Banished by Marco WilliamsRecounts 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... The film places these events in the context of present day race relations, by following three concrete cases of towns that remain all-white to this day: Forsyth County, Georgia; Pierce City, Missouri; & Harrison, Arkansas.
Call Number: DVD E185.86.B36 2007
Publication Date: 2007
Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.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.
Call Number: DVD E185.86 .B533 2016
Publication Date: 2016
Black History: A Retrospective by Cine-O-Matic, Inc.Features the life, culture, and accomplishments of some of the most influential African Americans in history and includes Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., Joe Louis, Scott Joplin, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Paul Robeson, Maggie Lena Walker, and many more.
Call Number: DVD E185 .B53 2009
Publication Date: 2009
Dialogue. Author Isabel Wilkerson. by Marcia FranklinMarcia Franklin interviews Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson. Wilkerson devoted 15 years to researching and writing The Warmth of Other Suns, a book about the Great Migration of African-Americans from the South to other parts of the country. The book was named one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by The New York Times, and won the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, as well as many other awards.
Call Number: DVD E185.6 .W55 2014
Publication Date: 2014
Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years by Judith Vecchione
Call Number: DVD E185.61.E94 2010 (3 discs)
Publication Date: 2010
Frederick Douglass by Scott Paddor
Call Number: DVD E449.D68F74 2005
Publication Date: 2005
Freedom Riders by Stanley NelsonThis inspirational documentary is about a band of courageous civil-rights activists calling themselves the Freedom Riders. Gaining impressive access to influential figures on both sides of the issue, it chronicles a chapter of American history that stands as an astonishing testament to the accomplishment of youth and what can result from the incredible combination of personal conviction and the courage to organize against all odds.
Call Number: DVD E185.61.F74 2011
Publication Date: 2011
Hidden Figures by Theodore MelfiAs 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. Dorothy Vaughan, 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.
Call Number: DVD PN1997.2 .H53 2017
Publication Date: 2017
I Am Not Your Negro by Raoul PeckUsing James Baldwin's unfinished final manuscript, Remember This House, this documentary follows the lives and successive assassinations of three of the author's friends, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., delving into the legacy of these iconic figures and narrating historic events using Baldwin's original words and a flood of rich archival material. An up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, this film is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter.
Call Number: DVD PN1995.9.D6 I26 2017
Publication Date: 2017
Malcolm X Speaks by Rex Barnett
Call Number: DVD BP223.Z8L5767 2008
Publication Date: 2008
Roots of Resistance: The Story of the Underground Railroad by Orlando BagwellRecounts the story of the underground railroad through narratives of escaped slaves. Includes interviews with descendants of slaves and slave holders, who describe the personal danger and terrible risk involved in each slave's departure.
Call Number: DVD E450.R66 2007
Publication Date: 2007
Blogs & Podcasts
Black History Buff PodcastBlack History Buff Podcast is "more than just a podcast, the show is a bridge that links communities throughout the African diaspora and enlightens and empowers its friends." Host King Kurus launched the show in 2018 and credits his son as his inspiration. Episodes range in time and theme, from short clips about Black activists and scholars to slightly-longer shows sharing African history and proverbs. The common denominator between these episodes is a commitment to making accounts of Black history accessible and accurate. Listeners can tune in on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, YouTube, and at the link above. The site also features The Black History Buff Blog. Though it has not been updated since 2019, it contains dozens of posts highlighting important people and events, including Wangari Maathai (a Nobel Peace Prize-winning environmentalist) and Vicente Ramon Guerrero Saldana (Mexico's first Black and Indigenous president). The podcast and prose serve a collective mission: reminding visitors that "Black history is world history."
Black PerspectivesProduced by the African American Intellectual History Society, Black Perspectives is a blog amplifying scholarship and writing that "advanc[es] the lives of people of African descent and humanity." This award-winning blog began in 2014, and"rebranded" in 2017. Today, it continues to feature daily content on various topics, from religion to de-colonized history. The blog recently launched a series, "Black Ecologies," that highlights "work from various scholars in Black Studies about the enduring proximity between Black communities and environmental catastrophe, as well as Black peoples' efforts to resist ecocide intellectually, politically, and in practice." The site also includes book reviews (see the Featured Books section), author discussions (see the Author Interviews section), and Roundtables and Resources pages with other educational materials. Tyler D. Parry, a professor of African American Studies at California State University, Fullerton serves as Senior Editor for the blog, which features writing from more than 50 contributors across the country. [EMB]
The NMAAHC Blogfrom the National Museum of African American History and Culture
Noire Histoir PodcastFriday, June 19 is Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating Emancipation Day. This holiday is an important part of U.S. history and, as host of Noire Histoir Natasha McEachron notes, "Black history is a part of global history and ... [should be] studied and celebrated all 366 days of the year." The Noire Histoir podcast (and related blog, newsletter, videos, and social media channels) launched in 2017 and spans themes of pride, excellence, and power "across the Black diaspora." The podcast has various episode formats, including monthly news wrap-ups, book and movie reviews, and a Black History Short series that profiles black doctors, activists, writers, and more. McEachron is also expanding the project to include a career section, "interviewing Black people about their career journeys and work philosophies." Interested readers can request to participate on the Interviews page. Visitors will also find a Blog on the site, as well as a link to the Noire Histoir YouTube channel under the Video tab. New episodes of the podcast are released every few days and you can find all of these episodes at the link above. Episodes are also available to stream on Google Play, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.[
African American Intellectual History SocietyFounded in 2014, the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS) is an organization dedicated to fostering scholarship and dialogue about the history of African-American thought, writing, and culture. Intentionally interdisciplinary and inclusive, the AAIHS is mostly comprised of historians, but also welcomes anyone - including literature scholars, art historians, policy analysts and journalists - with an interest in African-American intellectual history. The AAIHS blog reflects this inclusivity. One can read an interview with urban historian Guadalupe Garcia about her work examining race, space, and empire in Havana; a guest post from English professor and children's book author Janaka Bowman Lewis about historical and contemporary perceptions of black children and play, which pays particular attention to the writing of educator Lucy Craft Laney; and a thoughtful analysis by historian Chernah Sesay Jr. that examines how the black newspaper Freedom's Journal functioned as a sort of "museum" to chronicle the lives and accomplishments of black Americans in the early 19th century. This blog is a strong resource for anyone interested in American history of the African Diaspora.
African Diaspora, Ph.D.Africa Diaspora, Ph.D. (or #ADPHD) was created by Jessica Marie Johnson, assistant professor of Africana Studies and History at Johns Hopkins University. #ADPHD is a blog dedicated to "the life and culture of people of African descent in Africa, Europe, and the Americas from the fifteenth century into the late nineteenth - the period of Atlantic slavery and slave trading." On the site's blog, visitors will find news about conferences, scholarly publications, popular publications, digital resources, and more - all relating to Black individuals around the globe. As visitors enter #ADPHD, they can explore entries by category tags including art, digital resources, articles, blogroll, and sources. What is unique about #ADPHD is Johnson's inclusion of historical resources, including recently digitized primary sources, alongside contemporary resources, such as recently published articles and blog posts. In doing so, Johnson demonstrates that Black scholarship and intellectual life has a long and rich genealogy.
