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Black American Documentary Films in Streaming: Media Representation

Media Representation

Birth of a Movement
"In 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..."

Black Hollywood: Blaxploitation and Advancing an Independent Black CinemaT
"This 1984 feature documentary explores the role of black actors, black directors, and the black audience in American movies. Lorenzo Tucker, known as the Black Valentino, discusses his career with Oscar Micheaux. Joel Fluellen and Vincent Tubbs tell memorable stories of what life was like for the few blacks working in Hollywood in the 50s and 60s including Dorothy Dandridge..."

The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords
"Archival footage and interviews trace the history of African American newspapers and journalism from the Antebellum period to the Civil Rights Movement."

Color Adjustment
"...traces 40 years of race relations through the lens of prime time entertainment, scrutinizing television's racial myths and stereotypes. Narrated by Ruby Dee, the 88 minute documentary allows viewers to revisit some of television's most popular stars and shows, among them Amos and Andy, The Nat King Cole Show, I Spy, Julia, Good Times, Roots, Frank's Place and The Cosby Show. But this time around, Riggs asks us to look at these familiar favorites in a new way. The result is a stunning examination of the interplay between America's racial consciousness and network primetime programming."

Ethnic Notions
"...Marlon Riggs' Emmy-winning documentary that takes viewers on a disturbing voyage through American history, tracing for the first time the deep-rooted stereotypes which have fueled anti-black prejudice. Through these images we can begin to understand the evolution of racial consciousness in America..."   (Kanopy)

Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror
"Delving into a century of genre films that by turns utilized, caricatured, exploited, sidelined, and finally embraced them, Horror Noire traces a secret history of Black Americans in Hollywood through their connection to the horror genre. Adapting executive producer Robin Means Coleman’s seminal book, Horror Noire will present the living and the dead, using new and archival interviews from scholars and creators; the voices who survived the genre’s past trends, to those shaping its future.Includes interviews with Ernest R. Dickerson, Meosha Bean, Ashlee Blackwell and Robin R. Means Coleman..."

Race Against Prime Time
"..is the only film to scrutinize how television news represents African Americans. This hard-hitting documentary takes us behind the scenes at the newsrooms of the three network affiliates during the Liberty City uprising in Miami which left 18 dead. It provides a classic case study of how the news gets made: what we see - and what we don't. Race Against Prime Time documents how local television newsmen anoint black community spokespersons, characterize whites as victims and blacks as rioters and fail to place the disturbances within the context of and decades of civic neglect..."

Souls of Black Girls: The Image of Women of Color in the Media
"F
ilmmaker Daphne Valerius's award-winning documentary explores how media images of beauty undercut the self-esteem of African-American women. Valerius surveys the dominant white, light-skinned, and thin ideals of beauty that circulate in the culture, from fashion magazines to film and music video, and talks with African-American girls and women about how these images affect the way they see themselves. The film also features powerful commentary from rapper and activist Chuck D, actresses Regina King and Jada Pinkett Smith, PBS news anchor Gwen Ifill, cultural critic Michaela Angela Davis, and others." (Kanopy)

 

 

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