African Diaspora












African American Studies
Africa
Caribbean

Abolicao.
An examination of the history of slavery in Brazil and the current racial situation of Black Brazilians on the 100th anniversary of the abolition of slavery. Examines the contemporary political, economic, social and cultural issues faced by Black Brazilians through interviews with musicians, politicians, activists, people in government, ambassadors, social workers, sport stars, actors, street kids, farmers and others. 1988. 61 min. each installment. Dist: ArtMattan. Video/C 5781-5783

Ache Moyuba Orisha: Sabre la Santeria Cubana.
An indepth examination of the Syncretism religion, an amalgum of Catholic symbolism and Yoruban African piety, as it is practiced in Cuba. In Spanish with English subtitles. 199-?. 42 min. Video/C 4286

African American Lives
Host: Henry Louis Gates, Jr.; features Oprah Winfrey, Chris Tucker, Quincy Jones, Sara-Lawrence-Lightfoot, Mae Jemison, T.D. Jakes, Ben Carson, Whoopi Goldberg. Listening to our past / producer and director, Jesse Sweet -- The promise of freedom / producer and director, Leslie Asako Gladsjo -- Searching for our names / producer and director, Leslie D. Farrell -- Beyond the middle passage / producer and director, Graham Judd. Music, Michael Bacon. A compelling combination of storytelling and science, this series uses genealogy, oral histories, family stories and DNA to trace the roots of eight prominent African Americans down through American history and back to Africa. Originally broadcast as a four-part television series in 2006. 240 min. DVD 5172

The African Burial Ground: An American Discovery
Explores the history and archeological excavation of a burial ground for African slaves discovered in lower Manhattan Island, New York, during construction of a Federal office building in the summer of 1991. Relates also the effect of the discovery on understanding the role of Afro-Americans in colonial American life. 1994. 116 min. Video/C 5182

Africans in America
A four part series portraying the struggles of the African people in America, from their arrival in the 1600s to the last days before the Civil War. 1998. 90 min. each installment

Africans in America, Part 1: The Terrible Transformation.This first episode examines the origins of one of the largest forced human migrations in recorded history. After the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia in 1619, the British colonies laid the groundwork for a system of racial slavery, which generated profits that ensured the colonies' growth and survival. DVD 814; Video/C 5838

Africans in America, Part 2: Revolution. In this second episode, while the American colonies challenge Britain for independence, American slavery is challenged from within as men and women fight to define what America will be. When the War of Independence is won, black people, both enslaved and free, seize on the language of freedom even while the new nation's Constitution codifies slavery and oppression as a national way of life. DVD 814; Video/C 5839

Africans in America, Part 3: Brotherly Love. In this third episode, during the first 50 years of the new nation, freedmen and fugitive slaves in Philadelphia push the country to live up to the promises made in its Constitution. But with the invention of the cotton gin, slavery expands into America's western frontier, and a revolution in Haiti inspires slave rebellions throughout the southern United States. DVD 815; Video/C 5840

Africans in America, Part 4: Judgement Day.In this final episode, as the nation expands westward slavery becomes the most divisive issue in American life. Abolitionists struggle to bring the institution down and the nation is tested as never before. When tensions over slavery erupt into violence, Americans are forced to consider how long the country can continue as a democracy built on the profits of bondage. DVD 815; Video/C 5841

PBS web site for Africans in America

Afroargentinos (Afroargentines).
Reveals the hidden history of black people in Argentina and their contributions to Argentine culture and society, from the slaves who fought in the revolutionary wars against Spain, to the contemporary struggles of black Argentines against racism and marginalization. The film provides a counternarrative to the national myth of Argentina's exclusively European heritage. 2002. 75 min. Video/C MM57

Afrocubanismo!
A celebration and study of the influence of Afrocuban culture on contemporary North American music. The program traces the origins of Afro-cuban music from West Africa to Cuba and the subsequent development of this unique music and dance alongside religion. Interviews and performances by Munequitos de Matanzas and Chucho Valdes provide insight to the significance of Afro-Cuban music and dance forms from Rhumba to the sacred music of Santeria. 53 min. Video/C 6043

Aime Cesaire: A Voice for History.

