African and African American Studies Film List

Last Updated: 12/06/16

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NOTE:  List below is out-of-date.  Updating is in progress.  Use printable version above.






12 Years a Slave DVD 134 min. Solomon Northup, a free black man in 1840s  is shanghaied by a pair of nefarious white men, and soon finds himself on a ship headed to New Orleans where he is informed he will be called Platt and is sold into slavery by an unscrupulous businessman. 2013
500 Hundred Years Later DVD 116 min The authentic retrospective voice, told from the African vantage point of those whom history has sought to silence. 2007
Africa (National Geographic Series) DVD 540 min
(Eight episodes: 60 min each)
Series presents Africa through the eyes of its people, conveying the diversity and beauty of the land and the compelling personal stories.  2001
Africa Dreaming DVD 104 min This series is comprised of four dramatic shorts on the broad theme of “love in Africa. 1997
African Presence in Mexico: From Yanga to Present 2 DVD Set   The project provides an opportunity for African-Americans and Mexicans to embrace a common cultural past. 2006
Africans in America VHS 360 min
(Four episodes: 90 min each)
Interviews with historians with re-creations of important events, and beautiful photography create a story of more than 400 years of tragedy. 1998
Afro-Cuba: Yesterday and Today DVD 72 min Two exciting, colorful films spotlight the African roots of Cuba s culture by focusing on two legendary artists in this unique box set. 2005
Against the Odds: The Artists of the Harlem Renaissance DVD 60 min Documentary tells how Black artists triumphed over the prejudice and segregation that kept their work out of mainstream galleries and exhibitions. 1994
All About Darfur DVD 82 min Documentary showing how racial fault lines have become the dividing boundaries between groups battling for scarce economic resources. 2005
Alex Haley DVD 50 min The transformation of a college dropout into one of America's most powerful writers. Alex Haley 1992


American Experiences: The Abolitionists

DVD 180 min. The abolitionists tore the nation apart in order to create a more perfect union. Men and women, black and white, Northerners and Southerners, poor and wealthy--these passionate anti-slavery activists fought body and soul in the most important civil rights crusade in American history. What began as a pacifist movement fueled by persuasion and prayer became a fiery and furious struggle that forever changed the nation. 2013
Amistad DVD 155 min A slave ship traveling from Cuba to the US in 1839 carrying a cargo of Africans who have been sold into slavery in Cuba. 1997
Aristide and the Endless Revolution DVD 82 min Detailed account of the United States' removal of Haiti's democratically elected president, Aristide. 2005
Asante: The Kingdom of Gold DVD 30 min The Asante nation was carved out of gold.  The Golden Stool unites the people.  Their history and culture is unique and lives on to date.  2007
Berlin 1885: The Division of Africa DVD 84 min Using transcripts, unexplored archival materials, and combines reenactments this documentary discuss the politics, implications and legacy of the first international conference on Africa. 2010
Black American Experience: Famous Writers Chester Himes and Ralph Ellison DVD 40 min

Chester Himes was an acclaimed African-American writer who created a violent and cynical picture of the "Black Experience" in America in his writings.

Ralph Ellison was an African-American writer and essayist, whose only novel "Invisible Man" (1953) gained a wide critical success.

Black Gold DVD 77 min The film traces the tangled trail from the two billion cups of coffee consumed each day back to the coffee farmers who produce the beans. 2006
Blacking Up:  Hip-Hop's Remix of Race and Identity DVD

57 min (two copies)

This ambitious and hard-hitting documentary looks at the popularity of hip-hop among America’s white youth. 2010
Blacks and Jews DVD 85 min A film made collaboratively by Jewish and Black filmmakers, try to heal the misunderstanding and mistrust between Blacks and Jews. 1997
Boycott DVD 112 min Made-for-TV movie that dramatizes the events of the Montgomery bus boycott, depicting the public and private dramas involved in the protests. 2001
Boyz In The Hood DVD 112 min John Singleton's portrayal of social problems in inner-city Los Angeles takes the form of a tale of three friends growing up together "in the 'hood. 1991
Community Voices: Exploring Cross-Cultural Care Through Cancer DVD 69 min This feature uses cancer to explore the ways that differences in culture, race and ethnicity affect health and the delivery of health-care services. 2001
Cracking the Code: The System of Racial Inequity DVD 75 min Features moving stories from racial justice leaders. 2012