Anti-Slavery ManuscriptsThe Boston Public Library (BPL) is home to, "one of the largest and most important collections of abolitionist material in the United States," which includes thousands of letters, pamphlets, newspapers, and other materials from the early and mid-nineteenth century. BPL recently digitized this impressive collection on the platform Zooniverse and has enlisted citizen historians to transcribe these documents. In doing so, the BPL aims to create a collection that is freely available and machine-readable for those interested in pursuing digital research. Interested in helping out? Citizen historians will find a helpful tutorial in the transcribe section. In addition, this section of the website includes a helpful field guide to help participants with the task of interpreting nineteenth-century handwriting. The project also features a lively talk page where transcribers can crowdsource any questions that arise during the transcription process and share insights with fellow historians.
Being Black in the EUSocial scientists may be particularly interested in Being Black in the EU, a report from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). Released in November 2018, this report "outlines selected results from FRA's second large-scale EU-wide survey on migrants and minorities ... [and] examines the experiences of almost 6,000 people of African descent in 12 EU Member States." Among this survey's results, it found that for significant proportions of people of African descent in the EU, experiences of racial harassment and violence were relatively common and that 41 percent of the respondents who have been stopped by the police in the five years prior to the survey experienced racial profiling. The survey findings also suggest that racial discrimination is behind unequal employment opportunities and access to adequate housing. Interested readers can download the full 80-page report as a PDF, which includes explanations of the study's methodology, terminology and legal framework, and numerous summary graphics. The FRA is a decentralized agency that "seeks to instill a fundamental rights culture across the EU" by collecting data and providing EU institutions and member states with expert advice on this topic.
Black Gospel Music Restoration Project: Royce-Darden CollectionIn February 2005, Baylor University English professor Robert Darden penned an essay for The New York Times op-ed section entitled "Gospel's Got the Blues." In this essay, Darden noted that although gospel music has enduring popularity, a number of early gospel recordings are at risk of disappearing. This editorial inspired philanthropist Charles M. Royce to donate funds to the university to launch the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project. Over the past several years, the project has digitized thousands of early gospel recordings. In 2016, the Smithsonian's National Museum of African-American History and Culture featured a number of items from the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project in their Musical Crossroads exhibit. Gospel music fans can also listen to these recordings on the project's homepage. The collection includes a number of recordings dating back to the 1950s and 1960s, including songs by C.L. Franklin, Mahalia Jackson, and the Staple Singers. In the Publicly Accessible Audio section, visitors can browse these recordings by artist, date, publisher/record label, or original format (e.g., 33 \0x2153 rpm, 45 rpm, etc.).
Black History in Two Minutes (Or So)As readers continue to celebrate Black History Month, the Black History in Two Minutes (or so) podcast is a wonderful resource to learn the full scope of U.S. history. The award-winning show explores important people and events from the past and present. These episodes create more accurate depictions of well-studied events such as the Civil War and school integration, while also highlighting prominent figures left out of most history books (for example, a recent episode discusses Oscar Micheaux, the first Black indie filmmaker). The resource is well suited for educators, too; as the name implies, episodes are short and accessible to a general audience. The podcast is executive produced by an impressive team: Robert F. Smith, (Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Vista Equity Partners); Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University); Dyllan McGee (an Emmy and Peabody award-winning filmmaker and co-founder of McGee Media); and Deon Taylor (film director and founder of Hidden Empire Film Group). Professor Gates also narrates the series. Listeners can subscribe on their favorite podcast platform, including Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Android, and Stitcher. Readers will also find the show on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Black New YorkersFrom the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at The New York Public Library comes Black New Yorkers - an interactive timeline that traces the history of black individuals in New York City from 1613 through 2000. Black New Yorkers incorporates a number of thoughtful essays and primary source documents that illuminate this history. The timeline consists of five essays, each of which addresses a specific historical era. In the first essay, "Slavery and Freedom: 1613- 1865," readers can learn about the lives of free and enslaved black individuals during this period and view legal papers, illustrated portraits, and an 1841 issue of African Methodist Episcopal Church Magazine. This essay also highlights the stories of a number of important black New Yorkers from this period. The other four essays address the experiences of black New Yorkers during the Reconstruction, the first World War, the Great Depression, World War II and the 1950s, and between 1960-2000, respectively. Another highlight of this project is the resources page, which features two digitized NYPL collections. The first is "Negroes of New York," a Works Project Administration survey that documented the lives of black New Yorkers throughout history. Project writers included Ralph Ellison and Claude McKay. The second is a collection of issues of The Negro World, the newspaper of Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association.
The Black Student Strike of 1969In February of 1969, less than one year after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., black students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, "propelled by longstanding grievances and fresh flashpoints, called for a campus-wide student strike until administrators agreed to 13 demands." The roughly two-week protest that followed was joined by both black and white students and "was among the largest in university history." To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of this historic event and reflect on its impacts, the university created this website, which incorporates archival photographs, digital storytelling, and recent oral histories recorded with six of the strike participants. Readers will also find an interactive timeline that traces events leading up to and immediately following the strike, beginning with the unjust expulsion of 94 black college students in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in November 1968 and ending with the university faculty agreeing to establish a Black Studies Department on March 3, 1969. For educators, links to a teaching kit and other relevant resources are provided. This digital project was produced in partnership between University Communications and Marketing, the campus Black Cultural Center, and The Black Voice, a student-led publication.
Celebrating Simms: The Story of the Lucy F. Simms SchoolCelebrating Simms is an online companion to the permanent exhibition dedicated to the life and work of educator Lucy Simms and to the Lucy F. Simms School, which was named in her honor. Built shortly after Simm's death in 1934, the Lucy F. Simms School "served African-American students from all over Rockingham County [Virginia] and beyond between 1938 and 1965." This online exhibit emerged from a collaboration between Mollie Godfrey, a professor of English and Africana Studies at James Madison University (JMU); Sean McCarthy, also an English professor at JMU; and Robin Little, founder and president of the Shenandoah Valley Black Heritage Project. Together, Godfrey, McCarthy, and Little worked with a number of JMU students to research the history of the Lucy F. Simms School, as well as the broader history of African-American education in Harrisonburg, Virginia. At the center of this website is the Celebrating Simms exhibit, which includes a biography of Simms, a consideration of her legacy, and a number of related images and primary documents. In addition, visitors can explore an interactive timeline and map that documents the history of African-American Harrisonburg from the seventeenth century through the present. Celebrating Simms offers a valuable resource for history instructors, as well as anyone interested in the history of education and African-American history.