California Newsreel catalog description

The Vigilant Island. Part 1 of a 3 part series on the Martinique author, Aime Cesaire, introduces Cesaire, his wife Suzanne who founded in 1939 the seminal literary review, Tropiques, a journal which influenced Caribbean intellectuals and spawned the Negritude Literary Movement. After WWII, Cesaire served as mayor of Fort-de-France and Martinique's representative in the French National Assembly during the crucial years of decolonization. He discusses the difficulty of balancing the life of a poet with that of a practical politician for over 50 years. 1994. 54 min. DVD 9246; Video/C 4555

Where the Edges of Conquest Meet. Part 2 or this 3 part series moves to Paris in the 1930s where Cesaire, Leopold Senghor, first president of Senegal, and the French Guyanese poet, Leon Damas developed the concept of Negritude, a world wide revindication of African values. After WWII the Negritude movement centered around a French publishing house, Presence Africaine, which attracted the support of progressive French intellectuals including PabloPicasso, Albert Camus and Jean Paul Sartre. 1994. 56min. DVD 9246; Video/C 4556

The Strength to Face Tomorrow.In Part 3 of this 3 part series Cesaire responds to the disappointments of the post-colonial world and expresses his hopes for the future. In the 1960s hisplays were among the first to warn of the dangers of neo-colonialism. French anthropoligist Edgar Morin, biographer Roger Toumson, novelist Maryse Conde and American writer Maya Angelou and others testify to Cesaire's central role as a "founding ancestor" for the current flowering of African Diaspora literature. 1994. 50 min. DVD 9246; Video/C 4557

Aimé Césaire: un nègre fondamental
A biography of the life and work of the African-Martinican francophone poet, author and politician. He was "one of the founders of the nègritude movement in Francophone literature". In French without English subtitles. 2007. 52 min. DVD X4905

Art of Darkness.
The slaves of the Caribbean contributed not only to the wealth of their masters, but also to the cultural heritage of the British Empire. Documented through letters, paintings and poetry, the eighteenth century is shown to be both an age of high culture and of cruelty. Film shows how the art of the period romanticized the servitude of the plantation blacks as they were depicted as precious, exotic ornaments, even as they were being brutalized in real life. 1987. 52 min. DVD X8623

Filmakers Library catalog description

Art of Haiti: The Primitive Painters
Explores Haiti's modern art movement, a fusion of Haiti's African roots, French Colonial past and present day coexistence of voodoo and Catholicism. Juxtaposes scenes of contemporary Haiti with paintings of such artists as Rigaud Renoit, Andre Pierre, and Hector Hippolite. c1983. 26 min. Video/C 6624

Bahia, Africa in the Americas.
Elements of African culture are powerfully expressed in the food, art, dance, and most importantly, the Candomble (Umbanda) religion of the Afro-Brazilian majority of the state of Bahia. 1988. 58 min. Video/C 4360

Baldwin's Nigger
A striking portait of the writer James Baldwin at his sharp-witted best, addressing a group of radical West Indian students in 1960s London. Accompanied by comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory, Baldwin discusses what it means to be black in America, comparing it to the experience of the British Black community. Produced and directed by Horace Ove. 1969. 44 min. DVD 6206

Before Reggae Hit the Town.
Discussion of the roots of reggae and ska in the music and dance of Jamaica's traditional African religion, with scenes of religious ceremonies and sacrifices; also contains scenes of Rastafarians and their music. Filmed and recorded in the parish of St. Ann, Jamaica. c1990. 22 min. Video/C 6187

Black Athena.
Reviews evidence that the culture of ancient Greece had its origins in Africa and the East and that the West should recognize what it owes to Black and Eastern cultures. 1990. 60 min. Video/C 2162

Description from California Newsreel catalog
The Black Athena Debate (web site)
The Black Athena debate (web site)

Black Music of Brazil.
Street tour of Brazil including visits to ghettos of Rio, Samba schools preparing for Carnival and the African-rooted Bahia region. Includes interview with superstar Gilberto Gil, probing the political impact of his music, and performancesand conversation with other Brazilian performers. Finally there's The Capoeira dancers, performers of a unique martial arts dance which originated in Angola. Film surveys many styles of music of the country including Samba, bossa nova and others. 1990. 50 min. DVD 537; also VHS Video/C 3260

Blacks Britannica.
Presents an analysis of racism within the context of British history and the post-war crises of the British economy. Produced by David Koff and Musindo Mwinyipembe. c1978 56 min. DVD 7122 [preservation copy]; VHS Video/C 157