Discounted Dreams: High Hopes and Harsh Realities at America's Community Colleges

DVD 60 min. Community Colleges represent the fastest growing segment of American higher education; their open admissions, low tuition and flexible scheduling draw students from all walks of life. They are the gateway to the American dream for millions. Vital yet flawed. Huge but virtually invisible. Government generally spends five times as much on prison inmates as it does on community colleges. Resolving these issues is essential for the American future. 2007
Do the Right Thing DVD 120 min It's the hottest day of the summer. You can do nothing, you can do something, or you can...Do the Right Thing.  The controversial story centers around one scorching inner-city day, when racial tensions reach the boiling point in a tough Brooklyn neighborhood. 1989
The Elder Project DVD 130 min "The Elder Project" provides a much-needed tool for professionals who deal with seniors in many different settings. 2010
Everyone's Child DVD 90 min The story of four siblings whose parents both died of AIDS. 1996


Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years 1954-1965 (Season 1)

DVD 360 min.
(3 Discs)
The Emmy Award-winning landmark civil rights series, Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, produced by Blackside, tells the definitive story of the civil rights era from the point of view of the ordinary men and women whose extraordinary actions launched a movement that changed the fabric of American life, and embodied a struggle whose reverberations continue to be felt today. 2009
Ezra DVD 110 min The first film to give an African perspective on the disturbing phenomenon of abducting child soldiers into the continent’s recent civil wars. 2007
February One  

57 min  37 min  (abbrev)

The inspiring story of four young men who initiated the lunch counter sit-ins in Greensboro, North Carolina, on February 1, 1960. 2004
Forgiveness DVD 118 min Our unresolved relation to the past, not about forgetting it but forgiving it, so we can finally let go of it and move on into the future.  2005
Forgotten Fires DVD 57 min Film that goes behind news headlines and examines the historical, economic and social contexts to the church burnings in the 1990s 1999
Free Angela & All Political Prisoners DVD 102 min. This film centered on the struggle of educator and activist Angela Davis, an outspoken UCLA professor whose affiliation with the Communist Party and the Black Panthers landed her on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list 2013
Freedom Riders DVD 120 min A band of college students traveling on a Greyhound bus for the South, managed to bring the president and American face to face with the challenge of correcting civil-rights inequalities. 2011
Fruitvale Station DVD 85 min. Fruitvale Station is about the tragic shooting of Oscar Grant, a vibrant 22-year-old Bay Area father who was senselessly gunned down by BART officers on New Year's Day in 2009. 2013

Genocide & Resistance in Africa and the Diaspora:  “A Campaign for Life:  Struggle Against Anti-Black Genocide in Brazil”. Christen Smith Keynote Speech

