America (4-DVD series)
Each volume oft his 4-disc DVD series examines the history of slavery in the United States and the role it played in shaping the new country's development. (DVD, 2005, 60 minutes per DVD) Volumes include:
Challenge of Freedom
Seeds of Destruction
Liberty in the Air
Downward Spiral

Slavery, Society, and Apartheid (Discovery School: Social Studies series)
This program discusses the tragic circumstances suffered by Africans as a result of slavery in the Americas and practices in their homeland. Historical archives and modern-day accounts create this compelling and memorable study. (DVD, 2004, 52 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

A Son of Africa
Portrays the life of Oloudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African.  Equiano wrote the first influential slave autobiography, which he published in 1789.  He was born in West Africa, survived the Middle Passage and became a slave first in Virginia and then on a British naval vessel. Eventually he purchased his freedom and became a leading abolitionist in London society. (Video, 1995, 29 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Truth About Slavery
Examines slavery through the ages and across cultures. Discusses the ways in which American enslavement of Africans was unique. (Video, 1998, 22 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slaves Narratives
When the Civil War ended in 1865, more than four million slaves were set free. Over 70 years later, the memories of 2,000 survivors were transcribed and preserved by the Library of Congress. These anecdotes have been brought to vivid life in this HBO special featuring the voices of Ruby Dee, Courtney B. Vance, Cch Pounder, Jasmine Guy, Oprah Winfrey, Robert Guillaume, Vanessa L. Williams, and Whoopi Goldberg.(DVD, 2002, 75 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Voyage of la Amistad: A Quest for Freedom
This documentary, narrated by Alfre Woodard with Charles Durning and Brock Peters, chronicles the 1839 mutiny aboard a slave ship and how the rebelling African captives eventually won their freedom in the U.S. Supreme Court. (Video, 1998, 70 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Tuskegee Airmen

Tuskegee Airmen (1992)
Shows old black & white footage of the training and work of the black pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group in World War II, and present day interviews with former pilots. (Video, 1992, 23 minutes, Public Performance Rights)
Check for this item in our catalog

The Tuskegee Airmen (1995)
Tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American cadets who received military training during the Second World War and were sent into combat as a segregated unit. Cast: Laurence Fishburne, Allen Payne, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Courtney Vance, Andre Braugher, Chris McDonald, John Lithgow, Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Video, 1995, 105 minutes)Check for this item in our catalog

Tuskegee Airmen (2001)
Crooked U.S. soldiers are stationed on an American Army base in West Germany during the waning days of the cold war. Special Fourth Class Elwood guards against the Soviets while on duty, and rips off the U.S. military while off duty. Elwood runs a profitable black-market business that operates just below the official radar. One day, he and his gang uncover some loot that will land them some real money - high-tech military weaponry. As they try to quietly offload the stuff, the new sergeant catches on to the nefarious deeds and sets out to put him out of businesses. Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Ed Harris, Scott Glenn, Anna Paquin, Gabriel Mann, Leon Robinson, Sheik Mahmud-Bey, Dean Stockwell, Elizabeth McGovern.(Video, 2001, 99 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Tuskegee Airmen: They Fought Two Wars
The inspiring WWII story spotlights 450 men who fought two fronts at once: the Axis powers in Europe, and racism at home. (DVD, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

Tuskegee Airmen: The Dream (African American Culture series)
Shows the achievements and contributions of the Tuskegee Airmen on a recurring basis. A historical summary of the 'Tuskegee Experiment' during World War II. A bonus section on blacks and aviation is a part of this program.
Check for this item in our catalog

 

Underground Railroad

 
America's Journey Through Slavery: Escaping the Underground Railroad
Stirring dramatizations, photographs and colorful maps help tell the story of the Underground Railroad. Students will understand that the Underground Railroad was a series of safe houses maintained by volunteers which were used by enslaved people to escape to freedom. The program focuses on the importance of the Underground Railroad to the abolition movement. Grades 5-8.  (DVD, 2008, 30 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog
 
Follow the Drinking Gourd
Based on the song "Follow the Drinking Gourd" and adapted from the book by Bernardine Connelly, this children’s program explores the Underground Railroad. Ages 5 and up. (Video 2000, 30 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog
 
A Fragile Freedom: African American Historic Sites
A tour of the places where African American history was made - from the Underground Railroad to the sites where the drama of the civil rights movement took place. (Video, 1996, 50 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog
 
Harriet Tubman, Antislavery Activist (Black Americans of Achievement series)
Describes the life of the energetic abolitionist; her origins as a slave in Maryland, her role in the Underground Railroad, her service to the Union during the Civil War, and her role in establishing an old-age home for Afro-Americans. (Video, 1992, 30 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog
 
The Legend of Harriet Tubman
In this episode of the Juba television series, Margo Barnett dramatizes the story of Harriet Tubman, a former slave who helped free other slaves. (Video, 1977, 15 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog
 
Roots of Resistance (American Experience series)
his episode of the PBS television series American Experience was directed by Baltimore native Orlando Bagwell. It recounts the story of the Underground Railroad through narratives of escaped slaves. Includes interviews with descendents 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. (Video, 1990, 58 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog
 
Safe Harbor
In the same way fog envelops a town, the Underground Railroad is clouded by myth and obscured by legend. Neither underground nor a railroad, it was an illegal network to help slaves escape to freedom. (Video,  2003, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog
 
Underground Railroad
This A&E documentary, originally produced for television,  tells the story of a loosely organized network of runaway slaves, freed blacks and anti-slavery whites, all willing to risk their lives in the name of liberty. A story of a two hundred year struggle to break the bonds of slavery in the American South, which chronicles the achievements of abolitionists Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harriet Tubman and William Lloyd Garrison. (Video, 1999, 93 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog
 
Whispers of Angels: A Story of the Underground Railroad
Thomas Garrett, William Still and Harriet Tubman, along with hundreds of lesser-known and nameless opponents of slavery, formed a Corridor of Courage stretching from Maryland's eastern shore through the length of Delaware to Philadelphia and beyond.
Check for this item in our catalog
 

A Woman Called Moses
Dramatization of the life of Harriet Tubman, the founder of the Underground Railroad, who led hundreds of slaves to freedom before the Civil War. During the war, she was a reconnaissance agent for the North and helped mobilize black troops who raided Southern plantations and freed slaves. After the war she became active in the suffragette movement. Cast: Cicely Tyson, Will Geer, Robert Hooks, Dick Anthony Williams, James Wainwright, Hari Rhodes. (Available on DVD and video, 1978, 200 minutes)
Check for this DVD in our catalog; check for this video in our catalog 


W.E.B. Du Bois

Without Fear or Shame, 1920-1937 (I'll Make Me a World series)
This video focuses on the years of the Harlem Renaissance, including a segment on W.E.B. Du Bois. (Video, 1999, 60 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

W.E.B. Du Bois: A Biography in Four Voices
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. (Video, 1995, 116 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

W.E.B. Du Bois: Scholar and Activist (Black Americans of Achievement series)
Chronicles the events in the life of African-American activist W.E.B. DuBois, with commentary on his contributions to society. (Video, 1994, 30 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

W.E.B. Du Bois of Great Barrington
This PBS documentary the life and contributions of W.E.B. DuBois using old film clips and current day interviews. (Video, 1992, 58 minutes)
Check for this item in our catalog

 

Print this page — Done printing