Le Bouillon d'Awara (Awara Soup).
Introduces the viewer to one of the world's most multi-cultural communities, a global village in the backcountry of French Guiana. Mana is a town where 1500 people speak 13 different languages and live together in remarkable harmony. They include descendants of the indigenous Galibi Indians, of Bush negroes who escaped slavery, of mixed race Creoles, of East Indian contract rice laboreres, as well as more recent immigrants such as Hmong farmers from Vietnam, and refugees from Surinam. Film points to an era of increasingly porous borders where more and more of us are immigrants, part of an increasingly diverse, ever-changing cultural stew. Director, Cesar Paes. 1995. 71 min. Video/C 4559

Description from California Newsreel catalog

Brazil: An Inconvenient History
Few realize that Brazil was actually the largest participant in the slave trade in the New World. Forty percent of all slaves that survived the Atlantic crossing were destined for Brazil and at one time half of the population of Brazil were slaves. It was the last country to officially abolish slavery in 1888. This production charts Brazil's history of slavery using original texts, letters, accounts and decrees, with commentary by historians, anthropologists and others who recount the effect of centuries of slavery on Brazil today. 2000. 47 min. DVD X3198; Video/C 7658

Description from Filmakers Library ctalog

Candombe: Afro-kultur e Uruguay.
Fernando Nunez, a black man, a musician, and a maker of drums, sees himself as the heir to "Candombe," an important social and cultural legacy from his slave forefathers in Uruguay. However, the official history and culture of Uruguay continues to marginalize expressions of black culture. Fernando Nunez and his friends from Barrio Sur, a back street quarter of Montevideo, fight to keep these important cultural roots alive in the consciousness of the Uruguayan people. 1994. 17 min. Video/C 5780

Capoeira Bahia.
Dance master Bira Almeida and his students demonstrate various forms of the Capoeira, a unique martial arts dance developed in Brazil by African descendants 400 years ago. Includes historical segments of performances by Capoeira dancers plus instruction in basic movements of the dance. 1983. 70 min. Video/C 4332

Caribbean Crucible (Repercussions: A Celebration of African Influenced Music; 6)
From Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, this film traces the ties that bind the music of coastal Africa to the music of Europe and the Caribbean. Spirited performances move through a variety of Afro-European fusions to the tough and exhilirating sounds of urban Jamaican popular music, including reggae and deejay. 1984. 60 min. Video/C 7355

Chutney in Yuh Soca: A Multicultural Mix.
Chutney in Yuh Soca: a film showing the interaction of the East Indian and African populations of Trinidad and Tobago through the popular music "Chutney" which is an combination of Indian folk tunes with the tempo and spice of the Caribbean. The Gospel Truth: A Black family in Great Britain reaffirms their values and family cohesiveness through the singing of gospel music. Songs For Our Daughters: West Indian women in Britain discuss the way they pass their heritage and culture on to their mixed race daughters. 1996. 37 min. DVD X3209; Video/C 5075

Filmakers Library catalog description

A Continent Crucified, Brazil.
Traces the role and influence of the Catholic Church in Brazil from its arrival with the Portuguese explorers to its present position of conflict with the government. Also shows the strong presence of African religions in Brazil and illustrates how they are integrated into Catholic ceremonies. 1985. 29 min. Video/C 9899

Dark Passages
A mixture of interviews, slave narratives, and dramatization tell the story of the impact of the Atlantic slave trade. Takes the viewer from the House of Slaves on Goree Island off the coast of Dakar, Senegal, to the village of Juffere on the Gambia River, the ancestral home of Alex Haley of "Roots" fame. 1995. 50 min. Video/C 5894

Diaspora Conversations: From Goree to Dogon
Actor Danny Glover and director Manthia Diawara travel through West Africa from Goree to Dogon, creating conversations that link different sides and accounts of the African diaspora. Traversing through various locales of West Africa, the film explores the historical questions that both confront and facilitate community. Produced, directed, and written by Manthia Diawara. Dist.: Third World Newsreel. 2000 47 min. Video/C 9821

Family Across the Sea.
Film examines how scholars have uncovered the remarkable connections between the Gullah people of South Carolina and the people of Sierra Leone and how the Gullahs incorporated many aspects of African culture including the language into the daily life of the plantations. Film concludes with a delegation of Gullah people traveling from the United States to Sierra Leone to trace the roots of their heritage. 1991. 56 min. Video/C 3782

