In the years before the Civil War, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South. Subjected to the cruelty of one malevolent owner (Michael Fassbender), he also finds unexpected kindness from another, as he struggles continually to survive and maintain some of his dignity. Then in the 12th year of the disheartening ordeal, a chance meeting with an abolitionist from Canada changes Solomon's life forever.
In 1946, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), legendary manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, defies major league baseball's notorious color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) to the team. The heroic act puts both Rickey and Robinson in the firing line of the public, the press and other players. Facing open racism from all sides, Robinson demonstrates true courage and admirable restraint by not reacting in kind and lets his undeniable talent silence the critics for him.
Three short stories from acclaimed African-American authors are brought to life: Richard Wright's "Long Black Song," Maya Angelou's "The Reunion" and John Henrik Clarke's "The Boy Who Painted Christ Black."
This documentary follows a group of 12-year-old boys from the most violent ghettos of Baltimore to the Baraka School, an experimental boarding school in rural Kenya, where children live by strict guidelines, yet are given the freedom to grow.
A White House butler serves eight American presidents over three decades. The film follows changes in American society during this time, from the civil rights movement to past the Vietnam War, and how those changes affected this man's life and family.
Call Number: SFCC Documentary DVD: 364.1532 CENTRAL 2013
Chronicles America's complicated perceptions of race and crime through the story of the "Central Park 5"--A group of minority teenagers wrongfully convicted and jailed for brutally raping a white woman in New York.
An uneducated African American woman living in the rural American south who was raped by her father, deprived of the children she bore him and forced to marry a brutal man she calls "Mister" is transformed by the friendship of two remarkable women, acquiring self-worth and the strength to forgive (Motion picture : 1997).
A languid look at the Gullah culture of the sea islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia where African folk-ways were maintained well into the 20th Century and was one of the last bastion of these mores in America. Set in 1902. (Motion picture : 1991).
It's the hottest day of the year in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. Tensions are growing, with the only local businesses being a Korean grocery and Sal's Pizzeria. Mookie is Sal's delivery boy. Radio Raheem has the letters of love and hate written on his hands. He is defiant and together with a motivated Buggin Out, push Sal and his sons to their breaking point. The cops intervene, using force and brutality to apprehend the large Radio Raheem. He is unwilling to succumb to the over-excessive brutality of the police and the racist views of Sal and his family. The overzealous police officers don't understand the repercussions of the violence they just unleashed. The neighbors band together to protest this extreme form of pure, toxic bigotry. Mob mentality takes over and the other local non-African American store owners become threatened. Tempers flare and rage is in the air.
When a bomb tears through the basement of a black Baptist church on a peaceful fall morning in 1963, it takes the lives of four young girls. This racially motivated crime, taking place at a time when the civil rights movement is burning with a new flame, could have doused that flame forever. Instead it fuels a nation's outrage and brings Birmingham, Alabama to the forefront of America's concern.
Two idealistic young Bostonians who lead the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, America's first Black regiment in the US Civil War. Glory meticulously depicts the terrible conditions under which these neglected soldiers fought (Motion picture : 1989).
When a lawyer's car breaks down in a dangerous Los Angeles neighborhood, a tow-truck driver arrives just in time to save his life. The two men begin a deep friendship that sets off a chain of unsettling and surprising events involviing their families and friends for years to come.
Melvin B. Tolson is a professor at Wiley College, a small African-American college, in Texas. In 1935, Tolson inspired students to form the school's first debate team. Tolson turns a group of underdog students into a historically elite debate team which goes on to challenge Harvard in the national championship. Inspired by a true story (Motion picture : 2007).
Crusading newspaper publisher Matt Drayton's liberal principles are put to the test when his daughter, Joey, announces her engagement to John Prentice, an internationally renowned African-American physician. While Matt's wife, Christina, readily accepts Joey's decision, Matt intends to withhold his consent, forgetting that when it comes to matters of the heart, true love is colorblind (Motion picture : 1967).
In 1960s Mississippi, Skeeter, a southern society girl, returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends' lives, and a small Mississippi town, upside down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their lives taking care of prominent southern families. Aibileen, Skeeter's best friend's housekeeper, is the first to open up, to the dismay of her friends in the tight-knit black community. (Motion picture : 2011)
In the 1940s South, a young African-American man is wrongly accused of killing a white store owner and is sentenced to be executed. A local African-American school teacher, whose education is being underutilized, finds his own purpose in helping the young man bring meaning to his life. In teaching one person to die with dignity, he redeems himself. (TV movie : 1999).
Call Number: SFCC Documentary DVD: 974.8044 LET THE 2014
Comprised of found footage and sound bites, Let the fire burn describes the conflict between the Black Power group MOVE and the people and city government of Philadelphia, culminating in the armed standoff of May 13, 1985, in which one police officer and eleven MOVE members were killed, ending when Philadelphia police dropped a bomb on the row house that served as MOVE headquarters.
In 1987, obese, illiterate, black 16-year-old Claireece 'Precious' Jones lives in Harlem with her dysfunctional family from whom she suffers constant physical, mental and sexual abuse. After getting pregnant by her father for the second time, her principal arranges to have her attend an alternative school where her new teacher helps Precious learn to read. She also meets a social worker who discovers the abuse and incest that Precious has had to endure.
The 1961 motion picture film of the award-winning play about a struggling black family living on Chicago's South Side and the impact of an unexpected insurance bequest. Each family member sees the bequest as the means of realizing dreams and of escape from grinding frustrations. Based on the stage play by Lorraine Hansberry.
The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s. (Motion picture : 2004).
The 200 year history and evolution of gospel through its many musical styles: the spirituals and early hymns, the four-part harmony-based quartets, the integration of blues and swing, the emergence of soul, and the blending of rap and hip-hop elements, walking in step with the history of African-American culture.
Follows several generations in the lives of a slave family. The saga begins with Kunta Kinte, a West African youth captured by slave raiders and shipped to America in the 1700s. The family is depicted up until the Civil War, when Kunte Kinte's grandson gains his emancipation (TV mini series : 1977).
This film reenacts the horrific 1923 racist lynch mob attack on an African American community in Florida, burning it to the ground. Some residents escaped and survived because of the courage and compassion of a few extraordinary people. (Motion picture : 1997).
Sunday dinner at Mother Joe's is a mouth-watering, 40-year tradition. As seen through the eyes of her grandson Ahmad, love and laughs are always on the menu, despite the usual rivalries simmering between his mom Maxine and her sisters Teri and Bird. But when serious bickering starts to tear the family apart, the good times suddenly stop. Now it's up to Ahmad to get everyone back together and teach them the true meaning of soul food.
The struggle of America's first African American fighter pilots is explored as narrator Ossie Davis tells the inspiring tale of the brave Tuskegee Airmen and the bold steps they took to prove they had the skills and abilities to take to the skies and defend their nation. The year was 1941 and the world was at war. As the U.S. military embarks on a historical experiment to see if African Americans had the intellectual and physical capacities to maneuver an aircraft in the heat of combat, a select group of African American subjects traveled into the segregated south to follow their dreams of becoming America's first black fighter pilots, and show the people who didn't think it was possible that they had what it takes to get the job done. The struggle that ensued was monumental.
In a racially divided Alabama town in the 1930s, widowed lawyer Atticus Finch agrees to defend a young black man accused of raping a white woman, teaching his children valuable lessons about prejudice and empathy (Motion picture : 1962).
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