Civil Rights ToolkitThe Atlanta History Center's vast virtual portfolio prides itself on "connecting history and your hard drive." One of the Center's virtual projects is the Civil Rights Toolkit, a great addition to classrooms (and perfect for caregivers, too). The toolkit focuses on young people, celebrating their role as "changemakers," and the various activities are designed to accommodate several grade levels. For example, a craft designed for elementary school students shows how to turn an empty spice bottle or tin can into a musical instrument. This homemade instrument will serve learners well as they participate in one of the sing along videos also included in the toolkit. Another activity, this time aimed at middle school students, discusses "Blackout Poetry," a hybrid literary-art project that adds new meaning to existing text. The toolkit also highlights an oral history project celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. The bottom of the exhibition page links to complementary resources, including the Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow exhibition and a learning lab about Jackie Robinson.
Colored Conventions: Bringing Nineteenth-Century Black Organizing to Digital LifeThis fascinating project from scholars, students, librarians, and researchers at the University of Delaware chronicles the efforts of African Americans in the years before and after the Civil War, as they convened to discuss justice in education, work, and law at what were called "Colored Conventions." Readers may like to begin with the conventions tab to explore the primary documents at the heart of the collection: convention minutes beginning in 1830 and continuing all the way through 1888. These documents, which are still in the process of being preserved and are therefore not quite complete, have been diligently digitized, transcribed, and cataloged. For instance, readers will find that the minutes from September 24, 1883, feature an address from Frederick Douglass, while the minutes from 1830 include ideas for establishing a settlement for Black Americans in Canada. In addition to the documents featured here, the exhibits section is well worth a visit, offering details on several online exhibitions that have drawn upon the Colored Conventions Project's collection. These include "A Brief Introduction to the Colored Conventions Movement, 1830-1890s," and "Black Wealth and the 1843 National Colored Convention."
Documenting the African American Experience in Las VegasFrom the University of Nevada, Las Vegas University Libraries comes Documenting the African American Experience in Las Vegas. This extensive web project was created "to fully preserve the heritage of the Las Vegas black community [...] and make it easily accessible to everyone." Here, readers will find a searchable database of over 4,000 digital items, including images, oral history transcripts, and audio clips of the interviews. The homepage includes an embedded YouTube video of the PBS documentary African Americans: The Las Vegas Experience, which was made in 2016 as part of this project. Educators will also find an extensive 90-page curriculum guide with 21 lessons based on the PBS documentary and on content from the African American Experience in Las Vegas collection. Each lesson specifies its intended grade level, the academic content standards it corresponds to, and the amount of time needed for the lesson's different components. The African American Experience in Las Vegas project is directed by Claytee White, Director of the Oral History Research Center at UNLV Libraries.
Fire & Freedom: Food & Enslavement in Early AmericaAs the introduction to this National Library of Medicine online exhibit notes, "[m]eals can tell us how power is exchanged between and among different peoples, races, genders, and classes." In this five-part exhibit, visitors can learn more about how food was grown, traded, and cooked in early eighteenth century North America. Through a variety of artifacts (including an eighteenth-century rolling pin, a couple of pages from Charles Carter's 1732 The Compleat City and Country Cook, and Gilbert Stuart's portrait that likely portrays George Washington's enslaved cook Hercules) this exhibit examines the ways in which food and the violence of slavery were closely intertwined. While white plantation owners relied on the expertise and labor of enslaved individuals in order to eat, "[s]lavery put in place social and culinary boundaries that could separate those who ate from those who worked." This exhibit is accompanied by a number of educational resources for K-12 and higher education instructors.
For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil RightsVisual culture, including television, film, magazines, and photographs, played a central role in the U.S. Civil Rights movement. Photographs called national and international attention to racism and anti-black violence in the United States. Meanwhile, magazines such as Ebony and Jet changed how Americans viewed race, as did films like Carmen Jones and A Raisin in the Sun. For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights is an online resource that accompanies a traveling exhibition that was curated by Dr. Maurice Berger of the Center for Art, Design and Culture at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, co-organized by the Smithsonian's National Museum of African-American History and Culture, and sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visitors can check out the exhibition's schedule in the availability section of this website. An online version of this exhibit, which features captioned photographs of exhibition materials, can be found in the online tools section. Teachers may want to visit the lessons for educators section, which features three lesson plans for middle school students. While these lesson plans are designed to accompany an exhibition visit, they may also be used in tandem with the online exhibit. This website also includes a bibliography for further research and a helpful glossary.
The Forced Migration of Enslaved People in the United StatesThe Digital Scholarship Lab (DSL) at the University of Richmond has created this digital humanities project that illuminates the forced migration of enslaved individuals in the American South between 1810 and 1859. This project features data from the Minnesota Population Center's National Historical Geographic Information System (IPUMS NHGIS) as well as passages from historical narratives, such as Elizabeth Keckley's Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House and Solomon Northup's Twelve Years a Slave. The Forced Migration of Enslaved People consists of four parts. The first is an interactive map that allows visitors to track out-migration and in-migration data across southern counties over time. In doing so, this map offers information about the slave trade in the South. The map also contains a series of pin marks that indicate locations described in historical narratives. By clicking on the pin mark, visitors can read passages from these narratives. To learn more about the slave trade and forced migration over time, visitors can use the timeline tool, which appears just below the map. As users select different decades, they will see migration statistics for that decade along with information about the location of cotton and sugar plantations. Finally, visitors can also view a bubble map (available in the data section) that provides a visualization of migrations in and out of a specific state or county. This project offers powerful insights into the violence of slavery.
Freedom NarrativesFreedom Narratives is an ongoing digital history project that "focuses on the enforced migration of enslaved Africans in the Atlantic world during the era of the slave trade from the 16th to the 19th century." This project centers the voices of enslaved people born in West Africa during this time period by using a digital repository of their "autobiographical testimonies and biographical data ...to analyze patterns in the slave trade from West Africa, specifically in terms of where individuals came from, why they were enslaved, and what happened to them." Here, readers will be able to search through approximately 2,000 individuals' testimonies and browse them by categories such as gender, region of origin, life event type (e.g. travel, emancipation, etc.), and the modern country name where events occurred. Each person's entry includes a timeline of their life history, a downloadable image of their testimony, and metadata for both the individual and their testimony. Because Freedom Narratives is a work in progress, not all of the testimonies are online as of this writing, but this project shows great promise. Freedom Narratives is directed by Paul Lovejoy, Professor of History and Canada Research Chair in African Diaspora History at York University in Toronto.
