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Streaming Video Guides

Use this guide to find streaming alternatives to Media Services DVDs.

Anti-Racist Films

Titles Available as of July 2022

This is a selective list of streaming video holdings in the American University Library. Streaming guides are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the library catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible. For complete up-to-date streaming holdings, please refer to our streaming catalog.

Becoming antiracist and practicing antiracism is a continuous process. An important part of this process is examining the history and current impacts of racism. You can start this examination by identifying resources that critically examine your assumptions and biases. The films, videos, and databases included in this guide cover themes like the Black Lives Matter movement, systemic racism, police brutality, and Black history and voices. You can use the videos in this guide as part of a self-education program, or incorporate them into your class syllabus. 

You can learn more about practicing antiracism, and incorporating antiracism into your teaching, at the National Museum of African American History and Culture

You can find tools on how to use film to teach about the Civil Rights Movement here.

Afraid of Dark

Why is everyone so afraid of black men? In her new documentary, “Afraid of Dark”, filmmaker Mya B. attempts to answer this question. In examining two of the most prevalent stereotypes about the black man as the brute and as the Mandingo we are led on a journey to understanding how the fear of these stereotypes have contributed to the rates of violence and incarceration against black men. We see how racism uses black on black crime and other unfortunate occurrences in black communities as justification for attacks on black males by police and citizen vigilantes alike.

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. 

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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.

Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi: An Interview with the Founders of Black Lives Matter

Born out of a social media post, the Black Lives Matter movement has sparked discussion about race and inequality across the world. In this spirited conversation with Mia Birdsong, the movement's three founders share what they've learned about leadership and what provides them with hope and inspiration in the face of painful realities. Their advice on how to participate in ensuring freedom for everybody: join something, start something and "sharpen each other, so that we all can rise.

Any Place But Here

After reconstruction, white Americans began to take political and civil rights from black citizens. The first episode sets the historical scene, examining the politics, poverty and aspirations that motivated millions to escape from near slavery and segregation in Mississippi for Chicago, which promised freedom and dignity. Chicago in 1942 was home to a large, respectable black middle class as well as the "New Negroes" emerging from the war. Now it would need to prepare for and accept its new black citizens. 


Between 1860 and 1920 hundreds of U.S. counties expelled their African-American residents. The pattern was horrifically similar in almost all cases: a black man was accused of assaulting a white woman, was lynched, and then white rioters attacked black neighborhoods with guns and firebombs. After blacks fled for their lives, whites illegally assumed ownership of the abandoned property. This program places these events in the context of present-day race relations by visiting towns in Georgia, Missouri, and Arkansas where banishments took place. As black and white citizens warily explore the idea of reparations and reconciliation, the film reveals that even one hundred years later these communities tend to uphold the legacy of racial segregation. 

Being the Change, Embracing Antiracism in the Therapy Room

Race-based stress and trauma have always existed in our practices, but do we know how to identify it and truly address it? In this video seminar, Dr. Monnica Williams teaches how to embrace an antiracism stance in your practice that will help clients find safety and healing in your work together. She discusses how to recognize racial trauma, validating experiences of oppression, and ways to become more comfortable talking about issues related to race. Dr. Williams is a renowned researcher on race-based trauma and mental health disparities, along with researching psychedelic-assisted therapies for people of color.

Black America Since MLK: And Still, I Rise -- Part 4, Touch the Sky

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. embarks on a deeply personal journey through the last fifty years of African American history. Joined by leading scholars, celebrities, and a dynamic cast of people who shaped these years, Gates travels from the victories of the civil rights movement up to today, asking profound questions about the state of black America, and our nation as a whole.The final hour brings the story up to the present day. Gates celebrates how far African Americans have come toward equality and raises hard questions about the obstacles that remain.

Black Death in Dixie: Racism and the Death Penalty in the United States

Challenging viewers to look beyond mainstream media treatment of the death penalty, this program portrays capital punishment as a blunt instrument that disproportionately targets racial minorities and the poor. The film highlights several difficult issues, concepts, and social conditions-including statistics on the racial makeup of America's death row population; questionable convictions resulting from mistaken identification; the emotional and psychological toll on those wrongfully convicted; and the lingering effects of the Jim Crow era-or what many have called America's 20th-century apartheid system-in which lynching functioned as de facto capital punishment.

