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African-American Documentary Films on DVD in the Leavey Library: New Additions to the Collection

New Additions to the Collection

1961: la route de l'égalité
"An historic road movie, across Alabama and Mississippi, on the tracks of the nearly 450 militant blacks and whites, men and women, having taken part of the "Freedom Ride"  in 1961, in the heart of the struggle for civil rights in the United States."

Afraid of Dark: Exploring Black Masculinity
"Afraid of dark, is a wonderfully insightful and entertaining, yet remarkably serious, documentary about black men. This documentary, aims to destroy the misconceptions and damaging stereotypes about black men that have often cost the black man his life, by offering a genuine look at them from my eyes to the outside world, revealing the beauty in diversified strength, leadership and challenges -- a reality that has often been distorted by others. Why is the world so afraid of dark?

African Americans in the City of Light
“Documentary about the migration of pioneering African Americans to France and the impact both cultures had on each other. Through the use of rare photographs and stock footage, period music, and commentary by leading experts, it weaves stories and themes from World War I, the Jazz Age of the 1920s up to the German occupation of WWII.”

Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise
"Henry Louis Gates, Jr. embarks on a deeply personal journey through the last fifty years of African American history. Joined by leading scholars, celebrities, and a dynamic cast of people who shaped these years, Gates travels from the victories of the civil rights movement up to today, asking profound questions about the state of black America, and our nation as a whole."

Black Girl in Suburbia
"For many Black girls raised in the suburbs, the experiences of going to school, playing on the playground, and living day-to-day life can be uniquely alienating. Black Girl in Suburbia looks at the suburbs of America from the perspective of women of color. Filmmaker Melissa Lowery shares her own childhood memories of navigating racial expectations both subtle and overt.."

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."

Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther
"While in Algiers to cover the 1969 Pan African Cultural festival, Klein met Eldridge Cleaver, charismatic leader of the Black Panthers and a fugitive from the United States. For this documentary, made at the request of Cleaver and the Algerian government, Klein filmed Cleaver nonstop for three days, capturing a fascinating sketch of the controversial figure as he reflects on racism in America, the attempts on his life, the Vietnam War, and the relationship between the American Black Power movement and African liberation groups."

Erie
"Over the past thirteen years, Kevin Jerome Everson has crafted an exquisite--and prodigious--body of work on the working-class culture of African-Americans and people of African descent. Combining documentary and fiction, Everson's nearly 70 shorts and four features center on everyday tasks and gestures to unearth and illuminate the ordinary grace of daily life.."

Father's Kingdom
"..is the story of Father Divine, a charismatic and controversial character. His early life is veiled in obscurity. He built a church with over a million followers. He evolved his own unique theology -- the power of positive thinking. During the depths of the Great Depression, he fed thousands every day. He was an early voice for racial and gender equality. He operated over 70 businesses and hotels, creating thousands of jobs. He created dozens of racially integrated communities. He controlled vast wealth, but never accepted personal compensation. His detractors called him a fraud, but believers called him ... God. This is his story."

The Force
"Beginning in 2014, this film chronicles two years with the Oakland Police Department, which, in 2003, was put under federal oversight for misconduct and civil rights abuses. Relations between the department and the community are explored in the wake of nationally publicized police shootings and the advent of the Black Lives Matter Movement."

Hale County This Morning, This Evening
"Composed of intimate and unencumbered moments of people in a community, this film allows the viewer an emotive impression of the Historic South - trumpeting the beauty of life and consequences of the social construction of race, while simultaneously a testament to dreaming - despite the odds."

Harriet Tubman: They Called Her Moses
"Harriet Tubman is a familiar and revered name in American history. But many are unfamiliar with the details of her remarkable story, the depth of her character, and the inner motivations that drove her. Born into slavery in Maryland in the 1820s, Harriet Tubman's resolute Christian faith would compel her to extraordinary acts of courage and sacrifice. Through her selfless efforts, hundreds of African-American slaves escaped to freedom. Tubman's tenacious trust in God and love for others earned her the title 'the Moses of her people'."

I Am Not Your Negro
"Using James Baldwin's unfinished final manuscript, Remember This House, this documentary follows the lives and successive assassinations of three of the author's friends, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., delving into the legacy of these iconic figures and narrating historic events using Baldwin's original words and a flood of rich archival material. An up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, this film is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter."

The Issue of Mr. O'Dell
"The Issue of Mr. O'Dell examines the lifelong work of a pioneering civil rights organizer Jack O'Dell, who was a close colleague and advisor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the years before the March on Washington. But after President John F. Kennedy named him the number five Communist in America, O'Dell was eventually forced out of King's organization."