Georgetown University: Slavery, Memory, and ReconciliationIn 1838, Georgetown University purchased 238 enslaved women, men, and children from Thomas F. Mulledy, a Jesuit priest. In 2015, Georgetown University president John J. DeGioia appointed a group of faculty, students, alumni, and others to form the Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation. In addition to hosting a number of community events, the group has created a digital archive and authored a 100-page report about the history and enduring legacy of slavery at the university. Visitors to this website may want to start with the Historical Timeline. This interactive timeline outlines the histories of slavery in the Jesuit community and at Georgetown with the aide of select primary documents. Next, the Slavery Archive allows visitors to explore such items as the sale records that document slavery at Georgetown before 1838, notes from a Georgetown student club that debated slavery, and oral history interviews with descendants of individuals enslaved at Georgetown. This collection, along with the Working Group's Report, offers an important and powerful resource for those interested in the history of higher education and American slavery.
Goin' North: Stories from the First Great Migration to PhiladelphiaGoin' North is a digital history project that documents the experiences of Black Americans who migrated from the American South to Philadelphia during the First Great Migration. As noted on the project's homepage, the African-American population of Philadelphia soared from 85,000 to 220,000 between 1910 and 1930. During the 1980s, Charles Hardy conducted a series of oral history interviews with individuals who migrated to Philadelphia during this time. These interviews were the basis of his radio documentary "Goin' North: Tales of the Great Migration." Thirty years later, Hardy and Janneken Smucker teamed up to teach the class "Digital Storytelling and the Great Migration to Philadelphia" at West Chester University. During this course, students edited and indexed Hardy's interviews and created an extensive digital archive consisting of "more than 400 images, newspaper articles, and other sources from national and regional collections, including previously unpublished images and ephemera from the Charles Blockson Afro-American Collection and Special Collections at Temple University Libraries and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania." In addition, these students created a series of "digital stories" (using tools including ArcGIS and Atavist) that capture the experiences of those who participated in the Great Migration. Goin' North offers a rich resource for students and instructors of U.S. History.
Harriet Tubman and the Underground RailroadHistory and social studies teachers may be interested in this standards-aligned lesson plan from the team at EDSITEment, a library of free teaching resources created by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Written with middle and high school students in mind, this inquiry-based lesson plan is organized into three activities focused on the Underground Railroad and "one of its most famous conductors, Harriet Tubman." As preparation, the lesson suggests that students craft a timeline of the era using primary sources linked from the Library of Congress' Chronicling America project and from the Digital Public Library of America. The first activity concentrates on the life of Harriet Tubman, with students using provided resources to consider what made Tubman an effective leader and how her legacy should be remembered. In the second activity, students work in small groups to analyze primary sources and answer questions about Tubman's involvement in the Underground Railroad. This information can then feed into the third activity, in which students map one route of the Underground Railroad. The lesson also describes a synthesis writing assignment to assess students' learning, as well as suggestions for extension activities and links to numerous additional resources on this topic.
Indivisible: African-Native American Lives in the AmericasMany recollections of United States government and history fail to paint an accurate and inclusive account of the complete "American identity." IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas seeks to remedy this by highlighting "the lives and experiences of people who share African American and Native American ancestry." The exhibition showcases how "African-Native American people were united in the struggle against slavery and dispossession, and then for self-determination and freedom." After reading the Introduction section, readers can explore the four major themes: Policy, Community, Creative Resistance, and Lifeways. These sections explore many events in U.S. legal history, including the creation and amendment of tribal constitutions, colonialism's influence on legal systems, struggles over land rights, and self-governance and tribal regulations. The exhibition is a collaboration between several institutions, including the National Museum of the American Indian, National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.
Liberated Africans ProjectDuring the nineteenth century, a number of individuals and organizations from around the globe advocated abolishing slavery and the international slave trade. Between 1808 and 1896, international authorities began to seize and detain ships suspected of participating in the slave trade. Once these ships were seized or detained, a network of international courts "decided the fates of the survivors." In total, these courts secured the freedom of 250,000 enslaved Africans - approximately 6% of the total number of Africans forced into slavery during this time period. The Liberated Africans project aims to uncover the story of these individuals, as well as the stories behind "the world's earliest international courts dedicated to the humanitarian effort to stop human trafficking." To do so, this project provides access to archival materials relating to this court case, including records held in the British National Archives and the Sierra Leone National Archives. Researchers can explore these archival materials by court (including the Sierra Leone Vice-Admiralty Court and the Havana Slave Trade Commission), cases, people, or by document ("source"). The Liberated Africans project is headed by historian Henry Lovejoy of the University of Colorado Boulder and contains contributions from numerous researchers and other specialists.
Make Way for DemocracyDuring World War I, over 350,000 African-Americans served in the racially segregated U.S. Military. In addition, numerous African-American individuals, including African-American women, served in the Red Cross and played a critical role in wartime industry on the homefront. The National World War I Museum and Memorial, in collaboration with the Google Cultural Institute, has created this powerful online exhibit that allows visitors to learn about the role of African-Americans in World War I. This exhibit centers on a rich collection of photographs, letters, and other primary documents. These items are organized into a series of "chapters" and accompanied by annotations that provide additional context and, at times, biographical information about individuals. At the heart of this exhibition is the tension inherent in the fact that black Americans fought in segregated troops to "make the world safe for democracy." The material in this exhibit allows visitors to explore these tensions while learning more about the varied individual experiences of African-Americans during World War I, both at home and abroad.
Making a Change: The First Amendment and the Civil Rights MovementEducators who would like to incorporate more Black history into their curriculum may be interested in this collection of teaching resources created by NewseumED. This collection comprises eleven different resources, all centered around various aspects of the civil rights movement. Some are interactive resources, such as a searchable civil rights timeline and a media map "comparing newspapers' front page coverage of civil rights milestones across the country." The majority of the collection consists of standards-aligned lesson plans on the civil rights movement in three categories: historical connections, media literacy, and civics & citizenship. These lesson plans include downloadable worksheets and handouts, as well as extension activities that encourage students to dig deeper into the material. While the lesson plans in this collection are primarily intended for middle and high school students, they could also be adapted for use in undergraduate classes. Originally featured in the 1-31-2014 Scout Report, NewseumED is a free online learning platform and the education department of the Newseum, a museum dedicated to media literacy and the First Amendment, and the Freedom Forum Institute, the Newseum's education and outreach partner.
Mapping the Freedmen's BureauThe Freedmen's Bureau was established after the U.S. Civil War in order to provide assistance to "refugees and freedman" living in the American South. Importantly, the Freedmen's Bureau produced a number of important documents, including marriage records and labor contracts. Mapping the Freedmen's Bureau is a resource created by genealogists Angela Walton-Raji and Toni Carrier designed to help genealogists and historians find historical documents of interest. In the maps section, visitors can find the location of dozens of Freedmen's Bureau officers, as well as camps and hospitals, which are organized on the map by pins. By selecting a pin of interest, visitors can find out how to access documents created at this particular office. Many of these offices have digitized these documents and made them available online (usually through Family Search; some through the Internet Archive). A second map features the locations of Freedmen's Bureau banks. The research guide section contains detailed pamphlets, courtesy of the National Archives, of the Freedmen's Bureau records from each state. Finally, the sample documents section provides examples of the types of documents the Freedmen's Bureau created.