Description from California Newsreel catalog

De Florida a Coahuila: la historia de los Mascogos
A documentary on the Mascogos, an African descent community in Northern Mexico which emigrated from the U.S.A. to escape slavery. Directed by Rafael Robellar. Presented at the International Latino Film Festival held in the San Francisco Bay Area. 200-? 50 min. DVD X3721

The Forgotten Root (La Raiz olvidada)
Details the history of Mexico's often-overlooked African populations. Drawing on interviews and archival imagery, the film takes us from the slavery of the colonial era to today's Afro-Mexican communities in Guerrero, Oaxaco, Campeche, Morelos and Veracruz. It argues that Mexico's famous mestizaje includes the important contibutions of African groups, as well as Spaniards and Indians. Directed by Rafael Rebollar. Presented at the International Latino Film Festival held in the San Francisco Bay Area. 1998. 49 min. DVD X4044; Video/C MM399

Fort Mose: A New Chapter in American History.
Tells the story of the first legally sanctioned settlement for free Africans in America, providing important evidence that African-American colonial history extended far beyond slavery and oppression. This program traces the kidnapping of Africans, their sale as slaves in the "New World" and their escape to Spanish Florida and freedom. 16 min. 1992. Video/C 5511

Garifuna Journey
Presents the rich culture and fascinating trajectory of the Garifuna of Belize--descendents of Carib Indians and Africans who successfully resisted slavery. This celebratory documentary presents their history from both the outsider and insider vantage points, the result of a collaboration between the Chicago filmmakers and the Garifuna community. Testimonials by members of the Garifuna are intercut with scenes of cooking, dancing, eating, expressions of their spirituality and other rituals. A documentary by Andrea E. Leland and Kathy L. Berger. Dist.: New Day Films. 1998. 46 min. Video/C 5622

Global Africa (The Africans, Part 9)
Discusses African contributions to contemporary culture, including the significance of the African diaspora, particularly in North America. Also examines the continuing influence of the superpowers on the affairs of Africa. Video/C 945

The Hand that Stirred the Pot: African Foods in America.
This program looks at the major influence African slaves exerted on western cooking and culture. Over 10 million slaves from many different tribes with different diets, were transported from Africa to the Americas, bringing with them their knowledge of how to grow and cook their traditional foods. They played a significant role in the formation of American cuisine, particularly in the Caribbean territories and the Southern States. DVD 2159

The Handsworth Songs
Interviewers: Handsworth and Aston Welfare Association, Asian Youth Movement (Birmingham), Sachkhand Nanak Dham, Mr. McClean, Soho Rd. Sikh Temple. Discusses race relations in England, especially Handsworth, Birmingham, England, where a riot erupted in September, 1984. Producer, Linda Gopaul ; director, John Akomfrah. c1986. 61 min. DVD 9077 [preservation copy]; vhs Video/C 2790

The House of Life (Ile aiye).
Explores the ways in which Candomble, the African spirit cult of the Bahia region of Brazil, has influenced the daily life and culture of the people of Brazil in their music, art, religion, theater, food, dance and poetry. The rhythms of the sacred drums and bells, a dance of spiritual ecstasy, offerings and sacrifices, divination and the visitation of the Orishas (deities) through trance are all part of the color and life of Candomble. Includes ritual music recorded during ceremonies. 1989. 51 min. DVD 3082

I Is A Long-memoried Woman.
Based on a collection of poems by Guyanese British writer, Grace Nicols, this program chronicles the history of slavery thru the eyes of Caribbean women. Presented through a combination of monologue, dance and song. Director, Frances-Anne Solomon. 199?. 50 min. DVD X6715; Video/C 3371

ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries

Women Make Movies catalog description

Iawo: Initiation in a Gege-Nago Temple.
Examines the Yoruba cult of Orisha, brought to the New World by black slaves, which survives to this day in areas such as Cuba and Brazil. By showing the initiation of a group of women into a temple (Iawo is the name for new priestesses), the film offers a deeper examination of the religion, its ideology and social meaning. 1978. 42 min. Video/C 2396

