FREEDOM RIDERS is the powerful harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever. From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives—and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment—for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders met with bitter racism and mob violence along the way, sorely testing their belief in nonviolent activism.. From award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson (Wounded Knee, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, The Murder of Emmett Till) FREEDOM RIDERS features testimony from a fascinating cast of central characters: the Riders themselves, state and federal government officials, and journalists who witnessed the Rides firsthand. The two-hour documentary is based on Raymond Arsenault's book Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice.
The series begins at a turning point in American history: the Selma marches and Watts riots that marked a new phase in the black struggle. Gates explores the rising call for Black Power, redefining American culture, politics, and society.
In the turbulent 1960s, change was coming to America and the fault lines could no longer be ignored -- cities were burning, Vietnam was exploding, and disputes raged over equality and civil rights. A new revolutionary culture was emerging and it sought to drastically transform the system. The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense would, for a short time, put itself at the vanguard of that change. The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution is the first feature-length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for black people, and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails. Master documentarian Stanley Nelson goes straight to the source, weaving a treasure trove of rare archival footage with the diverse group of voices of the people who were there: police, FBI informants, journalists, white supporters and detractors, and Black Panthers who remained loyal to the party and those who left it.
During the rise of The Black Power Movement in the '60s and '70s, Swedish television journalists documented the unfolding cultural revolution for their audience back home, having been granted unprecedented access to prominent leaders such as Angela Davis, Stokely Carmichael, and Black Panther Party founders Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. Now, after more than 30 years in storage, this rarely seen footage spanning nearly a decade of Black Power is finally available. Director Göran Hugo Olsson presents this mixtape, highlighting key figures and events in the movement, as seen in a light completely different from the narrative of the American media at the time. Talib Kweli, Erykah Badu, Abiodun Oyewole, John Forte, and Robin Kelley are among the many important voices providing commentary, adding modern perspective to this essential time capsule of African-American history.
Dolores Huerta is among the most important, yet least known, activists in American history. An equal partner in co-founding the first farm workers unions with Cesar Chavez, her enormous contributions have gone largely unrecognized. Dolores tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice alongside Chavez, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the twentieth century--and she continues the fight to this day, at 87. With intimate and unprecedented access to this intensely private mother to eleven, the film reveals the raw, personal stakes involved in committing one's life to social change.
This film is about an inspiring young man whose story is exceptional, although not unique. When Moises Serrano was just a baby, his parents risked everything to flee Mexico in search of the American dream. Forbidden to live and love as an undocumented gay man in the country he calls home, Serrano saw only one option: to fight for justice. Serrano is like the thousands of other young people growing up in the United States with steadfast dreams but all the cards stacked against them. The film chronicles Serrano’s work as an activist traveling across his home state of North Carolina as a voice for his community, all while trying to forge a path for his own future. In the fall of 2016, presidential candidate Donald Trump is preaching damaging rhetoric towards immigrants and in North Carolina progress is unraveling as discriminatory laws continue to oppress the LGBTQ community. FORBIDDEN humanizes the issues and demonstrates how a loving family has the power to defeat prejudice. This is a story about love conquering hate.
An Oscar-nominated documentary narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO explores the continued peril America faces from institutionalized racism. In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, Remember This House. The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends--Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin's death in 1987, he left behind only thirty completed pages of his manuscript. Now, in his incendiary new documentary, master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin's original words and flood of rich archival material. I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of these three leaders, Baldwin and Peck have produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for.
Precious Knowledge reports from the frontlines of one of the most contentious battles in public education in recent memory, the fight over Mexican American studies programs in Arizona public schools. The film interweaves the stories of several students enrolled in the Mexican American Studies Program at Tucson High School with interviews with teachers, parents, school officials, and the lawmakers who wish to outlaw the classes. While 48 percent of Mexican American students currently drop out of high school, Tucson High's Mexican American Studies Program has become a national model of educational success, with 93 percent of enrolled students, on average, graduating from high school and 85 percent going on to attend college. The filmmakers spent an entire year in the classroom filming this innovative curriculum, documenting the transformative impact on students who became engaged, informed, and active in their communities. As the nation turns its focus toward a wave of anti-immigration legislation in Arizona, the issue of ethnic chauvinism becomes a double-edged weapon in a simmering battle making front page news coast to coast. When Arizona lawmakers pass a bill giving unilateral power to the State Superintendent to abolish ethnic studies classes, teachers and student leaders fight to save the program using texts, Facebook, optimism, and a megaphone. Lawmakers and politicians respond with a public relations campaign to discredit the students, claiming that a textbook used in the classes, Paulo Freire's The Pedagogy of the Oppressed teaches victimization and sedition. Officials ask that the classroom's Che Guevara posters be replaced with portraits of founding father Benjamin Franklin. Meanwhile, the students answer back by fighting for what they believe is the future of public education for the entire nation, especially as the Latino demographic continues to grow.