Massachusetts Historical Society 54th RegimentThe 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment was the first military unit consisting of Black soldiers to be raised in the North during the Civil War. This remarkable digital collection from the Massachusetts Historical Society is meant to complement a physical exhibit that was on display in 2014. On the site, visitors can peruse selected portraits of the soldiers who made up the unit, learn about their recruitment, and find out how they served during the attack against Fort Wagner on Morris Island in South Carolina. This last set of materials is quite moving as it contains shots of the men in their dress uniforms and their camp. The site is rounded out by a selection of additional images of the volunteers and images of recruitment ads and enlistment records.
Mixed History (Cocktails)For Black History Month 2019, we're looking back at "Mixed History," an essay by Osayi Endolyn that appeared in the Southern Foodways Alliance journal and podcast Gravy in summer 2018. The essay itself looks back and analyzes what happened when Joe Stinchcomb, the beverage director at Italian-inspired Oxford, Mississippi restaurant Saint Leo, introduced five special cocktails to the restaurant's seasonal drink menu for Black History Month in 2018. The drinks were titled "Blood on the Leaves," a Mai Tai twist that quoted a lyric in Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit;" "Bullock & Dabney," a mash-up of the Corpse Reviver and Mint Julep; "The Clyde;" "(I'm Not Your) Negroni;" and "Black Wall Street." After only 11 days, the seasonal drink menu was pulled because the restaurant received numerous calls threatening protests. Stinchcomb's intent was to use the drinks to present unknown Black history to a wider audience. For example, Bullock & Dabney references Tom Bullock, a bartender at the St. Louis Country Club in Missouri who published a drink manual in 1917, while John Dabney, born a slave in Virginia, was a prominent caterer and social figure. The drink menu was promoted online where it was presented without context, and viewers had no way of telling that the author was a Black man. Saint Leo was named a 2017 Best New Restaurant Semifinalist by the James Beard Foundation, and Stinchcomb has been inserting hip-hop or pop-culture references into his cocktails (which are by all accounts delicious) since the restaurant opened. See the full essay for more details in this complicated narrative of Black history.
Monroe Work Today (Data on lynchings)Born in 1866 in North Carolina, Monroe Nathan Work established the Department of Records at Tuskegee University in 1908. Here, inspired by the pioneering journalism of Ida B. Wells, he collected and preserved information about the horrors of lynching. This website, created by Auut Studios, provides information about lynchings and the heroic activists who worked to publicize and stop lynching. The centerpiece of this powerful website is its Map of White Supremacy Mob Violence, an interactive map and timeline feature that allows visitors to observe the prevalence of lynching across time and region and learn more about each act of violence. As this map illustrates, lynchings, while especially common in the deep south, occurred in all areas of the United States, targeting black communities, Native American communities, Latinx communities, Chinese communities, and Italian communities, among others. This map is accompanied by a thorough Ask Questions section, which explains how the data was compiled, notes the limitations of the map, and encourages viewers to ask critical questions. These two resources would make a strong addition to any American history classroom.
NYPL Digital Collections: Navigating the Green BookBetween 1936 and 1967, a black postal worker from Harlem named Victor Green published an annual directory known as the Green Book. In it, Mr. Green listed businesses that would gladly (and safely) serve African-American travelers, including hotels and restaurants, nightclubs and bars, beauty salons and gas stations. Here, readers will find an inspiring new project from the New York Public Library that engages public domain collections of the Green Books. Readers may browse covers from the 1947, 1948, 1955, 1956, and 1960 issues, explore the digital collection itself, or map a trip using aggregated data from a number of the books. This last feature offers the most creative way to navigate the Green Book. After entering a starting point and a destination, the program uses data from the original guides to visualize where black travelers would have been allowed to stop for a drink, buy gas, eat at a restaurant, or sleep. For readers interested in the history of discrimination in the United States, these excellent resources will pay big dividends.
One Person, One Vote: the Legacy of SNCC and the Fight for Voting RightsInspired by student sit-ins during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) emerged as "the only national civil rights organization led by young people." This influential organization is the focus of One Person, One Vote: The Legacy of SNCC and the Fight for Voting Rights, a documentary website with much to offer for general audiences and students alike. This resource uses photographs, oral history interviews, audiovisual materials, and documents to "chronicle the historic struggles for voting rights that youth, converging with older community leaders, fought for and won." Here, readers will find numerous profiles using primary sources to explore how specific individuals and organizations contributed to the struggle for voting rights, an interactive timeline, a map featuring stories from specific places in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, a helpful list of digital primary sources, and a bibliography of published secondary sources. One Person, One Vote was the pilot project for SNCC Digital Gateway, featured in the 1-25-2017 Scout Report. SNCC Digital Gateway is a collaboration between the SNCC Legacy Project, Duke University Libraries, and the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.
Overlooked (NY Times obituaries)Over the past year, The New York Times has been publishing obituaries for women of historical importance whose deaths the newspaper had neglected to commemorate. This project, entitled Overlooked (featured in the 3-16-2018 Scout Report), recently added a special edition in honor of Black History Month. This collection, published on January 31, 2019, "highlights a prominent group of black men and women whose lives we did not examine at the time of their deaths." In one obituary, Tanisha C. Ford writes about fashion designer Zelda Wynn Valdes, who began her career in the Jim Crow era and, after opening her own boutique in New York City, dressed socialites and stars such as Ella Fitzgerald, Eartha Kitt, and Marlene Dietrich. In another obituary, Wil Haygood writes about celebrated ragtime pianist Scott Joplin, whose iconic piece "The Entertainer" is instantly recognizable today and who was posthumously awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his music in 1976, nearly six decades after his death. Other remarkable people featured in this special edition include filmmaker Oscar Micheaux, abolitionist Mary Ellen Pleasant, and inventor Granville T. Woods. Readers are also invited to nominate candidates for future Overlooked obituaries.
Photographing Freetowns: African American Kentucky through the Lens of Helen Balfour Morrison, 1935-1946Between 1935 and 1946, Helen Balfour Morrison went on at least three photography expeditions from Chicago's North Shore to the Inner Bluegrass region of Kentucky, where she photographed African Americans living in rural freetowns or hamlets in the area. Her photographs and personal papers were donated to the Newberry Library in 2016 and are encapsulated in the online exhibition Photographing Freetowns: African American Kentucky through the Lens of Helen Balfour Morrison. Visitors will want to begin by reading the exhibition's introduction, which speculates about the reasons behind Morrison's choice of subjects. Was she "engaging in a common rite of passage for artists in the era?" Was she trying to "romanticize life in the segregated South?" Some of her photography titles, such as "Masters Got Company" and "Looking Over the Old Plantation," suggest the latter. The web exhibition includes sections with biographical information about Morrison and the Bluegrass region of Kentucky as well as the photography collection, categorized in sections such as Sugar Hill, Zion Hill, or Working Women. Readers can jump to the Browse Images section to see all of the 100 or so images in the exhibition, as well as letters, documents, maps and postcards.
