Diversity DVD Library


1.  A Class Apart:  A Mexican American Civil Rights Story (DVD - 60 mins.)  In the samll down of Edna, Texas, in 1951, a field hand named Pete Hernandez killed a tenant farmer after exchanging words in a gritty cantina.  From this seemingly unremarkable murder emerged a landmark civil rights case that would forever change the lives and legal standing of tens of millions of Americans.  This AMERICAN EXPERINECE film tells the little-known story of an underdog band of Mexican American lawyers who took their case, Hernandez v. Texas, all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court, where they challenged Jim Crow-style discrimination against Mex cian Americans.

2.  Ballet Folorico Nacional (DVD -  The National Folkloric Ballet of Mexico was formed back in May, 1960 by Sylvia Lozano, a young and hightly talented ballerina, who has been its Director and Choreographer throughout its 30+ years existence.  The acclaimed Ballet has a prestigious team that specilized in the history of Mexico's folklore, dance, music and regional dress.  In 1977, the Ballet group was given the status of official company of the Mexican Government with the right to represent Mexico abroad.

3.  Brown is the New Green:  George Lopez and the American Dream (DVD - 60 min.s)  This film examines how efforts to profit from Latinos are shaping the contemporary Latino identiy.  The documentary's focal point is comedian George Lopez, an icon and advocate for Lainos' move inth the mainstream.  The film's rare behind-the-scenes access to Lopez's life and world as he shares his struggles to represent Latinos in a manneer true to their realities and asperiations.  Lopez normalizes the image of Latinos in a way that delights and entertains. 

4.  Farmingville (DVD – 78 min.s) This DVD is part 20 years of independent point-of-view (POV) documentary storytelling on PBS. The shocking, hate-based attempted murders of two Mexican day laborers (winner – Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize) catapult a small Long Island town into national headlines, unmasking a new front line in the border wars: suburbia. For nearly a year, Carlos Sandoval and Catherine Tambini lived and worked in Farmingville, New York so they could capture first-hand the stories of residents, day laborers and activists on all sides of the debate.

5.  College Zone(DVD 22 min.s)  The College Zone sponsored by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), a public, not-for-profit agency created by the Illinois General Assembly with the mission of making college affordable for Illinois students created this video for the Latino/a community.  This is a four original novelas program: 

A.  "Amor Escolar (My Love for Education)" (5 min.s), shows the dynamic that exists between a mother and her daughter who is a first generation college student taking classes at a community college and is planning to attend a four-year college.

B.  "No Nacimos Ricos (We Were Not Born Rich)" (8 min.s), Presents the misconceptions that exist in the Latino Community about financial aid and the process to apply for student loan. 

C.  "Full Time" (4 min.s), a young, single mother shares with her co-worker the opportunities and resources available to her as she attends college and is employed. 

D.  "Hire Education" (5 min.s), shows a young Latino male being mentored by role models as he learns the importance of a college education.

6.  History of Hispanic Achievement in America (DVD 4 hrs 8 programs)
Is a story that began more than 500 years ago when Christopher Columbus stepped on the fertile shores of “the new world”. It is a story rich with the stunning achievements, heroic exploits, ceaseless courage and the remarkable discoveries of Hispanic immigrants from all over the world who have become part of the diverse fiber of this nation.

Vol 1: 1492 – 1719
Prog 1: Spain Comes to the New World
Prog 2: Spanish American Exploration and Colonization

Vol 2: 1720 – 1847

Prog 3: Spanish Americans Move Toward Independence
Prog 4: A New Hispanic Identity Emerges

Vol 3: 1848 – 1958

Prog 5: Hispanics Become United States Citizens
Prog 6: Hispanics Become and American Minority

Vol 4: 1959 – 2007

Prog 7: Emergence of a Unique Hispanic Culture
Prog 8: Era of the Hispanic American Hero Begins

7.  Made in L.A. (DVD – 70 min.s – Facilitator’s Guide)
Traces the moving transformation of three Latina garment workers on the fault lines of global economic change. Through a groundbreaking lawsuit and consumer boycott, they fight to establish an important legal and moral precedent: to hold an American retailer liable for the labor conditions under which its products are manufactured. The video provides an intimate view into both the struggles of recent immigrants and into the organizing process itself.

8. Maid In America (DVD – 60 min.s) is an intimate, eye-opening look at the lives of las domésticas, as seen through the eyes of Eva, Telma and Judith: three Latina immigrants, each with a very different story, who work as nannies and housekeepers in Los Angeles, California. Filmmakers Anayansi Prado and Kevin Leadingham followed their subjects for several years, and their cameras caught some of the most intimate moments of these women’s lives, both on and off the job. The challenges faced by these women are as diverse as their stories. Maid In American, is the story of the American dream as seen from the perspectives of three women, all looking longingly through the glass – a the same time they are cleaning it.

9.  Mendez vs. Westminster (DVD 45 min.s) Seven years before Brown vs. Board of Education, Mendez vs. Westminster began unraveling of school segregation in the U.S.  Among many surprises, two key persons played important roles in both cases; NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall, who later argued and won Brown vs. Board of Education; and then Governor Earl Warren who desegregated California as a result of Mendez and later, as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court wrote the Brown decision.

Seven years before Brown v. Board of Education, Mendez vs. Westminster began unraveling of school segregation in the U.S. Among many surprises, two key persons played important roles in both cases; NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall, who later argued and won Brown v. Board of Education; and then-Governor Earl Warren who designated California as a result of Mendez and later, as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court wrote the Brown decision.  Mendez vs. Westminster is the award winning Public Television documentary that tells the story of this little known; but important chapter of American civil-rights history.  2007 marked the 60-year anniversary of the Mendez decision, and the U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp to honor this historic contribution to our schools.

10.  Viva La Causa (DVD 39 min.s) On a warm evening in 1965, hundreds of Mexican farm workers packed into a church hall in the small farming town of Delano, California.  A momentous decision lay before them, should they join a strike against California grape growers started 11 days prior by their Filipino counterparts. Would this improve their appalling working conditions in the fields and help them earn enough to feed their families? 

Viva La Causa tells the story of how the powerless stood up in the powerful and gained their victory, not by violence and weapons; but by their strong will.

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