The division of the world's peoples into distinct groups - "red," "black," "white" or "yellow" peoples - has became so deeply imbedded in our psyches, so widely accepted, many would promptly dismiss as crazy any suggestion of its falsity. Yet, that's exactly what this provocative, new three-hour series by California Newsreel claims. Race - The Power of an Illusion questions the very idea of race as biology, suggesting that a belief in race is no more sound than believing that the sun revolves around the earth. Yet race still matters. Just because race doesn't exist in biology doesn't mean it isn't very real, helping shape life chances and opportunities. By asking, What is this thing called 'race'?, a question so basic it is rarely asked, Race-- the power of an Illusion helps set the terms that any further discussion of race must first take into account. Ideal for human biology, anthropology, sociology, American history, American studies, and cultural studies.
What are the connections between healthy bodies, healthy bank accounts and skin colour? Our opening episode travels to Louisville, Kentucky, not to explore whether medical care cures us but to see why we get sick in the first place, and why patterns of health and illness reflect underlying patterns of class and racial inequities. The lives of a CEO, a lab supervisor, a janitor, and an unemployed mother illustrate how class shapes opportunities for good health. Those on the top have the most access to power, resources and opportunity and thus the best health. Those on the bottom are faced with more stressors unpaid bills, jobs that don't pay enough, unsafe living conditions, exposure to environmental hazards, lack of control over work and schedule, worries over children and the fewest resources available to help them cope. The net effect is a health-wealth gradient, in which every descending rung of the socioeconomic ladder corresponds to worse health. And it's not just the poorest among us who are suffering, but the middle classes too. Louisville Metro Public Health Department data maps reveal 5- and 10-year gaps in life expectancy between the city's rich, middle and working-class neighborhoods. We also see how racial inequality imposes an additional burden on people of colour. But how do racism and class get under the skin?...
...Experiments with monkeys and humans shed light on chronic stress as one culprit. Like gunning the engine of a car, constant activation of the stress response wears down the body's system, resulting in higher rates of disease and early death. Compared to other countries, the U.S. has the greatest income inequality and the worst health. Today, the top one percent of Americans owns more wealth than the bottom 90% combined. Economic inequality is greater than at any time since the 1920s. One out of every 5 children in the U.S. lives in poverty (21%) compared with approximately 4% of Sweden. Social spending makes up most of the difference: in Sweden, social spending reduces child poverty by 70%, while in the U.S. it reduces child poverty only 5%, down from 26%. Solutions being pursued in Louisville and elsewhere focus not on more pills but on more equitable social policies. Louisville's new Center for Health Equity is the first of its kind: a collaboration between community members, local government, private business and health care organizations focusing on the social conditions that underlie our opportunities for health and wellbeing.
White Wash, the documentary, is a film exploring the complexity of race in America through the struggle and triumph of black surfers. The story is narrated by Grammy Award winner Ben Harper with Tariq "Blackthought" Trotter of the Roots and told through the eyes of black surfers from Hawaii, Jamaica, Florida, and California. This controversial and probing film looks deep into America's painful and pervasive legacy of slavery and exclusion. From surfing's "discovery" by Captain James Cook in Hawaii in 1778 through the explosion of surf culture during the days of segregated Jim Crow America in1960's, this film explores the myths that black surfers have overcome in their search for waves. White Wash is a story of transcendence in the face of aggression and a glimpse into the American psyche. From the shores of California, Hawaii, Mexico, and Puerto Rico to the basketball courts of New York City, through the cotton fields of the Mississippi Delta up to the ivory towers of Texas and back into the swimming pools of Florida, White Wash is a historical exploration of race, identity, and the myths we live by and that ultimately unite us all.