Slavery and the Making of the University (UNC)Readers interested in African American history, as well as those studying or working in a higher education setting, may be interested in this informative digital exhibition from the University of North Carolina (UNC) University Libraries. Grown from a University Archives digitization project, Slavery and the Making of the University seeks to "introdu[ce] materials that recognize and document the contributions of slaves, college servants and free persons of color primarily during the university's antebellum period." Readers should begin by reading the Introduction section, which gives an overview of the creation and contents of the site. Next, visitors can read about The College Servants, Campus Incidents, Writings & Speeches on Slavery, and more. Most sections of the website feature digitized primary documents, with links to finding aids or information about accessing the original sources, and there is also a downloadable Walking Tour of the UNC-Greensboro campus. The site is searchable via a search bar in the upper right corner, and users can filter by query type and record type in a drop-down menu. An Advanced Search feature is also available. The exhibition was compiled by Assistant University Archivist Susan Ballinger, Research Assistant Janis Holder, and University Archivist Bari Helms. [EL]
Teaching Tolerance: The Voting Rights Act, 1965 and BeyondThe 1965 Voting Rights Act is an essential part of U.S. voting history and a milestone for the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. Teaching Tolerance has compiled this collection of classroom activities and resources to help middle school and high school students better understand the circumstances behind the passage of the Voting Rights Act and its significance. These resources include video footage of Lyndon Johnson signing the act into law (part of NBC's archival footage collection), a succinct summary of the key points of the Voting Rights Act, and powerful graphs that show the number of black legislators in the south (1868-1900 and 1960-1992) and the percentage of registered voters in black voting-age population. This website also features resources related to contemporary debates surrounding voting rights in the 1965 law, including information and materials relating to the 2009 and 2013 Supreme Court challenges to the Voting Rights Act.
The Undefeated: 44 African Americans Who Shook Up the WorldShaking up the world, "or at least their corner of it": this was the selection criteria used to create The Undefeated: "44 African Americans Who Shook Up the World." The name is a nod to America's 44th President, and this resource profiles a diverse blend of influential Black leaders, including musicians, activists, academics, entrepreneurs, and athletes. Each feature includes a graphic portrait, tagline depicting why they were selected, and brief biography highlighting major accomplishments. Features include artist Jean-Michel Basquiat ("Because without Basquiat, there'd be no graffiti. Without Basquiat, there'd be no Banksy,") and politician Shirley Chisholm ("Because before 'Yes We Can' there was 'Unbought and Unbossed,'"). The resource is both engaging and informative, and after clicking through the slides, users will leave with a better understanding of the various platforms individuals used to push for racial justice and representation. Users looking to skip to a particular individual can hover over "See Full List" in the top left corner. The list's introduction was written by Kevin Merida, with profiles written by various staff members at the The Undefeated and portraits from Robert Ball. A branch of ESPN, The Undefeated brands itself as "the premier platform for exploring the intersections of race, sports and culture."
Views of African American Life in MarylandFreedom Narratives is an ongoing digital history project that "focuses on the enforced migration of enslaved Africans in the Atlantic world during the era of the slave trade from the 16th to the 19th century." This project centers the voices of enslaved people born in West Africa during this time period by using a digital repository of their "autobiographical testimonies and biographical data ...to analyze patterns in the slave trade from West Africa, specifically in terms of where individuals came from, why they were enslaved, and what happened to them." Here, readers will be able to search through approximately 2,000 individuals' testimonies and browse them by categories such as gender, region of origin, life event type (e.g. travel, emancipation, etc.), and the modern country name where events occurred. Each person's entry includes a timeline of their life history, a downloadable image of their testimony, and metadata for both the individual and their testimony. Because Freedom Narratives is a work in progress, not all of the testimonies are online as of this writing, but this project shows great promise. Freedom Narratives is directed by Paul Lovejoy, Professor of History and Canada Research Chair in African Diaspora History at York University in Toronto.
W.E.B. Du Bois PapersThe University of Massachusetts-Amherst is home to the W.E.B. DuBois papers, which includes correspondence, speeches, articles, pamphlets, poetry and other items authored by the scholar and co-founder of the NAACP. In addition, the collection contains photographs, newspaper clippings, audio clips, and more. For those who can't make the trip to Amherst, the university has digitized nearly 100,000 items in this collection, which visitors can browse by type of material and by date. Included in this extraordinary collection are articles published in The Crisis; hand-written essays that DuBois penned as a student at Harvard University; and notes and clippings that DuBois used during his research. Another highlight of this collection is an audio clip of a speech DuBois gave in April 1960 before the Conference of the Association of Social Science Teachers at Johnson C. Smith University.
The ZORA Canon: The 100 Greatest Books Ever Written by African American WomenShaking up the world, "or at least their corner of it": this was the selection criteria used to create The Undefeated: "44 African Americans Who Shook Up the World." The name is a nod to America's 44th President, and this resource profiles a diverse blend of influential Black leaders, including musicians, activists, academics, entrepreneurs, and athletes. Each feature includes a graphic portrait, tagline depicting why they were selected, and brief biography highlighting major accomplishments. Features include artist Jean-Michel Basquiat ("Because without Basquiat, there'd be no graffiti. Without Basquiat, there'd be no Banksy,") and politician Shirley Chisholm ("Because before 'Yes We Can' there was 'Unbought and Unbossed,'"). The resource is both engaging and informative, and after clicking through the slides, users will leave with a better understanding of the various platforms individuals used to push for racial justice and representation. Users looking to skip to a particular individual can hover over "See Full List" in the top left corner. The list's introduction was written by Kevin Merida, with profiles written by various staff members at the The Undefeated and portraits from Robert Ball. A branch of ESPN, The Undefeated brands itself as "the premier platform for exploring the intersections of race, sports and culture."
Afraid of DarkWhy 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.
America After FergusonThis PBS town hall meeting, moderated by PBS NEWSHOUR co-anchor and managing editor Gwen Ifill, explores events following Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Missouri. The program, recorded before an audience on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, will include national leaders and prominent thinkers in the areas of law enforcement, race and civil rights, as well as government officials, faith leaders and youth.
