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African-American Documentary Films on DVD in the Leavey Library: Civil Rights Movement

Civil Rights Movement

The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement
"In the days before and after Barack Obama's victory in the 2008 presidential election, an 85-year-old civil rights activist and 'foot soldier' looks back on the early days of the movement. World War II veteran James Armstrong was the proud proprietor of Armstrong's Barbershop, a cultural and political hub in Birmingham, Alabama, for more than 50 years. Armstrong, who carried the American flag across the Selma bridge during the Bloody Sunday march for voting rights in 1965, links the struggles of the past with a previously unimaginable dream: the election of the first African-American president."

Citizen King
"This story begins on the steps on the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963 when a 34-year-old preacher galvanized millions with his dream for an America free of racism. It comes to a bloody end almost five years later on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee. In the years since those events unfolded, the man at the center, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., has become a mythic figure, a minister whose oratory is etched into the minds of millions of Americans, a civil rights activist whose words and image are more hotly contested, negotiated and sold than almost anyone else's in American history."

Death in Memphis: The Mysterious Assassination of Martin Lincoln King
"A look at the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4, 1968 as well as his career. It examines the possibility that James Earl Ray was not the only shooter or totally innocent of the crime. It looks at the FBI's surveillance of Dr. King and J. Edgar Hoover's feelings about him."

Eyes on the Prize
"Vols. 1-3 tell the story of America's civil rights years from 1954 to 1965; vols. 4-7 examine the new America from 1966 to 1985, from community power to the human alienation of urban poverty."

Freedom Summer
"In the hot and deadly summer of 1964, the nation could not turn away from Mississippi. Over 10 memorable weeks known as Freedom Summer, more than 700 student volunteers joined with organizers and local African Americans in a historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in one of the nation's most segregated states ... even in the face of intimidation, physical violence, and death."

King: A Filmed Record - Montgomery to Memphis
"...documents the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his non-violent campaign for racial equality and justice from 1955-1968. Nothing is contrived and there is no narration, only the stirring words of Dr. King's memorable sermons and speeches. The film is history, unvarnished and unretouched, as recorded by newsreel and television camera of the period ... The live action sequences are linked by a series of short dramatic readings." -- Container

The March: The Story of the Greatest March in American History
"Witness the compelling and dramatic story of the 1963 March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King gave his stirring 'I Have a Dream' speech. This watershed event in the Civil Rights Movement helped change the face of America. Recounts the events when 250,000 people came together to form the largest demonstration the young American democracy had ever seen."

Neshoba: The Price of Freedom
"Neshoba: the price of freedom tells the story of a Mississippi town still divided about the meaning of justice, 40 years after the murders of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, an event dramatized in the Oscar-winning film Mississippi Burning. Although Klansmen bragged about what they did in 1964, no one was held accountable until 2005, when the State indicted preacher Edgar Ray Killen, an 80-year-old notorious racist and mastermind of the murders. Through exclusive interviews with Killen, intimate interviews with the victims' families, and candid interviews with black and white Neshoba county citizens still struggling with their town's violent past, the film explores whether the prosecution of one unrepentant Klansman constitutes justice and whether healing and reconciliation are possible without telling the unvarnished truth."

Reflections Unheard: Black Women in Civil Rights
"Archival footage and in-depth interviews with former members of organizations including Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and the Black Panther Party reveal how black women mobilized, fought for recognition, and raised awareness of how sexism and class issues affected women of color within and outside The Black Power Movement and mainstream feminism."

Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot
"The story of a courageous group of Alabama students and teachers who, along with other activists, fought a nonviolent battle to win voting rights for African Americans in the South. Standing in their way: a century of Jim Crow, a resistant and segregationist state, and a federal government slow to fully embrace equality. By organizing and marching bravely in the face of intimidation, violence, arrest and even murder, these change-makers achieved one of the most significant victories to the civil rights era."The story of a courageous group of Alabama students and teachers who, along with other activists, fought a nonviolent battle to win voting rights for African Americans in the South. Standing in their way: a century of Jim Crow, a resistant and segregationist state, and a federal government slow to fully embrace equality. By organizing and marching bravely in the face of intimidation, violence, arrest and even murder, these change-makers achieved one of the most significant victories to the civil rights era."

Sisters of Selma: Bearing Witness for Change
"A look back at 1965 and the unsung soldiers of the voting rights marches. Catholic nuns from across the country answered Martin Luther King's call to join the protests in Selma, Alabama. Examine their story and how the experience changed them forever."

Standing on My Sisters' Shoulders
"This documentary tells the story of the three Mississippi women in 1965, who walked into the US House of Representatives in Washington D.C.to seek their civil rights. These living legends give their firsthand testimony and capture a piece of history that is often overlooked in history books. Their achievements go beyond the cotton fields of Mississippi or even the coasts of America."

When I Rise
"In 1957, Barbar Smith, a gifted black music student at the University of Texas is cast in an opera to co-star with a white male classmate, fueling a racist backlash from members of the Texas legislature. This small-town girl, whose voice and spirit stem from her roots in East Texas, eventually will become an internationally celebrated mezzo-soprano and she will headline on stages around the world."

Where Do We Go From Here?: A Dialogue on Race
"This illuminating program, filmed during a guided tour of civil rights landmarks, blends potent archival footage and photos with group discussion to sensitively explore race relations in the U.S. Visits to Selma, Montgomery, Birmingham, Memphis, Atlanta, Orangeburg, and other locations, combined with eyewitness accounts of key events by survivors of those years, steer the group's dialogue. Together, these concerned individuals--white as well as black--grapple with the issues of anger, identity, prejudice, discrimination, education, and reconciliation" -- Container