The Black Fatherhood Project

In The Black Fatherhood Project, filmmaker Jordan Thierry leads viewers through an honest and essential exploration of fatherhood in Black America, providing historical context and conversation for an issue at the core of the Black experience today. Nationwide, 67 percent of Black children live in single-parent families, predominantly with their mother, a ratio that has tripled since the 1960's.. In the first half of the film, Thierry begins by telling his own family story, then with the help of historians and others, traces the roots of the fatherless Black home, revealing a history much more complex and profound than is commonly known. The film digs deep to explore how Black families functioned in Africa before slavery, and how slavery, racism, and other recent challenges such as mass incarceration affect Black fatherhood. It looks beyond major historical events and discusses their psychological impacts, and calls into question traditional family roles and cultural adaptation. In the second half of the film, Thierry puts that history into contemporary perspective in a candid dialogue among a diverse group of Black fathers. These dads talk openly about their experiences and the value systems they employ to raise their own families.

Black Power: America's Armed Resistance

This follow up documentary to KKK: The Fight for White Supremacy sees filmmaker Dan Murdoch back in the USA to revisit some of the people he met from the Ku Klux Klan and also meet members of the Black Liberation Movement. Having previously documented clashes between these two opposing visions of America—a resurgent KKK and a growing Black Power movement—his aim now is to find out what black power means, what its motivations are and why this movement seems to be gaining traction. With rare access to members of the Black Liberation Movement, Murdoch quickly finds himself in the midst of an armed black militia, outraged at the treatment of black people at the hands of police, patrolling the streets of their communities and calling for change. 

The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords

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. 

Color Adjustment

An analysis of the portrayal of African-Americans on American television from 1948-1988. Argues that earlier images were outright racist, and that later images have been overly biased towards prosperous blacks. 

Color Blind: Fighting Racism in Schools

As school populations become more and more diverse, racial intolerance is shoving its way to prominence. In this provocative program, five students from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds speak with candor about racial harassment at their high school in an effort to encourage teenagers to examine their own attitudes and behaviors. The greatest danger of racism is that it will go unaddressed-until it becomes headline news. This video, ideal as a discussion-starter both in classrooms and at workshops, helps to ensure that this will not be the case.

Dem Dry Bones 

This play, written by J. E. Franklin, was presented at Harlem's Uptown Renaissance Restaurant with discussion after the play with the restaurant audience. 

Do Not Resist

An urgent and powerful exploration of the rapid militarization of the police in the United States. Starting on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, as the community grapples with the death of Michael Brown, DO NOT RESIST -- the directorial debut of Detropia cinematographer Craig Atkinson -- offers a stunning look at the current state of policing in America and a glimpse into the future.

Documenting Hate: New American Nazis

This episode of Frontline exposes a new neo-Nazi group that has actively recruited inside the U.S. military. An investigation with ProPublica's A.C. Thompson shows the group’s terrorist objectives and how it gained strength after the 2017 Unite the Right in Charlottesville rally. 

Duke Ellington's Washington: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of a Neighborhood

During the early 20th century, Washington, D.C., was the cultural capital of black America. Prefiguring Harlem in the 1920s, D.C.'s Uptown area nurtured dynamic figures such as Duke Ellington, Langston Hughes, Mary Church Terrell, Justice Thurgood Marshall, and Dr. Charles Drew. In this program, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hedrick Smith tells the often-overlooked story of the heyday, decline, and renewal of Uptown. Combined with rare photographs and archival footage, sparkling interviews with jazz pianist Billy Taylor, Ellington biographer John Hasse, historians James Horton and Edward Smith, and others describe the community's halcyon days, the post-desegregation exodus that opened the door to urban decay, and efforts that are reclaiming and renewing the neighborhood.

Enough is Enough!

This film, ten years in the making, investigates the death of Jonny Gammage at the hands of Brentwood (Pittsburgh) police officers. It develops into an impassioned plea for ending police brutality. On October 12,1995 Jonny Gammage, a 31-year-old African-American businessman and philanthropist, was pulled over by five white police officers for no apparent reason. During the ensuing struggle, to which the only witnesses were the police themselves and two civilians. Gammage was asphyxiated. There was shock and revulsion in the community, and thousands, both black and white, took to the streets to protest. Gammage was a cousin of Ray Seals, a Pittsburgh Steeler, so news of his death spread nationwide and he became an icon of victims of police brutality. Yet despite the marches and rallies in Gammage s behalf, and three criminal trials, the police were never punished.