Angola 3: Black Panthers and the Last Slave PlantationThis film covers the case of the "Angola 3," Robert King Wilkerson, Herman Wallace, and Albert Woodfox, arguing that these Black Panthers incarcerated at Angola prison in Louisiana are political prisoners, as are many other prison inmates. It puts their case in the context of the war between the J. Edgar Hoover's FBI and the Black Panthers and other radical groups, and of extreme brutality at Angola prison in the 1960s and 70s. It tells how the Angola 3 founded a Black Panther chapter inside Angola prison, and how brutal conditions inside Angola led to federal oversight. It argues that Angola prison officials concocted cases that kept the three in prison beyond their original sentences, in order to punish them for teaching prisoners to stand up for themselves. Narrated by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
The ApolloTHE APOLLO, directed by Oscar® and Emmy® winner Roger Ross Williams, chronicles the legacy of New York City’s landmark Apollo Theater, covering the rich history of the storied performance space over its 85 years. What began as a refuge for marginalized artists emerged as a hallowed hall of black excellence and empowerment. In the film, Williams reflects on the struggle of black lives in America, the role that art plays in that struggle, and the part the Apollo Theater continues to play in the cultural conversation. Weaving together archival footage of music, comedy and dance performances with behind-the-scenes verité footage of the team that makes the theater run, the film features interviews with such artists as Angela Bassett, Common, Jamie Foxx, Doug E. Fresh, Savion Glover, Patti LaBelle, Paul McCartney, Smokey Robinson, and Pharrell Williams. Parallel to the historical narrative, THE APOLLO examines the current state of race in America, chronicling the multimedia stage adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ acclaimed Between the World and Me as it comes together on the theater’s grand stage.
Birth of a MovementIn 1915, civil rights activist William Monroe Trotter waged a battle against D.W. Griffith's notoriously Ku Klux Klan-friendly blockbuster The Birth of a Nation, which unleashed a fight still raging today about race relations and representation, and the power and influence of Hollywood. This film includes interviews with Spike Lee, Reginald Hudlin, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and DJ Spooky.
The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our SongEpisode 1: Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the roots of African American religion beginning with the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the extraordinary ways enslaved Africans preserved and adapted their faith practices from slavery to emancipation.
Episode 2: Discover how the Black Church expanded its reach to address social inequality and minister to those in need, from the Jim Crow South to the heroic phase of the civil rights movement and the Black Church’s role in the present.
Black History Mini DocsBlack History Mini Docs (BHMD) offers its visitors "a fast and entertaining way to educate young and old about the varying contributions of Blacks in American history." As its name suggests, this resource creates and publishes short documentary videos that tell the stories of notable African-American figures throughout history as well as some "everyday unsung heroes in the Black community." Some of the figures highlighted in this series of 90-second videos include poet Langston Hughes, civil rights leaders Ida B. Wells and Betty Shabazz, and music legend Nina Simone. If 90 seconds is still too long, BHMD also occasionally produces "Micro Docs" with similar content that are only 20 seconds long. Readers may also want to check out BHMD's stories section, where they will find written biographies of historical figures like Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., who was New York's first Congressman of African-American descent and held office from 1945-1971. Those interested in contemporary commentary in the context of Black history will find this type of discussion in this site's blog. BHMD is the creation of award-winning director Neema Barnette and filmmaker Reed R. McCants.
Black Is the ColorFaced with racist caricatures, African American painters decided to present a different image of their community than the one imposed by the degrading stereotypes of a brutally racist society. Ignored and marginalized, they had to wait a century before they finally won recognition. This film tells the story of how African American artists took back their image, from the abolition of slavery to the present day.
Black Nation: Urban Decay, Spiritual Renewal, and the African-American CommunityOf all U.S. cities, Detroit has been among those hardest hit by the decline of American manufacturing and economic strength. Examining the impact on Detroit’s African-American population, this film focuses on one institution that has provided the community with a sense of hope and renewal: the Shrine of the Black Madonna. The documentary is set within the framework of one powerful and provocative Father’s Day service led by Jaramogi Menelik Kimathi, the Yale-educated church leader whose messages of self-sufficiency and Pan-African unity reflect the Shrine’s core mission. Viewers also meet several members of the congregation and pastoral staff who share their own stories about life in the city’s desperate environment and their ongoing spiritual journeys. (63 minutes)
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the RevolutionMore than 40 years after the Black Panther Party was founded the group and its leadership remains powerful and enduring images in our popular imagination. This will weave together the voices of those who lived this story—police informants journalists white supporters and detractors those who remained loyal to the party and those who left it.
Black Power: America's Armed ResistanceThis 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.
Counter Histories: Rock HillOn January 31st, 1961, in Rock Hill SC, the men who would become known as the Friendship 9 walked across town and sat down at a lunch counter. They were beaten, dragged outside, threatened, and sentenced to 30 days of hard labor at the York County Prison Camp. They were allowed no defense, afforded no rights, and offered no justice. Mostly students of nearby Friendship College, they held fast to nonviolence and “Jail No Bail.” Instead of paying for freedom in fees and fines, they suffered for it. Their names are: John Gaines, Thomas Gaither, Clarence Graham, W.T. “Dub” Massey, Willie McCleod, Robert McCullough, James Wells, David Williamson Jr., and Mack Workman. Thomas Gaither, a member of CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), came to Rock Hill, SC and recruited students from local universities for the planned sit-in. They trained extensively in nonviolence, and prepared for the hardship they knew they would have to endure. The Friendship 9 received incredible support from Brother David Boone, who himself endured hatred and threats despite his standing in the religious community and Caucasian race. None of these men knew the effect their isolated act would have, on the country or their own lives. The strategy of “Jail No Bail” pioneered by Thomas Gaither and piloted in Rock Hill, spread across the south and revitalized a frustrated Civil Rights Movement. Their success propelled the Freedom Rides and eventually major U.S. Civil Rights legislation. The trials didn’t end with their release from prison. The vitriol of racists and bigots always followed. That one day in January would change the direction of their whole lives. Only 54 years later, in January 2015, were their convictions stricken from the books. In a world grappling with issues of equality in all forms, the story of the Friendship 9 rings in our ears as powerfully as ever.
The FBI's War on Black AmericaThis documentary directed by Denis Mueller and Deb Ellis is about the FBI's counterintelligence program COINTELPRO against Black political figures and organizations during the civil rights movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. It uses interviews with participants and film clips from the period.
