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

Crimes Against

Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?
"'In 1946, my great-grandfather murdered a black man named Bill Spann and got away with it.' So begins Travis Wilkerson's critically-acclaimed, immensely powerful documentary, which takes us on a journey through the American South to uncover the truth behind a horrific incident and the societal mores that allowed it to happen."

Hate Crimes in the Heartland
"..is a groundbreaking exploration of the media's coverage of hate crimes spanning 90 years in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The film reveals the extremes of racial tension in America's heartland, told through the eyes of survivors of the 1921 Race Riot and the 2012 'Good Friday Murders.'"

Home of the Brave
"Documentary on the civil rights activist, Viola Liuzzo, who was murdered in 1965 as she campaigned for black suffrage in Selma, Alabama, and its effect on her family."

In His Own Home
"...is a documentary about the March 2010 shooting of an unarmed disabled black graduate student by campus police at the University of Florida and the failure of the administration to address the racism and overmilitarization of its police force. It tells the story of Kofi Adu Brempong, a Ghanaian graduate student, disabled by childhood polio, attacked by a campus Critical Incident Response Team bungled response to a 911 call from a neighbor. It is about students whose protests led the administration to drop fake charges against Kofi and whose continued activism challenges police brutality. In His Own Home speaks to police racism and the militiarization of our campuses nationwide and to the continuing police brutality against unarmed Black people like Michael Brown and Eric Garner."

The Murder of Emmett Till
"The shameful, sadistic murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till, a black boy who whistled at a white woman in a Mississippi grocery store in 1955, was a powerful catalyst for the civil rights movement. Although Till's killers were apprehended, they were quickly acquitted by an all-white, all-male jury and proceeded to sell their story to a journalist, providing grisly details of the murder. Three months after Till's body was recovered, the Montgomery Bus Boycott began."

The Other Side of Eden: Stories of a Virginia Lynching
"Explores why Shedrick Thompson, a black tenant farmer in Northern Virginia, beat a white landowner unconscious and kidnapped his wife. Two months after the event, his decomposed body was found hanging from a tree -- a death that was officially pronounced a suicide, but was more commonly known as the last lynching in Virginia."

The Rape of Recy Taylor
"Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old black mother and sharecropper, was gang raped by six white boys in 1944 Alabama. Common in Jim Crow South, few women spoke up in fear for their lives. Not Recy Taylor, who bravely identified her rapists. The NAACP sent its chief rape investigator Rosa Parks, who rallied support and triggered an unprecedented outcry for justice."

Scottsboro: An American Tragedy
"In March 1931, two white women stepped from a boxcar in Paint Rock, Alabama to make a shocking accusation: they had been raped by nine black teenagers on the train. So began one of the most significant legal fights of the twentieth century. The trials of the nine young men would draw North and South into their sharpest conflict since the Civil War, yield two momentous Supreme Court decisions and give birth to the civil rights movement." -- Container

Show Me Democracy
"Amidst the uprisings in Ferguson, MO, seven St. Louis college students evolve into activists as they demand change through policy and protest. The film examines their personal lives and backgrounds as they cope with the fallout of Ferguson. Six of the students fight for education policy reform through their internship program and try to create more opportunities for low-income and DACA students in their state. One of the seven joins the Black Lives Matter movement and organizes several protests to demonstrate ongoing racial injustice."

The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till
"The film that helped reopen one of history's most notorious cold case civil rights murders is the result of the director's 10-year journey to uncover the truth. In August, 1955, Mamie Till-Mobley of Chicago sent her only child, Emmett Louis Till, to visit relatives in the Mississippi Delta. Little did she know that only 8 days later, Emmett would be abducted from his Great-Uncle's home, brutally beaten and murdered for one of the oldest Southern taboos : whistling at a white woman in public. It was Beauchamp's nine years of investigation, summarized in the film, that was primarily responsible for the Justice Department reopening the case."

When Justice Isn't Just
"Directed by Oscar-nominated and NAACP Image Award winner David Massey, this dynamic documentary features legal experts, local activists, and law enforcement officers delving into ongoing charges of inequality, unfair practices, and politicized manipulations of America's judicial system. Additionally, the Black Lives Matter movement and citizens nationwide question the staggering number of police shootings of unarmed Black men and women."

Whose Streets?
"Told by the activists and leaders who live and breathe this movement for justice, Whose Streets? is an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising. When unarmed teenager Michael Brown is killed by police and left lying in the street for hours, it marks a breaking point for the residents of St. Louis, Missouri. Grief, long-standing racial tensions and renewed anger bring residents together to hold vigil and protest this latest tragedy. Empowered parents, artists, and teachers from around the country come together as freedom fighters. As the national guard descends on Ferguson with military grade weaponry, these young community members become the torchbearers of a new resistance. For this generation, the battle is not for civil rights, but for the right to live."