Diversity DVD Library

African American

1. A Time for Justice (DVD – 38 min.s ) Film depicts the battle for civil rights as told by its foot soldiers. They rode where they weren't supposed to ride; walked where they weren't supposed to walk; sat where they weren't supposed to sit. And they stood their ground until they won their freedom. Produced by three-time Academy Award winner Charles Guggenheim, A Time for Justice recalls the crises in Montgomery, Little Rock, Birmingham and Selma. But more importantly, it reveals the heroism of individuals who risked their lives for the cause of freedom and equality. The film opens at the cemetery where Jimmie Lee Jackson is buried. Jackson was killed by state troopers during a voting rights demonstration in Marion, Alabama. The words of one who remembered Jackson lead us into a compelling story of a people's transcendent courage.

2.  African American Cinema I, The: Oscar Micheaux’s Within Our Gates 1919 (DVD & VHS – 79 min.s)  Oscar Micheaux’s “Within Our Gates” is the earliest surviving feature directed by an African American. However, this startling film unseen for over 75 years, is far more than a historic curiosity. The film reveals it as a passionate social history, confronting racism head-on through a 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” and remain shocking to this day.

3.  Banished (DVD – 84 min.s – Facilitator’s Guide)  Documentary vividly recounts the forgotten history of racial cleansing in America when thousands of African Americans were driven from their homes and communities by violent racist mobs in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In fear for their lives, Black people left these towns and never returned to reclaim their property. Film places these events in present day race relations, following three concrete cases of towns that remain all-white to this day.

4.  Black Is…Black Ain’t (DVD – 86 min.s)  Weaves together the testimonies of those whose complexion, class, gender, speech or sexuality has made them feel “too Black” or “not Black enough.” Black Scholars and artists movingly recall their own struggles to create a more inclusive definition of “Blackness.”

5.  Children’s March DVD 40 min.s)  The Academy Award-winning,40 minute documentary film, Might Times:  The Children March tells the story of how young people of Birmingham, Alabama, braved fire hoses and police dogs in 1963 and brought segregation to its knees.  The heroism moved President Kennedy to introduce the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a key piece of federal legislation that transformed not just the south but the entire nation.

6.  Color Adjustment (DVD – 87 mins.)  Documentary is a follow up to “Ethnic Notions”; which revisits popular prime time television shows such as Beulah, The Nat King Show, Julia, I Spy, Good Times and Roots and this reveals how the bitter racial conflict was absorbed by the non-controversial format of the prime time series.

7.  Ethnic Notions (DVD – 57 mins.)  Takes viewers on a disturbing voyage through American history, tracing the evolution of the deeply rooted stereotypes that have fueled anti-Black prejudice. Loyal Toms, carefree Sambos, faithful Mammies, grinning Coons, savage Brutes and wide-eyed Pickaninnies roll across the screen in cartoons, feature films, popular songs, advertisements, household artifacts, even children’s rhymes. These caricatures permeated popular culture from the 1820s to the Civil Rights era and implanted themselves within the American psyche. This video shed light on the origins and devastating consequences of seemingly passive images and their corrosive, dehumanizing affect on society.

8.  February One (DVD - ? – Facilitator’s Guide)  Tells the inspiring story of four remarkable young men who initialed the lunch counter sit-ins in Greensboro, NC on February 1, 1960. The sit-in served as a blueprint for the wave of non-violent civil rights protests that swept across the South and the nation throughout the 1960’s. A movement of ordinary people motivated to extraordinary deeds by the need to assert their basic human dignity.

9.  History of Black Achievement in America (DVD 4hrs 8 programs)  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 our culture, enriched our society with their achievements and shaped the history of the United States.

Prog 1: Settling the New World and Founding the USA
Prog 2: Emergence of the Black Hero
Prog 3: The Fight for Freedom
Prog 4: Blacks Enter the Gilded Age
Prog 5: The Foundation of Equality
Prog 6: Depression and War
Prog 7: Civil Rights
Prog 8: A New Age

10.  Mighty Times The Legacy of Rosa Parks (DVD & VHS kit – 40 min.s 2 copies)  The story of how one woman, through a single act of defiance, stirred a community to unite in opposition to segregation and changed America forever.

11.  Passin' It On (DVD – 57 min.s) This DVD is part 20 years of independent point-of-view (POV) documentary storytelling on PBS. “Passin’' It On” is the story of a man in search of justice who is wronged by the nation with which he is at odds. Part indictment, part redemption tale, the film offers startling insight into the role of the Black Panther Party in the civil rights movement and the FBI's targeting of one of the organization's most fervent leaders, Dhoruba Bin Wahad (born Richard Moore). Emerging from the Bronx ghettos and a life of petty crime, Dhoruba dove headfirst into the Black Power movement, serving soup to poor people with one hand while wielding a gun with the other. Amid a national program of FBI-led oppression against the Panthers, Dhoruba served 19 years in prison before his conviction was overturned. “Passin' It On” was the first in-depth look at the history of the Black Panthers to be broadcast on national television.

12.  Tongues Untied (DVD – 55 min.s)) This DVD is part 20 years of independent point-of-view (POV) documentary storytelling on PBS. This landmark film (winner – Berlin International Film Festival Teddy Award) by Emmy Award-winning director Marlon Riggs uses poetry, personal testimony, rap and performance to explore what it means to be Black and gay in America. Angry, funny, erotic and poetic by turns (and sometimes all at once), “Tongues Untied” jumps from interview to confession, music video to documentary to poem. The result is a rich account of the Black gay male experience, from protest marches and smoky bars to the language of the “snap diva” and “vogue” dancer. The broadcast raised a storm of controversy, with letter writing campaigns, picket lines, and even bomb threats against stations planning to carry it. It was also attacked on the Senate floor by Senators, Jesse Helms, John McCain and Bob Dole, and used in a TV ad by Pat Buchanan’s presidential campaign.

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