DVD   Keynote speaker Dr. Christen Smith from the University of Austin delivers a powerful speech about genocidal institutions and social systems within Brazil.  
Ghosts of Rwanda DVD 120 min This film offers firsthand accounts of the genocide (a state-sponsored massacre in which 800,000 Rwandans were murdered by Hutu extremists). 2004
Glory DVD 124 min About the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, an all-Black unit comprised of Northern freemen and escaped slaves. 1989
'Goin' to Chicago DVD 71 min Recount of the development of segregated urban northern neighborhoods through personal stories of Chicagoans born in the Mississippi Delta. 1994
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner DVD 85 min. A film that contains a (then rare) positive representation of the controversial subject of interracial marriage, which historically had been illegal in most states of the United States, and still was illegal in 17 states at the time. 1967
Have You Heard from Johannesburg DVD 89 min Apartheid shows how a nation-wide campaign of civil disobedience, campus protest and legislative action, spearheaded by African-American leaders. 2007
Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness DVD 57 min A film on the life and career of Melville J. Herskovits (1895–1963), the pioneering American anthropologist of African Studies . 2009
Hidden Colors #1: The Untold History of People of Aboriginal, Moor, and African Descent DVD 109 min This film discusses some of the reasons the contributions of African and aboriginal people have been left out of the pages of history. 2011
Hidden Colors #2: The Triumph of Melanin DVD 150 min The follow-up to the critically acclaimed 2011 documentary about the untold history of people of African and aboriginal descent. 2012
The House I Live In DVD 109 min. This documentary explores the risks that prohibition poses to freedom, and the tragedy of addicts being treated as criminals.  2012
Hoxie: The First Stand DVD 56 min Hoxie sparked the first deployment of federal agents in support of integration and the first court order overturning state segregation laws. 2003
ICYIZERE:hope DVD 55 min A documentary about a reconciliation workshop in Rwanda that brings together 10 survivors and 10 perpetrators of the 1994 genocide. 2009
The Intolerable Burden DVD 56 min One family's commitment to obtaining a quality education in context, by examining the conditions of segregation prior to 1965. 2003
The Language You Cry In DVD 52 min Scholarly detective story that searches for—and finds—meaningful links between African-Americans and their ancestral past. 1998


Life and Times of Sara Baartman: The Hottentot Venus

DVD 52 min. THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SARA BAARTMAN is the fascinating story of this Khoi Khoi woman who was taken from South Africa, and then exhibited as a freak across Britain. The image and idea of "The Hottentot Venus" swept through British popular culture. A court battle waged by abolitionists to free her from her exhibitors failed.

In 1814 she was taken to France, and became the object of scientific and medical research that formed the bedrock of European ideas about black female sexuality. She died the next year. But even after her death, Sara Baartman remained an object of imperialist scientific investigation. In the name of Science, her sexual organs and brain were displayed in the Musee de l'Homme in Paris until as recently as 1985.

The Losts Boys of Sudan DVD 87 min Documentary that follows two Sudanese refugees on an extraordinary journey from Africa to America. 2003
The Loving Story DVD 77 min A racially charged criminal trial and a heart-rending love story about Richard and Mildred Loving, set during the turbulent Civil Rights era. 2001
Malcolm X DVD 201 min Biography, directed by Spike Lee, of Malcolm X, the famous African-American leader. 1992
Mandingo DVD 127 min A shocking look at plantation life in the Deep South. Mandingo plays out its savage and dramatic story. 1975
The Massachusetts 54th Colored Infantry DVD 56 min Documentary on the formation and battlefield heroics of the first all-Black Union regiment, the Massachusetts 54th Colored Infantry. 1991
Motherland DVD 124 min Documentary with a distinctive African voice. Fusing history, culture, politics, and contemporary issues. 2010
Mumia - Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey with Mumia Abu-Jamal DVD 120 min. This documentary is an inspiring portrait of a man whom many consider America's most famous political prisoner - a man whose existence tests our beliefs about freedom of expression. 2013
The Neo-African-Americans DVD 63 min This documentary how rapid, voluntary emigration from Africa and the Caribbean is transforming the "African-American" narrative. 2008
New Jack City DVD 101 min An unflinching, socially conscious look at the rise and fall of a powerful New York drug lord and a doomed crack addict. 1991
Of Ebony Embers: Vignettes of the Harlem Renaissance DVD 9 min A celebration of the lives of the African-American poets, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen and Claude McKay through the eyes Aaron Douglas.  
A Place at the Table DVD 84 min. "A Place at the Table" take us into the lives of three people who wage a daily struggle against hunger, and speak with various experts about the possibility of ensuring that every American is well fed. 2012


A Place Out of Time: The Bordentown School

DVD 57 min. The little-known story of the last all black, publicly funded, co-educational boarding school North of the Mason-Dixon Line. In a segregated society, The Bordentown School was an educational utopia and cultural oasis for black citizens in the Northeast and beyond. Forced to close in 1955 after the Brown v. Board of Education decision, the story of Bordentown is also the story of black education in America, across three centuries. 2010