Jewel's Catch One
"..celebrates the legacy of a legendary Los Angeles nightclub, Catch One, and the life-changing impact its owner, Jewel Thais-Williams, had on her community. For four decades, Jewel broke down racial and cultural barriers and built the oldest black-owned disco in America, creating one of the original safe spaces for LGBTQ, Black and Aids impacted communities."

The Long Shadow
"From New Orleans to Virginia, Mississippi and Canada, Frances Causey and Sally Holst travel the roads of oppression, suppression, and even hope to reveal the connections of slavery and strong arm Southern politics to the current racial strife in America."

The Life and Legend of Sojourner Truth
"Based on: Narrative of Sojourner Truth, A Northern Slave; reflections of those who knew her, including Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Abraham Lincoln."

Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes, Feeling Heart
"The first-ever feature documentary about Lorraine Hansberry, the visionary playwright who authored the groundbreaking A Raisin in the Sun. An overnight sensation, the play transformed the American theater and has long been considered a classic, yet the remarkable story of the playwright faded from view. With this documentary, filmmaker Tracy Heather Strain resurrects the Lorraine Hansberry we have forgotten--a passionate artist, committed activist and sought-after public intellectual who waged an outspoken and defiant battle against injustice in 20th-century America. The film reveals Hansberry's prescient works tackling race, human rights, women's equality and sexuality that anticipated social and political movements on the horizon."

Major!
"..is a documentary film exploring the life and campaigns of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a formerly incarcerated Black transgender elder and activist who has been fighting for the rights of trans women of color for over 40 years. At the heart of Major! is a social justice framework that puts the subjects at the center of their story. Miss Major is a veteran of the Stonewall Rebellion and a survivor of Attica State Prison, a former sex worker, an elder, and a community leader and human rights activist. She is simply 'Mama' to many in her community. If history is held within us, embodied in our loves and losses, then Miss Major is a living library, a resource for generations to come to more fully understand the rich heritage of the Queer Rights movement that is so often whitewashed and rendered invisible...."

Marian Anderson: A Song of Dignity and Grace
"Takes a close look at the life of Marian Anderson and examines how she was able to overcome the racial barriers of her time."

Midnight Ramble: Oscar Micheaux and the Story of Race Movies
"Recounts the story of race movies produced for Afro-Americans from 1910 through 1950 and the role played by Oscar Micheaux, the leading Afro-American producer and director. These movies were designed for Afro-Americans, were frequently shown at midnight, and presented Afro-Americans in a positive light. Features interviews with Afro-American actors, actresses, and historians."

Muhamed Ali, The Greatest
"The first part of the film documents how in 1964 Cassius Clay became heavyweight champion of the world. The day after his victory, Clay reveals that he is a Black Muslim. He defies white America, and changes his name to Muhammad Ali. In the second part, Ali fights George Foreman for the championship at an incredible cultural event in Mobutu's Zairë in 1974. Ali reclaims his glory, his crown, and his legend."

O.J.: Made in America
"Examines the rise and fall of Orenthal James Simpson as well as race in America and the role of the media in major events. Tells how O.J. first became a football star, why America fell in love with him off the field, what happened in the trial for his ex-wife's 1994 murder, and finally, why he is now sitting in jail for another crime 20 years later."

Olympic Pride, American Prejudice
"Recounts the triumph and travails of the eighteen African American athletes representing the United States in the 1936 Olympics, who endured racism in Hitler's Berlin as well as back home in the United States."

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."

Priced Out
"...is an investigative and personal look at how skyrocketing housing prices are displacing Portland's black community and reshaping the entire city. The feature-length documentary explores the complexities and contradictions of gentrification and what neighborhood life means after the era of  'The Ghetto'."

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."

Rising from the Rails: The Story of the Pullman Porter
"Chronicles the legacy of the Pullman porters, generations of African American men who served as caretakers to wealthy white passengers on luxury trains that traversed the nation during the golden age of rail."

The Same Difference
"...shines a light on the all-too-often ignored problem of homophobia and gender discrimination within the black lesbian community. Onuorah's fascinating and original documentary examines what happens when lesbians discriminate against each other over violations of the strict code that separates butches from femmes. The film examines how these behaviors reproduce the homophobic oppression and masculine privilege of the straight world, while looking for solutions in compelling discussions with community members."

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."

Spirits of Rebellion: Black Independent Cinema from Los Angeles
"...documents the lives and work of a small critically acclaimed group of black filmmakers and media artists known as the Los Angeles Rebellion, a group brought together through shared experiences as students in the UCLA film production MFA program between 1967 and 1992"

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."