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Diverse Voices

Black Voices On-Screen

Learn more about racial injustice and the Black experience by watching these films.

 

Just Mercy, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton ; written by Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham

A powerful and thought-provoking true story follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his history-making battle for justice. After graduating from Harvard, Bryan had his pick of lucrative jobs. Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or who were not afforded proper representation, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley. One of his first and most incendiary cases is that of Walter McMillian.

 

 

I Am Not Your Negro, written by James Baldwin ; directed by Raoul Peck

Master documentary 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 a flood of rich archival material. A journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter.

 

 

 

Whose Streets? directed by Sabaah Folayan ; co-director Damon Davis

Told by the activists and leaders who live and breathe this movement for justice, Whose Streets? is an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising. When unarmed teenager Michael Brown is killed by police and left lying in the street for hours, it marks a breaking point for the residents of St. Louis, Missouri. Grief, long-standing racial tensions and renewed anger bring residents together to hold vigil and protest this latest tragedy. Empowered parents, artists, and teachers from around the country come together as freedom fighters. As the national guard descends on Ferguson with military grade weaponry, these young community members become the torchbearers of a new resistance.

 

Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise, written by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. ; directors, Leslie Asako Gladsjo, Talleah Bridges McMahon, Sabin Streeter and Leah Williams

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. embarks on a deeply personal journey through the last fifty years of African American history. Joined by leading scholars, celebrities, and a dynamic cast of people who shaped these years, Gates travels from the victories of the civil rights movement up to today, asking profound questions about the state of black America, and our nation as a whole.

 

 

Do the Right Thing, a Spike Lee joint ; produced, written and directed by Spike Lee

The hottest day of the year explodes onscreen in this vibrant look at a day in the life of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. A portrait of urban racial tensions sparked controversy while earning popular and critical praise.

 

 

 

 

Selma, directed by Ava Duvernay

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s historical struggle to secure voting rights for all people. A dangerous and terrifying campaign that culminated with an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1964.

 

 

 

 

American Experience: Freedom Riders, written, produced and directed by Stanley Nelson


This inspirational documentary is about a band of courageous civil-rights activists calling themselves the Freedom Riders. Gaining impressive access to influential figures on both sides of the issue, it chronicles a chapter of American history that stands as an astonishing testament to the accomplishment of youth and what can result from the incredible combination of personal conviction and the courage to organize against all odds.

 

Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, creator and executive producer, Henry Hampton ; series writer, Steve Fayer 

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 are felt today.

 

 

 

Dark Girls, directed by Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry

Examines the cultural phenomenon of "colorism," the prejudice or discrimination based on the relative darkness or lightness of skin generally within one's own ethnic or racial group, specifically as it pertains to women and girls of color in America and other parts of the world.

 

 

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