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Black American Documentary Films in Streaming: Economic Issues

Economic Conditions

Arc of Justice: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of a Beloved Community
"...traces the remarkable journey of New Communities, Inc. and the struggle for racial justice and economic empowerment among African Americans in southwest Georgia. NCI was created in 1969 by leaders of the Civil Rights Movement in Albany, Georgia to help secure economic independence for African American families. For fifteen years, NCI cooperatively farmed nearly 6000 acres of land despite racist attacks and refusals by federal agencies to provide grants or loans. Its land was lost to foreclosure in 1985, but 25 years later NCI was given new life as a result of a successful class action lawsuit brought by hundreds of African American farmers against the U.S. Department of Agriculture." (Kanopy)

The Area
"In the heart of the South Side of Chicago, an 85-acre area abutting a railyard means different things to different people. For more than 400 African American families, it is home. For Norfolk Southern railroad company, it is space to expand its train-to-truck intermodal depot."

Finally Got the News
"Revolutionary Black Workers inside and outside the auto factories of Detroit. Through interviews with the members of the movement, footage shot in the auto plants, and footage of leafleting and picketing actions, the film documents their efforts to build an independent black labor organization that, unlike the UAW, will respond to worker's problems, such as the assembly line speed-up and inadequate wages faced by both black and white workers in the industry."

Miles of Smiles, Years of Struggle
"...chronicles the organizing of the first black trade union - the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. This inspiring story of the Pullman porters provides one of the few accounts of African American working life between the Civil War and World War II."

No Loans Today
"Centering on the ABC Loan Co., a twenty-five year old pawnshop/checkcashing outlet, No Loans Today documents daily life in the African-American community of South Central Los Angeles. The film explores the lives of several people who've either chosen or been forced to remain in this commu
nity.."

I Am Somebody
"Charleston, South Carolina -- went on strike to demand union recognition and a wage increase, only to find themselves in a confrontation with the National Guard and the state government, Supported by such notables as Andrew Young, Charles Abernathy, and Coretta Scott King, the women nonetheless conducted a strike under the guidance of District 1199, the New York based union, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conferen
ce...."

Oh Freedom After While
"One wintry morning in January 1939, residents of southeastern Missouri awoke to a startling sight. More than 1,000 sharecroppers - mostly African American but whites too - had camped out alongside two state highways with their families and a few meager belongings. They were taking a stand - against the planters, the federal government, and the desperate conditions of their lives.,,"

 

(Miles of Smiles, Years of Struggle)