Facing Racism 

This emotionally charged program follows five participants of different ethnic and racial backgrounds through a three-day Unlearning Racism workshop. As the workshop begins, a European-American man offends his African-American workshop partner by making a joke during a one-on-one dialogue. The incident sparks anger among African-American participants, who openly confront the offender. White participants in the workshop express their frustration over their inability to understand the reactions of the people of color. The five main participants later meet to reflect on the honest sharing of feelings that took place during the workshop. This program represents both a strong statement on the complex issues surrounding racism and an honest depiction of the difficulties involved in resolving them.

Freedom Bags

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

The Hate U Give

Starr Carter is constantly switching between two worlds: the poor, mostly black, neighborhood where she lives and the rich, mostly white, prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressures from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what's right.

Hidden Figures

As the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three of these women, known as "human computers", we follow these women as they quickly rose the ranks of NASA alongside many of history's greatest minds specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and guaranteeing his safe return. Dorothy Vaughn, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes.

Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror

Starting with The Birth of a Nation, this film traces the history of African Americans in horror, from roles as passive victims, to terrifying monsters, to full-fledged protagonists. Filled with clips, sometimes juxtaposed with powerful images from civil rights marches to Rodney King, to Black Lives Matter protests, the film shows how popular horror films of each era reflect changing social norms. 

Hoxie: The first stand

This documentary tells the story of one of the earliest, most important, and least remembered school integration battles in the South. In the summer of 1955, the school board of a small, rural Arkansas town voluntarily desegregated its schools.

Invisible Revolution 

This disturbing documentary profiles a chilling subculture among American youth. For over a decade, the clash between racist and anti-racist youth has been virtually invisible, but now, ever younger members are taking control of the white supremacy movement. Rising against them are a group of anti- racist skinheads, punk rockers and mainstream kids who call themselves the Anti Racist Action (ARA). These groups are often indistinguishable as they battle one another. The filmmaker, Beverly Peterson, had extraordinary access to the hate-filled adolescents at war with each other. Their confrontations have led to assaults and even murder, confounding their parents, their communities, as well as the police. While organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Americans for Democratic Action encourage unity demonstrations to counter the Klan s hate rallies, it is the violent kids of the ARA that seem to be most effective in combating the white supremacists. This hard-hitting film, with its strong language and extreme expressions of racism, will awaken audiences to a frightening adolescent phenomenon. 

Jena 6

In a small-town Jena, Louisiana, six families are fighting for their sons' lives. Two nooses are left as a warning to black students trying to integrate their playground, fights break out across town, a white man pulls a shotgun on black students, someone burns down most of the school, the DA puts six black students on trial for attempted murder, and the quiet town of Jena becomes the site of the largest civil rights demonstration in the South since the 1960s. This film presents the story of racial inequality and violence, once hidden and now becoming painfully apparent. It is a powerful symbol for, and example of, how racial justice works in America - where the lynching noose has now been replaced by the DA's pen. 

King in the Wilderness

From award-winning director/producer Peter Kunhardt, King in the Wilderness follows Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the volatile last three years of his life, from the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 to his assassination in April 1968. Drawing on revelatory stories from his inner circle of friends, the film provides a clear window into the civil rights leader’s character, showing him to be a man with an unshakeable commitment to peaceful protest in the face of an increasingly unstable country. Illuminating and poignant, the documentary – which is tied to the 50th anniversary of King’s death – reveals a conflicted leader whose successes were punctuated in his final years by an onslaught of criticism from both sides of the political spectrum, whether the Black Power movement, who saw his nonviolence as weakness, or President Lyndon B. Johnson, who viewed his anti-Vietnam War speeches as irresponsible. 

Let the Fire Burn

A found footage film that unwinds like a great thriller about the 1985 feud between the city of Philadelphia and the radical urban group MOVE.

The Life and Times of Sarah Baartman: "The Hottentot Venus"

A documentary film of the life a Khoikhoi woman who was taken from South Africa in 1810 and exhibited as a freak across Britain. The image and ideas for "The Hottentot Venus" (particularly the interest in her sexual anatomy) swept through British popular culture. A court battle waged by abolitionists to free her from her exhibitors failed. In 1814, a year before her death, she was taken to France and became the object of scientific research that formed the bedrock of European ideas about black female sexuality.

Living Thinkers

This documentary examines the intersection of race, class and gender for Black women professors and administrators working in U.S. colleges and universities today. Through their diverse narratives, from girlhood to the present, Black women from different disciplines share experiences that have shaped them, including segregated schooling as children, and the trials, disappointments and triumphs encountered in Academia. Though more than 100 years have passed since the doors to higher education opened for Black women, their numbers as faculty members are woefully low and for many still, the image of Black women as intellectuals is incomprehensible. And while overtly expressed racism, sexism and discrimination have declined, their presence is often still often unacknowledged. Through frank and sometimes humorous conversations, LIVING THINKERS interrogates notions of education for girls and women and the stereotypes and traditions that affect the status of Black women both in and out of the Academy. 

