British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Black History: From Civil War Through Today

The Civil War - A vivid dramatization of the war which shaped the social landscape for black Americans for centuries to come.
The Plantation System - A stark portrayal of plantation life in comparison to life for the black American in the 1950s.
To Do Battle In The Land - Narrated by Ossie Davis, this documentary examines the truth behind the legendary John Brown, whom some call a hero and others call a criminal.
Fredrick Douglass: An American Life - Told through a series of flashbacks, the life of Frederick Douglas unfolds from his slavery & escape, to his political and social successes.
Fighter For Freedom: The Fredrick Douglass Story - Historical photos & re-enactments bring history to life, telling the remarkable journey of slave turned statesman.
Booker T. Washington: The Life and Legacy - Historical recreations & photographs highlight the achievements in the life of one America’s most influential black politicians.
What’s A Heaven For? - An artfully depicted montage of Booker T. Washington’s life and his impact on America’s socio-political landscape.
The Maggie Lena Walker Story - Learn about America’s first woman banker, black financier & newspaper publisher Maggie Walker, a leader in the black community.
The African Burial Ground: An American Discovery - Explore the background & implications of gravesites discovered during construction of the Foley Square Courthouse, told in four parts: The Search, A History, Politics and People, and An Open Window
Bonus Feature: "Destination Freedom" Radio Episode

Black Wings: The American Black In Aviation - Witness aviation history with some of finest American pilots today, including the Flying Hobos, WWI SPAD fighters, and Bessie Coleman.
Benjamin O. Davis, Jr : American - A fascinating look at the West Point graduate and lead pilot of the famous Tuskegee Airmen of W W II.
Tuskegee Airman Tribute - An historical review of the famous squadron featuring testimonials from Lt. Gen. B.O. Davis, Gen. Chappie James, B. Gen. Noel Parrish and more.
Henry Browne, Farmer - Produced by the US Department of Agriculture, this vintage documentary portrays the significant contributions made by the average black farmer during WWII.
The Negro Soldier - Directed by Frank Capra, a documentary which examines the important roles blacks have played in America’s defense.
The Negro Sailor
African Americans In WWII - A special tribute to African Americans who served during WWII, featuring a collection of archival footage & present-day interviews with notable black veterans from all military branches. Features a message from former General Colin Powell and President Clinton.
Bonus Feature: Black History Quiz

We Work Again - A short documentary that examines the effects of FDR’s New Deal & the WPA on black Americans.
Negro Colleges In Wartime - Produced by the U. S. Office of War Information, highlighting the advances in college education for black Americans, in such domains as science, industry, medicine, and more.
Longines-Wittenauer Interviews: Adam Clayton Powel - An interview with the first African American to become a powerful figure in the US Congress.
Palmour Street - Narrated by the Rev. William Holmes & produced in collaboration with The Georgia Department of Public Health, this documentary looks at the social conditions in one black community.
What About Prejudice - An introspective piece told through the eyes of a minority schoolboy & the challenges he meets daily as a consequence of his color.
Integration Report - Madeline Anderson’s landmark documentary, featuring footage of demonstrations, marches, sit-ins & clips of Martin Luther King and Maya Angelou.
Poverty In Rural America - Depicts the challenges & obstacles faced by black Americans in rural communities.
Malcolm X: Nationalist Or Humanist - Newsreel footage of his most important speeches, as well as events leading up to and following his assassination.
Roy Wilkins: The Right To Dignity - Narrated by Sidney Poitier, featuring highlights of the career of one of America’s most influential civil rights activists.
Teddy - Told from the perspective of a young black man as he comes to terms with issues facing him and his community.
Bonus Feature: Famous Speeches

Paul Robeson: The Tallest Tree In The Forest - The life of actor, activist & singer Paul Robeson, whose controversial politics left a lasting impact on African-American society.
The History Of The Negro In America - An important three-part series including Out of Slavery, Civil War and Reconstruction, and 1877 to Today.
Bonus Feature: Stamp Gallery

Scott Joplin - A special look at America’s most beloved and influential composer of ragtime music.
W.C. Handy - This documentary film recaps the life and times of legendary Blues composer and musician W.C. Handy, known as the Father of the Blues.
Harlem Renaissance - Examines the flowering of African American literature, art, and drama during the 1920s and 1930s.
Paul Laurence Dunbar: America’s First Black Poet - A film biography about the first black American to become a nationally recognized poet, featuring readings of his best works & punctuated with dramatizations, pictures and African art.
John Outerbridge: Black Artist
Lou Stovall - The renowned silkscreen artist hosts a tour of his Washington DC studio & explains the nuances of his craft.
Larry Lebby And Stone Lithography (- A master lithographer discusses his medium & its suitability for voicing to the black experience.
Contemporary Visual Expression - The work of four black artists - Sam Gilliam, Martha Jackson-Jarvis, Keith Morrison & William T. Williams
Bonus Feature: TV Segments - History of Jazz

Olympic Highlights - Historic footage from the Berlin Olympics featuring Jesse Owens’ remarkable performance, 1936.
Jesse Owens - This biography tells the life story of one of the greatest track & field athletes of all time.
The Brown Bomber - The life and times of legendary boxer Joe Louis.
The Negro In Sports - A documentary film highlighting the careers of such world-class athletes as Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson & Joe Louis.
From Dreams To Reality: A Tribute To Minority Inventors - A tribute to those inventors whose innovations in science, technology, and medicine have made a lasting impact not only in the black community but in society as a whole.
Jon Matzeliger - Innovator & manufacturing mogul Jon Matzeliger invented a piece of technology that changed production lines across the country forever.
Bonus Feature: Live Radio Broadcast with Jackie Robinson
United States
Year of release
Year of production
Social Studies; History
civil rights movements; cultural diversity; equality of opportunity; literature - American; music - American; racial identity; slavery; United States of America; racial equality; black Americans; Owens, Jesse; black sportspeople; black scientists

Distribution Formats

Region 2 PAL
1080 minutes



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