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Streaming Video Guides

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

African Americans in STEM

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.

Access to Africa: Internet and Connectivity

Africa still is the continent with the most 'white spots', places without internet or mobile phone signal, and this holds a great promise for Africans and for the global technology companies that aim to enlarge their markets. More than 80 percent of all African households have mobile phones and in some of the 54 countries on the continent half of that number are smartphones. This program observes how Africa is getting connected and features prominent experts examining these developments such as; Achille Mbembe (philosopher), Juliana Rotich (iHub Nairobi), Robbert Mica (Outernet), Bob Collymore (Safaricom CEO), Isis Nyong'o (former director, Google Africa) and Louis Otieno (Microsoft4Afrika).

Bessie Coleman: The First Black Aviatrix

Bessie Coleman, or how a young woman from a poor family in Texas, oppressed by racial segregation, became the first African-American aviator thanks to the French flight school of the Caudron brothers in Baie de Somme. An incredible adventure of the "Roaring Twenties", against a backdrop of anti-racist and feminist battles.

The Charles Drew Story

The inspiring biography of Dr. Charles Drew who developed America's first blood bank system. From All-American athlete at Amherst to pioneering research scientist, Dr. Drew cleared every racist hurdle in a tragically shortened life.

George Washington Carver

An account of George Washington Carver, who rose from slavery to become one of the world's most respected and honored men, devoting his life to understanding nature and the many uses for the simplest of plant life.

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.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Boasting an exceptional cast and production team, and based on Rebecca Skloot’s critically acclaimed 2010 nonfiction best-seller of the same name, this HBO Films drama tells the true story of Henrietta Lacks, an African- American woman whose cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line, known as HeLa. Told primarily through the eyes of Lack’s daughter Deborah (Oprah Winfrey) and journalist Rebecca Skloot (Rose Byrne), the film chronicles Deborah’s search to learn about the mother she never knew, and to understand how the unauthorized harvesting of Lacks’ cancerous cells in 1951 led to unprecedented medical breakthroughs, from cancer to polio to radiation to AIDS, changing countless lives and the face of medicine forever.

League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis

The NFL is under assault as thousands of former players claim the league has covered up football's connection to long-term brain injuries. This FRONTLINE investigation details how, for years, the league denied and worked to refute scientific evidence that the violent collisions at the heart of the game are linked to an alarming incidence of early onset dementia, catastrophic brain damage, and CTE.

Miss Evers' Boys

In 1932, the U.S. government began a medical program to treat black men for syphilis in the South's only black hospital. Funding was cut off soon thereafter, but money was made available to study the effects of untreated syphilis in black men to determine if blacks and whites were similarly affected by the disease. The program was in place until 1972 when it was exposed to the public. The "study" was administered by Dr. Brodus, a black man, and Nurse Evers, a black woman who cared for these men. How could they allow it? And how could it go on for 40 years? Miss EversBoys, a powerful docudrama, examines one of modern America's most shameful episodes. Golden Globe® Winner, Emmy® Winner.

No Short Climb

During the period immediately following the Great Depression, young African-American men and women graduated from high schools and college across the nation with degrees in the sciences. However, they found themselves unemployed and unemployable. Though large numbers of scientists, technicians, and support staff were widely recruited from prestigious colleges and universities, racial barriers kept these ranks limited to White applicants. As the U.S. geared up for the approaching war in Europe, efforts were made to aggressively recruit and place Blacks in positions in both the military and civilian service corps. Serving as the experimental proving grounds for a host of "state-of-the art" defense weaponry, Fort Monmouth brought on board its first African-American professionals in 1940. These new hires became engineers, project specialists, and technicians and, as the War progressed, women were brought in to replace the men who were transferred overseas. In spite of barriers that hindered acceptance, promotion, and recognition of their accomplishments, African-Americans made major contributions to the success of this facility. No Short Climb combines personal memoir with archival footage, still photography, and graphics, to present a first-hand account of the previously unknown story about the contributions of African-American scientists and technicians during the Second World War.

Oral History With Dr. Benjamin Carson, Sr

Neurosurgeon, politician and author Dr. Benjamin Carson, Sr., was born September 18, 1951, in Detroit, Michigan. He earned his B.A. degree in psychology from Yale University; and, his M.D. from the University of Michigan School of Medicine in 1977. Carson trained at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, where he completed his internship in general surgery and his residency in neurological surgery. In 1983, he was a senior resident in neurosurgery at Gardiner Hospital in Perth, Australia. In 1984, he was named director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. Carson performed a landmark surgery, successfully separating infant twins conjoined at the head. Carson was a motivational speaker, and the author of several books including Gifted Hands and Think Big. In 2016, he was a Republican candidate in the 2016 presidential election. President-elect Donald Trump nominated Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He was confirmed in 2017..

Outlier: The Story of Katherine Johnson

In mathematical terms, an outlier is a data point that differs greatly from other observations. It’s an apt description for a person too, that is outside the norms. This film is a one-hour documentary about the trajectory of an African American girl-wonder, whose mathematical genius would catapult astronauts into space. Born in 1918, Johnson graduated high school at the age of 14, college at 18, and went on to a career with NASA where she broke race and gender barriers. Hired by NASA in 1953 for her mathematical prowess, Johnson was responsible for plotting the trajectories for launches and reentries. Some of her notable calculations include the trajectory for Alan Shepard, the first American in space in 1959. Johnson also verified computer calculations for John Glenn's 1962 flight. She was the first woman in NASA’s space division to author a technical report – and in all co-authored 21 technical papers. The documentary includes an interview with Johnson herself, as well as interviews with NASA’s chief historian, a curator at the Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum, and an interview with Margot Shetterly, the author of the book, Hidden Figures. Johnson’s life was one of three profiled in the Hollywood film of the same name.

Picture a Scientist 

PICTURE A SCIENTIST is a feature-length documentary film chronicling the groundswell of researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists. A biologist, a chemist and a geologist lead viewers on a journey deep into their own experiences in the sciences, overcoming brutal harassment, institutional discrimination, and years of subtle slights to revolutionize the culture of science. From cramped laboratories to spectacular field sites, we also encounter scientific luminaries who provide new perspectives on how to make science itself more diverse, equitable, and open to all.

Wangari Maathai: For Our Land

Through her Green Belt Movement, Wangari Maathai-environmental activist, social justice advocate, and Nobel Peace Prize recipient-has planted 30 million trees in Kenya while protecting existing forests endangered by development. A veritable force of nature herself, Maathai communicates her infectious fervor as she advocates environmental action and government reform in this documentary. The program also captures a sense of modern Kenya's history: a country co-opted by British colonialism, energized by independence, and mired in a repressive era of political corruption.