The Loving Story

On June 2, 1958, Richard Loving and his fiancee Mildred Jeter traveled from Caroline County, VA, to Washington, D.C. to be married. Later, the newlyweds were arrested, tried and convicted of the felony crime of miscegenation. Two young ACLU lawyers took on the Lovings case, fully aware of the challenges posed. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in their favor on June 12, 1967 and resulted in sixteen states being ordered to overturn their bans on interracial marriage.

Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP

Civil rights attorney Thurgood Marshall's triumph in the 1954 Brown volume Board of Education Supreme Court decision to desegregate America's public schools completed the final leg of an heroic journey to end legal segregation. For 20 years, during wartime and the Depression, Marshall had traveled hundreds of thousands of miles through the Jim Crow South of the United States, fighting segregation case by case, establishing precedent after precedent, all leading up to one of the most important legal decisions in American history. Along the way, he escaped the gun of a Dallas sheriff, was pursued by the Ku Klux Klan on Long Island, hid in bushes from a violent mob in Detroit, and even survived his own lynching. In this impossible environment, Thurgood Marshall won more Supreme Court cases than any lawyer in American history, and set the stage for the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Marshall, who went on to become the first black Supreme Court justice in 1967, made the work of civil rights pioneers like the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks possible, by laying the groundwork to end legal segregation and changing the American legal landscape. 

Playing Away

To mark the conclusion of their "Third World Week" celebration, a cricket team in a small English village invites a black cricket team from South London to a charity game with comical results. 

Policing the Police

The new FRONTLINE documentary, Policing the Police, is a provocative journey inside one police force that's been ordered to reform by the Department of Justice: the Newark Police Department in New Jersey. Take a nuanced glimpse into how topics in the national discussion about race and policing are playing out every day on the streets of Newark, in community members' homes, and in the city's police precincts.

Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in School

Inspired by the groundbreaking book of the same name by Monique W. Morris, Ed.D, PUSHOUT: THE CRIMINALIZATION OF BLACK GIRLS IN SCHOOLS, takes a deep dive into the lives of Black girls and the practices, cultural beliefs and policies that disrupts one of the most important factors in their lives - education. Alarmingly, African American girls are the fastest-growing population in the juvenile justice system and the only group of girls to disproportionately experience criminalization at every education level. The film underscores the challenges Black girls face with insights from multiple experts across the country who have worked extensively in the fields of social and criminal justice, gender equality and educational equity, giving context to the crisis and providing a roadmap for how our educational system and those who interact with Black girls can provide a positive rather than punitive response to behaviors that are often misunderstood or misrepresented. 

Race or Reason, the Bellport Dilemma 

In 1969-70, when race riots were sweeping across America in the wake of the civil rights movement, Bellport, a small town on Long Island, NY, was caught in the storm. The town was divided between its poor African-American and Puerto Rican population and affluent whites. The local high school became the scene of angry confrontations, resulting in its temporary closure and a police presence. The house of community resident Betty Puleston was being used as a meeting place where black, white and Latino students could air their grievances. To help further, she gave the students two port-a-pac video cameras following a concept introduced by the National Film Board of Canada. The hope was that media could be used to facilitate dialogue. That hope was realized, as the students recorded their concerns and felt empowered by being able to question adults in their community. Thirty years later these same students regroup to view the tapes.

Show Racism the Red Card

Show Racism the Red Card is a charity which joins forces with professional footballers to combat racism. A group of Year 6 pupils from St John's Primary School in Manchester attend the launch of SRtRC's latest film, Racism and the Beautiful Game at Man Utd's Old Trafford ground. After watching the film, the pupils have the chance to put their questions to a panel of footballers, including Rio Ferdinand and Andy Cole, and hear the players own stories of racism they ve experienced, both on and off the pitch. Back at school, the class do an activity from SRtRC's education pack to help them understand how it feels to be a victim of racism. Then they set to work on group entries for SRtRC's annual schools competition, which asks for creative work such as music, drama, writing and art with an anti-racist message behind it. The groups discuss the meaning of racism and use the answers they come up with to put together some drama and rap entries. 

The Talk: Racism in America

This film documents the increasingly common conversation taking place in homes across the country between parents of color and their children, especially sons, about how to behave if they are ever stopped by the police.

