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African-American Documentary Films on DVD in the Leavey Library: History

History

African American Lives
"A compelling combination of storytelling and science, this series uses genealogy, oral histories, family stories and DNA to trace roots of several accomplished African Americans down through American history and back to Africa."

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross
"Explore with Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the evolution of the African-American people, as well as the multiplicity of cultural institutions, political strategies, and religious and social perspectives they developed-forging their own history, culture and society against unimaginable odds."

American Revolution 2: Riots to Revolution Chicago in 1968
"The 1960s was defined by a common effort to fight against injustice. Mike Gray, a Chicago filmmaker, used his camera to document the politics of the streets from the riots in the social upheaval, to the rising of two prolific groups fighting prejudice."

Blacks & Jews
"Early in the 20th century Black and Jewish Americans joined forces against bigotry and for civil rights but in the late 1960s each group turned inward and the coalition fell apart. This film examines the history of this collaboration and recent racial conflicts between African-Americans and Jews and attempts at understanding and reconciliation, with particular emphasis on events in New York City and Oakland, California."

The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords
"Presents a history of African-American newspapers and journalism from the mid-19th century through the 20th century. Tells of the struggles against censorship and discrimination and for freedom of the press, with commentary by historians, journalists, and photojournalists."

Circle Unbroken: A Gullah Journey from Africa to America
"75% of all enslaved Africans coming to America came in through the ports of Charleston, Beaufort and Georgetown, South Carolina. The result of this mingling of enslaved Africans from West Africa with the plantation culture awaiting them in America became Gullah; the genesis and taproot of African American culture. Most popularly portrayed through music, language, food, art, religion and storytelling. Gullah is a part of American history they didn't teach you in school! This film is a dazzling and moving visual celebration of Gullah people in words and music, by one of America's preeminent cultural ambassadors: Anita Singleton-Prather and the Gullah kinfolk."

From Swastika to Jim Crow
"Before and during World War II Jewish scholars who escaped Nazi Germany and immigrated to the U.S. were confronted with anti-Semitism at major universities and a public distrust of foreigners. A surprising number secured teaching positions at historically African American colleges in the South. In many cases they formed lasting relationships with their students and had an important impact on the communities in which they lived. This is a story of two cultures, each sharing a burden of oppression, brought together by the tragic circumstances of war."

I'm Carolyn Parker: The Good, the Mad, and the Beautiful
"Carolyn Parker was the last to leave her neighborhood when Hurricane Katrina approached New Orleans in the summer of 2005. After the floodwaters subsided, she was the first resident to return to her now flood-devastated community with what many thought was the "impossible dream" of bringing her ruined home back to life."

Local Color
"This 1991 OPB documentary chronicles the little known history of racism in Oregon and the story of people who worked for civil rights. Jon Tuttle was a news reporter in Portland who set out to document the story but found he was almost too late as some of the important participants had died and others were getting on in age."

The Loving Story
"Documentary about the case of Richard & Mildred Loving, a white man & a black woman who were convicted by the state of Virginia for the crime of marrying across racial lines in the late 1950s."

Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People
"Inspired by Deborah Willis’s book, Reflections in Black, Through a Lens Darkly (Willis is also a co-producer) casts a broad net that begins with filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris’s family album. It considers the difference between black photographers who use the camera to define themselves, their people, and their culture and some white photographers who, historically, have demeaned African-Americans through racist imagery. The film embraces both historical material (African-Americans who were slaves, who fought in the Civil War, were victims of lynchings, or were pivotal in the Civil Rights Movement) and contemporary images made by such luminaries as Roy DeCarava, Gordon Parks, and Carrie Mae Weems. The film is a cornucopia of Americana that reveals deeply disturbing truths about the history of race relations while expressing joyous, life-affirming sentiments about the ability of artists and amateurs alike to assert their identity through the photographic lens." -- Film Forum