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Videos from the Internet
The following videos can be publicly accessed from any device with Internet connection. The videos relate to various aspects of the evolving history of African Americans.
Billie Holiday "Strange Fruit"
A great example of the famous from the African American community using their celebrity status to speak on issues within and throughout the community. Something that is done today. (see, This is America by Childish Gambino).
A video about a group of football players, fifty years before Kaepernick, who were blackballed, whiteballed as John Carlos stated, when they knelt in protest of African American treatment in the US.
Black Chakra "Pass"
This is a spoken word poem about the African American community's struggle with the NFL and what it is actually doing to the men and boys. There is a continuation from Gil Scott-Heron.
Gil Scott Heron "His Story"
A spoken word treatise about how history teaches identity.
James Baldwin on the Dick Cavett Show
James Baldwin calls out Professor Paul Weiss from Yale about his notions of the "Negro Problem".
John Coltrane "Alabama"
A fantastic example of the creative ways African Americans expressed criticism of America during Jim Crow, when speaking out against the establishment could mean lynching, burning, and/or torture.
KRS-One "Where Them Klan Robes At?
KRS-One talking about the absence of the materials of history that America finds taboo and unsettling, wishing it to be forgotten.
Mamie Till: The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till
The mother of Emmett Till, talking about going to the funeral home to view her son's body for the first time.
Something Good Negro Kiss
A great example of a bit of African American culture that is largely unknown because it doesn't fit within what is considered to be acceptable representation of of the culture.
The Spook that Sat by the Door
A 1973 movie, adapted from a book by Sam Greenlee, that chronicles the revolution that many Black radicals wanted in the 1960s. Greenlee, a former CIA agent, used a lot of his knowledge and expertise to demonstrate how the revolution should be carried out: by utilizing the teachings of the CIA to take down the establishment.
Whitey Lindy Hoppers
A dance number largely considered the best example of Black dance excellence, from the movie Hellzapoppin.
Videos from Cuesta Library
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The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross Series
Written and presented by Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., this six-hour series explores 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. Commencing with the origins of slavery in Africa, the series moves through five centuries of remarkable historic events right up to the present -- when America is led by a Black president, yet remains a nation deeply divided by race. By highlighting the tragedies, triumphs and contradictions of the Black experience, the series reveals to viewers that the African-American community has never been a uniform entity. Throughout the course of the series, viewers will see that the road to freedom for Black people in America has not been linear, but more like the course of a river, full of loops and eddies, slowing, and occasionally reversing the current of progress.
Althea Gibson emerged as a most unlikely queen of the highly segregated tennis world of the 1950s. Her roots as a sharecropper's daughter, her family's migration to Harlem, her mentoring from Sugar Ray Robinson, David Dinkins and others, her fame that thrust her unwillingly into the glare of the early Civil Rights movement, all bring the story into a much broader realm of African American history, transcending sports.
Black Lives Matter
In 2013 in Sanford, Florida, vigilante George Zimmerman was found not guilty of the murder of 17-year-old African American Trayvon Martin. As a result, the struggle against police violence flared up under the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter and turned into one of the biggest grassroots movements in the United States. This film interviewed co-founder Patrisse Cullors about the various forms of violence against Black citizens, and why resistance is essential.
This film documents the history of the leading figures, institutions, and events that transformed the American stage in the wake of Civil Rights activism. It includes interviews with Ossie Davis, Amiri Baraka, James Earl Jones, and Ntozake Shange, plus clips from many landmark plays.
Integration Report I
This Prelinger Archives film documents major protests in the struggle for civil rights for African-Americans. Segments focus on sit-ins at drugstore lunch counters in the South; a description of a confrontation between baseball great Jackie Robinson and airport officials enforcing a Jim Crow policy; a major march on Washington in which many white college students took part; and the effort to transfer African-American children into primarily white public schools in New York City. Major civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr., appear in the film. The soundtrack features folksongs and African-American spirituals that helped to inspire protestors at the time, and, as stated in the end credits, a young Maya Angelou is one of the singers.
The Last Poets: Made in Amerikkka
Woven into the roots of hip-hop, slam poetry, and other socially conscious forms of expression is the seminal work of the Last Poets, a confederation of musicians and spoken-word artists who began performing together in 1968. This film documents a 2011 concert and recording session in which the Poets reintroduce some of their best known compositions, displaying as much energy and passion as when they first took on the mantle of Black Power advocacy. Mingling the performance sequences with lyrics splashed across the screen in urban-cool graphics, the program also features a vivid parade of talking-head discussions that take viewers from the group’s origins and the formative experiences of its individual members to the heady atmosphere of today’s hip-hop scene. In the latter, the Last Poets remain dazzlingly relevant. Contains potentially offensive language and mature subject matter associated with artistic expression. Viewer discretion advised.
Mildred Loving and Interracial Marriage
In 1967, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Loving v. Virginia that laws against interracial marriage were unconstitutional. Mildred Loving, a Black woman married to a white man, had been prosecuted under one such Virginia law in 1958 and challenged it in the high court. PBS NewsHour correspondent Jeffrey Brown talks to Bernard Cohen, a longtime friend of the Lovings and one of the lawyers who argued their case before the Supreme Court.
He changed boxing almost as much as he changed the world. Follow Muhammad Ali's rise to international fame, as he transcended his great athletic achievements to become one of the most influential Americans of his time. His once-polarizing figure ultimately became a beloved and honored national hero. Witness key events unfold in Ali's life, including his stunning conversion to Islam and his change of name, his dramatic stand against the Vietnam-era draft, his three-year exile from the ring, his legendary comeback fights, his courageous battle with Parkinson's disease, and his inspirational reemergence on the world stage at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Hear from Ali’s daughters Laila and Maryum Ali, former wife Khalilah Camacho Ali, NFL great Jim Brown, boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard, rappers and actors LL Cool J and Common, boxing promoter Bob Arum, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Lloyd Price, and biographer Thomas Hauser.
The Rosa Parks Story
This scripted narrative follows Rosa Parks' life from the time she was a private school student, to her rise to fame. Part of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Parks fought against discrimination and segregation. But, it was her refusal to relinquish her seat on a bus and subsequent arrest, sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which thrust her into the spotlight. This film features Angela Basset as Rosa Parks and Cicely Tyson as her mother