TEDTalks: David R. Williams -- How Racism Makes Us Sick

Why does race matter so profoundly for health? David R. Williams developed a scale to measure the impact of discrimination on well-being, going beyond traditional measures like income and education to reveal how factors like implicit bias, residential segregation and negative stereotypes create and sustain inequality. In this eye-opening talk, Williams presents evidence for how racism is producing a rigged system—and offers hopeful examples of programs across the U.S. that are working to dismantle discrimination. 

Theories of Social Work Practice, the Anti-Racist Perspective 

This program with Professor Lena Dominelli discusses the anti-racist theory in social work practice. It examines the historical and personal issues involved in social work and discusses working with different groups of people, such as children, young people, and older adults. It also considers teamwork and organizational change.

There They Were: Remembering the Civil Rights Movement

Although many of the movers and shakers of the Civil Rights era are gone now, their names will live forever through their achievements. This NewsHour program describes the courageous actions of Rosa Parks and Hamilton Holmes and picks the brain of John Lewis about what it was like to take part in the Freedom Ride and to lead the Selma march on Bloody Sunday. Episodes include...* Remembering Hamilton Holmes: Jim Lehrer talks with NewsHour correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault about the achievements of the late Hamilton Holmes. She and Holmes made history as the first African-Americans to attend the University of Georgia. * Gergen Dialogue - John Lewis and the Civil Rights Movement: David Gergen, editor-at-large of U.S. News and World Report, interviews Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), author of Walking with the Wind, about his experiences during the Civil Rights movement. * Remembering Rosa Parks: After a look at the life of Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks, Jeffrey Brown reflects on the far-reaching impact of her actions with the Reverend Joseph Lowery and Eleanor Holmes Norton, Congressional delegate for Washington, D.C. 

3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets

On Black Friday 2012, four African-American teenagers stopped at a gas station to buy gum and cigarettes. One of them, Jordan Davis, argued with Michael Dunn, a white man parked beside them, over the volume of music playing in their car. The altercation turned to tragedy when Dunn fired 10 bullets at the unarmed boys, killing Davis almost instantly. 3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets explores the danger and subjectivity of Florida's Stand Your Ground self-defense laws by weaving Dunn's trial with a chorus of citizen and pundit opinions, and with Jordan Davis' parents' wrenching experiences in and out of the courtroom. As conversations about Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Walter Scott, Freddy Gray, and other victims of senseless violence play out on the national stage, 3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets dives deep into the aftermath of Jordan Davis' murder.

What Are You?

In this revealing documentary, eleven people with a range of backgrounds discuss what it is like being of mixed racial heritage within the context of North America. Each of the participants presents their unique outlook on growing up mixed and the challenges they've faced in their lives. No two experiences are identical when speaking about their journey of how each person came to perceive themselves. Many speak of the difference between how they saw themselves versus how the world at large treated them. There are several instances of being "othered" by friends and relatives alike or how seeds of doubt were planted at childhood to disrupt their own sense of self. The interviewees voice unique concerns about acceptance, culture, and society and how even their own self-identification undergoes shifts.  

What Happened 2 Chocolate City?

What Happened 2 Chocolate City (WH2CC) is a feature length documentary, exploring the rise and decline of one of our nation's most prominent Black communities through the narrative of three individuals. John, Mike, and Zarina, each represent a generational experience many Black Washingtonians faced over the past century. . By visually examining the repercussions of urban development and revitalization in the district, WH2CC will uncover the roots of Washington, DC, a district home to GoGo music, Mumbo Sauce, and legions of black artists and academics, and how they've come to be endangered.

What's Race Got to Do With It?

Ten years after Skin Deep, a new documentary film chronicles the experiences of a diverse group of college students—in this case, led by veteran UC Berkeley facilitators over the course of a semester—as they confront race, diversity, and their own responsibility for making a difference. 


Who is winning in Winnersville? An exploration of the disparity of the races in a southern town in the 21st century. How far have we come since the beginning of the Civil Rights movement? "Winnersville is a devastating expose of the consequences of structural racism in the educational system of a modern southern town. While it focuses on the school to prison pipeline and gentrification consequences of Valdosta, Georgia, its lessons could be applied to cities across the South and across the country. It presents the dangers of white privilege and chronicles the historical pitfalls of a Jim Crow town trying to evolve into a New South identity. Valdosta tries to use the success of its high school football team to make that transition, but loses many of the other elements of modernity in the process. Winnersville is a film that is as important as it is entertaining." -Thomas Aiello, Associate Professor of History and African American Studies, Valdosta State University.