For more information on our film and visual media holdings, visit our website. If you'd like to suggest a new filmography or ask that an existing one be updated, please contact Chris Lewis. (202-885-3257)
People who witness notable historic moments, either in real time or on film, remember forever how they felt at the time. Now you can experience these and tens of thousands of other historical moments in the same visceral way, with American History in Video. The early newsreels, including the complete series of United Newsreel and Universal Newsreel capture history as it was made and reported to viewers of the time. The collection also contains award-winning documentaries, featuring dramatic reenactments and engaging analysis from prominent scholars and experts, that bring history alive for students and give library patrons hundreds of educational video titles they can view at home or in the classroom.
Black Studies offers a variety of African American studies databases, including full-text, audio and video, across a range of History, Literature, and Performing Arts sources. The current version of ASP's Black Studies includes Black Studies in Video, with full-text and audio resources forthcoming.
Docuseek2 is the internet site where colleges, universities, and other educational institutions can discover, access, license, stream and share amongst their students, faculty and staff, the best documentary and social issues films and videos available.
“Black Folk Don’t...” is an open conversation that invites everyone to take a second look at the grey areas between us all, no matter the race, and most importantly to do it with a sense of humor. This documentary web series is a special presentation of BlackPublicMedia.org, directed and produced by Angela Tucker, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
A recently donated film to the Public Policy collections of the Mudd Manuscript Library, long thought lost has been digitized and is now viewable online. "Segregation and the South," a film produced in 1957 by the Fund for the Republic, reported on race issues in the South since the 1954 Supreme Court decision in the Brown v. Board of Education case. It examined the slow progress of integration at elementary and secondary schools and colleges, as well as the white backlash to the decision. It also documented the Montgomery bus boycott. Much of the footage came from news organizations like CBS and NBC that was re-packaged, but some original material was filmed in Clarksdale, Mississippi, by writer and director James Peck. Broadcast on June 16, 1957, a Sunday, from 5-6 p.m., it aired on over 30 ABC affiliates, 12 in the South, but none in the Deep South. (Princeton University)
The grandson of Alabama slaves, Percy Julian met with every possible barrier in a deeply segregated America. He was a man of genius, devotion, and determination. As a black man he was also an outsider, fighting to make a place for himself in a profession and country divided by bigotry—a man who would eventually find freedom in the laboratory.
Written and presented by Professor Gates, the six-hour series explores the evolution of the African-American people, as well as the multiplicity of cultural institutions, political strategies, and religious and social perspectives they developed — forging their own history, culture and society against unimaginable odds. Commencing with the origins of slavery in Africa, the series moves through five centuries of remarkable historic events right up to the present — when America is led by a black president, yet remains a nation deeply divided by race.
Discover Alonzo King’s biography, a child of famous African-American civil rights activist, who found his form of expression in dance and the present appearance of his company and its dancers. Referred to as a visionary choreographer, he is highly influential on contemporary creations and on the way we see ballet today.
Documentary covering Baraka from his early days in Greenwich Village to his present literary and political activities. Focuses on the final two weeks before his sentencing at federal court on the charges of resisting arrest.
"First documentary on one of the most gifted and intellectually provocative authors of modern American literature ... presents the first scenes ever filmed from Ellison’s landmark novel, Invisible man" --Publisher’s excerpt.
More African Americans are under "correctional" (prison) control today than were enslaved in 1850. Why? The movie explores mass incarceration across the U.S. and the intersection of race, poverty, and the criminal justice and penal systems. It centers around Michelle Alexander’s theory in her groundbreaking book, "The New Jim Crow".
By the end of the Civil War, nearly 200,000 black soldiers were serving in the Federal Army. After the war many decided not to return to a life of sharecropping and racial oppression, instead volunteering to battle outlaws and Indian raiders along the western frontier. This program uses dazzling reenactments and the expertise of military historians to tell the multifaceted story of the Buffalo Soldiers, a name given to black troops by their Native American adversaries.
Ex-convicts face formidable odds, and for African-Americans, conditions are usually even more difficult. This documentary traces the experiences of four black ex-inmates over the course of a year, focusing on their challenges with employment, housing, addiction, and reconnecting with family-as well as their participation in the nontraditional African American Program for parolees.
Harlem is and always has been more than just a neighborhood. Exploring the community’s rich literary heritage, this program focuses on the work of two Harlem-based poets: Langston Hughes, one of the most soulful and jazz-influenced of all of Harlem’s voices, and the equally gifted Claude McKay, who employed a more traditional but no less powerful means of describing his environment.
Against the unique backdrop of american popular music, Blacking up explores racial identity in U.S. society. The film artfully draws parallels between the white hip-hop fan and previous incarnations of white appropriation from blackface performer Al Jolson to mainstream artists like Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones and Eminem. It interweaves portraits of white hip-hop artists and fans with insightful commentary by African American cultural critics such as Amiri Baraka, Nelson George, Greg Tate, comedian Paul Mooney and hip-hop figures Chuck D., Russell Simmons, M1 of Dead Prez, and DJ Kool Herc.
Despite its horrific destruction, Hurricane Katrina gave New Orleans educators the opportunity to reinvent a school system that wasn’t working. This program chronicles the first official year of public school in New Orleans after the storm and the transition to the widespread use of charter schools in the city. Focusing on predominantly African-American schools, the film examines the situation from the perspective of several different teachers and principals-while also illustrating the hopes and frustrations of students and their families as new schools are constructed and new teaching methods are put into action.
Documents the history of discrimination against black workers and their struggle for equality on the job. A collaboration between black steelworker Ray Henderson and his high school buddy, independent filmmaker, Tony Buba. Together they interviewed more than 70 retired black steelworkers who tell of struggles with the company, the union and white co-workers to break out of the black "job ghetto" of the most dangerous, dirty and low paid jobs.
Although slavery was abolished in New York State on July 4th, 1827, America’s slave-based cotton trade was not, as bales from the South continued to enter New York City for transshipment to Europe. In this program, James Oliver Horton, historian emeritus at the Smithsonian, talks with NewsHour correspondent Gwen Ifill about slavery’s impact on New York City during the first half of the 19th century. Economically dependent on King Cotton, it was a place divided between abolitionism and African-American civil rights on the one hand, and immense commercial profits on the other. The proposed secession of New York City from the United States is addressed.