The Powerbroker: Whitney Young's Fight for Civil Rights

DVD 60 min. The Powerbroker tells the story of Whitney Young, who biographer Nancy Weiss Malkiel called 'the inside man of the black revolution.' By challenging America's business and political communities directly, Young was able to make in-roads where other civil rights leader could not. The Powerbroker chronicles the public and private trials of a man navigating a divided society in an explosive time. 2013


Prince Among Slaves

DVD 60 min. In 1788, the slave ship Africa set sail towards America, with precious cargo: hundreds of men, women, and children. Eight months later, a handful of survivors were for sale in Mississippi. One of them, 26-year-old Abdul Rahman, made an amazing claim: he was a prince of an African kingdom. Prince Among Slaves is the true story of an African Prince, who endured the humiliation of slavery without ever losing his dignity or hope for freedom. 2007
Quilombo DVD 114 min Palmares, a 17th-century quilombo, a settlement of escaped slaves in northeast Brazil. In 1650,  slaves revolted and headed for the mountains where they found the aged seer, Acotirene. 1984
Rabbit-Proof Fence DVD 93 min A young black Australian girl who leads her younger sister and cousin in an escape from an official government camp. 2011
Race 2012 DVD 60 min "Race 2012" uses the current presidential election as a lens through which to view America's racial landscape. 2012
The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow DVD Four episodes
(56 min each)
The first comprehensive look at race relations in America from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement. 2002
Roots DVD Six epidodes A saga of African-American life, based on author Alex Haley's family history. 1977
Rosewood DVD 142 min In 1922 in the nearly all-Black town of Rosewood, Florida, an estimated 40 to 150 Blacks were killed by an all-white lynch mob from Sumner. 1997
Scottsboro: An American Tragedy DVD 90 min In 1931, two white women make a shocking accusation: they had been raped by nine Black teenagers on the train. 2001
Shake Hands with the Devil:  The Journey of Roméo Dallaire DVD 91 min More than 800,000 people were massacred in Rwanda. Canadian General Roméo Dallaire was charged to head the UN peacekeeping mission. 2005
Son of Africa DVD 28 min The Interesting Narration of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African" was the first influential slave autobiography. 1996
To Sir, with Love DVD 105 min. A novice teacher faces a class of rowdy, undisciplined working-class punks in this classic film that reflected some of the problems and fears of teens in the 60s. 1967
Tour of Elmina Castle, Cape Coast Castle and Other Attractions DVD   A guided video tour of Elmina Castle, Cape Coast Castle, Kakum Canopy Walkway, Ostrich Farm and Hans Crocodile Pond—attractions in Ghana.  
Traces of the Trade:  A Story From the Deep North DVD 86 min
(51 min abridged version)
Katrina Browne uncovers her family's deep involvement in the Triangle Trade and reveals the role slavery played in the American economy. 2008
Two Nations of Black America DVD 60 min Explores the gaping chasm between the upper and lower classes of Black America and probes why it has happened. 1998
Unchained Memories DVD 75 min Readings from the Slave Narratives of black actors and actresses verbally re-creating those who lived under the yoke of slavery. 2003
Underground Railroad DVD 150 min A documentary that unveils the history, heroes, and villains of the abolitionist movement. 1998
Unnatural Causes:  Is Inequality Making Us Sick?" DVD Seven episodes
(One 56-minute episode;
six 26-minute episodes)
"Unnatural Causes" sounds the alarm about the extent of the glaring socio-economic and racial inequities in health and searches for their root causes. 2008
The Untold Story of Emmett Till DVD 70 min The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till" articulates the madness of racism in the South in the 1950s. 2005
W. E. B. Dubois: A Biography in Four Voices DVD 116 min. The long and remarkable life of Dr. William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B) Du Bois (1868-1963) offers unique insights into an eventful century in African American history. 1995
Waiting for Superman DVD 111 min Davis Guggenheim undertakes an exhaustive review of public education, surveying "drop-out factories" and "academic sinkholes," dissecting the system and its seemingly intractable problems. 2010
Why do Scientist Cheat? VHS