Copyright 1995 ABC-CLIO. This review was taken from the ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries on CD-ROM, a 5-year compilation of over 8900 video titles and reviews, 1990-1994. For information regarding order VRGL CD-ROM, contact: ABC-CLIO, P.O. Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911; 805-968-1911

This following text has been included in the UCB Media Resources Center Web site with the kind permission of the publishers.

And Still I Rise

  • Rating: *****
  • Audience: High School to Adult
  • Price: Public performance: $295.00
  • Date: Copyright 1993. Released 1993.
  • Descriptors: Stereotypes. Blacks - Women. Motion pictures. Women - in motion pictures.
  • Production Information: Live action. Directed by Ngozi Onwurah. Color. Also available in 16 mm. 30 min.
  • Production Company: Nonaligned Productions
  • Available from: Women Make Movies 462 Broadway, 5th Floor New York, NY 10013 (212)925-0606
  • Cataloging: 305.896'073 Afro-American women|| Stereotype (Psychology)||Documentary films
  • Print Entry #: 5:82
  • Reviewer: Judith Gray

    A comprehensive look at the origins and continuing bases for the stereotypical images of African-American women, this video focuses on the myths regarding black sexuality and contemporary black women's reaction to these myths.

    The stereotypical view of African-American women as sex objects is explored through the historical roots of the slavery of African people by Europeans. Various other factors, including the Victorian method of evaluating people through "scientific classification" and the role of films in promulgating the view of black women as either sex objects or mammies, are cited. Culture is stressed as a major reason black women feel more at ease with their bodies, and therefore are more likely to express their feelings through bodily movement. Envy and fear on the part of whites are also raised as elements in the continuing stereotype.

    This visually imaginative and captivating video uses a variety of techniques including intercut interviews, documentary film clips, and live action. The interviewed women come from a wide variety of backgrounds: author, social anthropologist, legal advisor, film critic, and actress. The narration is a seamless flow from person to person, building an enthralling audio impression of women who feel strongly on the topic. Music and poetry add to the overall effect.

    This is a powerful video to combat the negative myths and stereotypes that still affect women of all kinds, especially black women. Recommended for college and public libraries. College classes in women's studies and African studies, as well as film studies and advertising, will find it thought-provoking and insightful, and it's an essential purchase for African-American studies collections. Teachers of high school students should preview before showing it to classes; it's not for the immature viewer. However, the final few minutes is a masterful recitation of Maya Angelou's poem "And Still I Rise," and that portion can effectively be used in high school literature classes.

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