Flight to Freedom: The Underground RailroadBetween 1790 and 1860, thousands of slaves fled the South for liberation on the "Underground Railroad," a system of invisible tracks and anonymous conductors who gave shelter to fugitive slaves. Through interviews with national experts, and examination of archival records and artifacts, this program provides an overview of the underground movement. In addition to interviews with descendants of slaves, conductors, and abolitionists, the program includes examples of spirituals sung by slaves as part of the "code" system, and visits homes that were used as shelters. The program highlights Rochester, NY, which was at the heart of the railroad, where passengers were hidden by Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, and many others. (109 minutes)
From the Ku Klux Klan to the Black PanthersBeginning with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s "I have a dream" speech, this program illustrates the background of that speech with scenes filmed during the prison uprising at Attica, NY, in 1967; a Klan rally and a cross-burning; scenes of black life in the South that led to the mass migrations to the cities of the North; the desegregation of Little Rock High School; the Black Nationalist movement and the Black Muslim movement; Montgomery, Birmingham, and the civil rights movement; Malcolm X; the Newark, New Jersey, riots; and Eldridge Cleaver, Huey Newton, and the Black Panthers. (15 minutes)
Huey P. Newton : Prelude to RevolutionBlack Panther Minister of Defense Huey P. Newton was incarcerated in the Oakland jail after police stormed a house to round up Black Panther leaders. John Evans' never-before-seen interview with the jailed revolutionary and founder of the Black Panther Party reveals Newton's perspective on the plight of black Americans, the purpose of the Panther Party, and the progression toward revolution.
James Baldwin : The Price of the TicketJames Baldwin was at once a major 20th-century American author, a civil rights activist, and a prophetic voice calling Americans, black and white both, to confront their shared racial tragedy. This film biography of Baldwin’s life captures the passion of his beliefs with stirring excerpts from his novels and striking archival footage dating from the Harlem Renaissance through to the author’s commentary on civil rights to his writing retreats in Istanbul and Europe. Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, Ishmael Reed, and William Styron provide insight as the program skillfully links excerpts from Baldwin’s major works to different historical stages in black-white dialogue. (87 minutes)
John Lewis: Good TroubleAn intimate account of legendary U.S. Representative John Lewis’ life, legacy and more than 60 years of extraordinary activism. After Lewis petitioned Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to help integrate a segregated school in his hometown of Troy, Alabama, King sent “the boy from Troy” a round trip bus ticket to meet with him. From that meeting onward, Lewis became one of King’s closest allies. He organized Freedom Rides that left him bloodied or jailed, and stood at the front lines in the historic marches on Washington and Selma. He never lost the spirit of the “boy from Troy” and called on his fellow Americans to get into “good trouble” until his passing on July 17, 2020.
Malcolm X (Say Brother series)this program focuses on the impact of Malcolm X on African American political and intellectual leadership in the United States. Host Topper Carew speaks with Dr. John H. Clarke (historian and Cornell University professor), Owusu Sadaukai (National Chairman of the African Liberation Day Committee), and Bobby Seale (cofounder of the Black Panthers) about the impact of Malcolm X's work on their personal ideologies, the opinions of African Americans, and the struggle for Black rights in the United States. Interviews are separated by segments of archival news footage featuring Malcolm X discussing his political philosophies (program contains a particularly strong segment from the speech he delivered to the students of Selma, Alabama a few weeks before his assassination in 1965).
Negroes with Guns: Rob Williams and Black PowerRobert F. Williams was the forefather of the Black Power movement and broke dramatic new ground by internationalizing the African-American struggle. This program takes an electrifying look at the forgotten civil rights leader who dared to advocate armed self-defense in the face of racist terrorism in the Jim Crow South. A thought-provoking examination of black radicalism and a launching pad for the study of black liberation philosophies, the film includes insightful interviews with historian Clayborne Carson, biographer Timothy Tyson, Julian Bond, and a first-person account by Mabel Williams, Robert’s wife.
The NightriderThe Civil Rights movement is gathering steam. The Klu Klux Klan is trying desperately to halt a process it hates, and cannot understand. Blacks are lynched and murdered, bodies are found at the side of the road or hanging from tree - they usually go unpunished. On June 12, Medgar Evers, a black Civil Rights activist, arrives home late at night; he is shot and fatally wounded. This is a story of elusive justice and vengeance.
Paul Robeson: Songs of Freedom—A DocumentarySongs of Freedom is a showcase for the great voice of Paul Robeson. It exposes the desperate attempts of the FBI and other secret services in America to stop his playing and to discredit him. It reveals that his actual life was in danger as long as he continued along the path of international socialism. Robeson never compromised, and it put an end to his domestic career. Abroad, he was a hero.
A Question of Color“I am a black American woman from an interracial background. I look white, I identify myself as black,” says filmmaker Kathe Sandler. “I made this film because I wanted to understand something that had a very dominant influence in my life.” In this documentary, Sandler digs into the often subconscious world of colorism, a caste system within the African-American community that deems the lightest skin tones to be the most beautiful and socially acceptable. Tackling a painful and taboo subject with great sensitivity, the film helps viewers understand the complex interplay between racial identity, culture, and self-image. (58 minutes)
Richard Pryor: IconRichard Pryor’s impact on the craft of comedy and today’s top comics is legendary and unrivaled. This program surveys the profound and enduring influence of one of the greatest American comics of all time.
Rosa Parks: The Path to FreedomIt has been only forty years since the fateful day that Mrs. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, yet the chain of events that she set in motion has changed the world forever. In honor of this anniversary, Kingberry Productions (which produced The Freedom Train) has compiled a biography of this dynamic but quiet woman, whose demand for her civil rights led to the social changes of the sixties. This documentary contains an overview of the events that took place in Montgomery, Alabama: Mrs. Parks' arrest, the bus boycott and the segregation laws that were finally overturned. It also tells the story of the Rosa Parks that few people know -- the former seamstress whose life continues to be committed to social justice for all people.
Thurgood Marshall: Justice For AllAs a civil rights lawyer in the forties and fifties, he turned the floor of the Supreme Court into his personal battleground. As a member of the court, he presided over some of the most influential decisions in American history. Thurgood Marshall grew up with a strong sense of right and wrong, and the courage to fight for his convictions. As a black lawyer in the 1940s and '50s, he traveled the south, a lonely warrior in the fight to end discrimination. He was "Mr. Civil Rights", the embodiment of hope for black Americans. BIOGRAPHY; uses archival footage, period accounts and interviews with family members and colleagues to chronicle the monumental life of the first African-American to sit on the Supreme Court. Biography proudly presents the stirring story of a man who stood up for his beliefs, and ultimately saw them triumph.
The Tuskegee Airmen: They Fought Two WarsThis inspiring documentary examines the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps—the Tuskegee Airmen. These 450 black men fought the Nazis in World War II and, back in America, they fought prejudice, bigotry, and racism. Extraordinary airmen, they remain today the only fighter group never to have lost one of their bombers to enemy fire. Trained by the segregated military system, their successes led to the integration of the United States armed forces. Included in this program are interviews with some of the original airmen. Distributed by PBS Distribution. (60 minutes) Distributed by PBS Distribution.
Underground Railroad: The William Still StoryThis is the compelling story of William Still, one of the most unheralded individuals of the Underground Railroad, and details the accounts of black abolitionists who had everything at stake as they helped fugitives follow the North Star to Canada.
Voice of FreedomFollow the story of singer Marian Anderson, whose talent broke down barriers around the world. Narrated by Renée Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton), Voice of Freedom explores questions about talent, race, fame, democracy and the American soul.