Into the Rising Sun
In 1415, Cape Bojador along the northwest coast of Africa marked the point at which the known world ended and superstition began. Voyages of exploration spearheaded by Portugal's Prince Henry the Navigator conquered that fear of the unknown--launching the colonial era and establishing a slave trade that decimated the African continent. 1999. 52 min. Video/C 6558

Iron in the Soul (Portrait of the Caribbean)
A look at the history and the legacy of slavery in the British Caribbean; excerpts from a Jamaican plantation overseer's diary present a graphic account of slaves' lives. 1992. 45 min. DVD 5161 [preservation copy]; Video/C 3193

Jump Over the Atlantic (Salto al Atlantico).
This film traces the similarities and cultural continuities between a small Afro-Venezuelan settlement in Barlovento (Estado Miranda, Venezuela) and the Belgian Congo in Africa, where people were captured as slaves in the nineteenth century. Showcases the everyday and traditional cultural practices that the two groups share: music, dance, and musical instruments, many words, food, dress, crafts, healing herbs and even hairstyles. A film by Maria Eugenia Esparragoza. 1990. 28 min. Video/C MM396

The Language You Cry In: The Story of a Mende Song . (Library of African Cinema.)
The film tells an amazing scholarly detective story reaching across hundreds of years and thousands of miles from 18th century Sierra Leone to the Gullah people of present-day Georgia. It recounts the even more remarkable saga of how African Americans retained links with their African past through a song, a burial hymn of the Mende people brought by slaves to the rice plantations of the Southeast coast more than two hundred years ago. In English and Mende with English subtitles. 53 min. DVD 9530; vhs Video/C 6295

Description from California Newsreel catalog

Collings, Jane. "The Language You Cry In." The Oral History Review Vol. 28, No. 1 (Winter, 2001), pp. 115-118 UC users only
Thomas-Houston, Marilyn M. "The Language You Cry In." American Anthropologist > New Series, Vol. 101, No. 4 (Dec., 1999), pp. 826-828 UC users only

Motherland: A Genetic Journey
Cut off from their ancestry by the three-hundred-year-long slave trade which uprooted 12 million people from Africa, three people are given the opportunity, through DNA searches, to reconnect with their roots. Through advances in DNA research and with the help of laboratories in the UK and America, the possibility arises that with a swab from the inside of a person's cheek they can trace back twelve or thirteen generations to the tribe of their ancestors. In this ground-breaking search three people discover their roots in Africa and the Caribbean. c2003. 90 min. DVD 4626

Filmakers Library catalog description

Motherland: Moving On
The film "Motherland: a genetic journey," followed three people of African descent who traced their roots through DNA testing. Shot in the UK, USA, Africa and Jamaica, this film picks up their story two years later. Mark discovers that his ancestors belonged to the Kanuri tribe but he cannot communicate with them since there is a language barrier. Beaula learns that she has ancestors that belong to more than one tribe and some of the people are only interested in what gifts she can offer them. Jacqueline visits English cousins who are white who accept her as part of the family. All three participants feel enriched by their new discoveries but understand that DNA tracing may lead to complicated emotional discoveries. c2003. 60 min. DVD 4627

Filmakers Library catalog description

Nganga Kiyangala: Congo Religion in Cuba
An examination of the history and practices of Nganga, the Bantu based belief system of the slaves brought to Cuba from the Congo region of Africa. Nganga is one of the sects in Cuba which are more than Christian in belief, rituals, music and dance. Some of the differences between the Lucumi (Yoruba/Santeria) and Abakua beliefs are also discussed. In Spanish with English subtitles. 1991. 34 min. Video/C 6403

La Noche de San Lazaro (The Night of San Lazaro)
A film examining the observance of the Night of San Lazaro as an example of the revival of religious freedom in Cuba. For some he is a healer saint, for others an African divinity. As thousands of pilgrims live a night of frenzy and immoderation, the filmmakers neither interpret nor analyze this religious event, but simply observe and present its visuals of fervor and devotion. 1997. 35 min. Video/C 5416

Nunca Mas (Never Again)
This documentary presents the stories of Afrocolombian peasants displaced from their land in the armed conflict between the Colombian Army, guerillas, and the right-wing paramilitary in the communities of Uraba, Antioquia and Choco, Colombia. An important part of their story is the political mobilization with which they are petitioning the Colombian government to ensure that their ordeal is never repeated. 2001. 56 min. Video/C MM398

On the Battlefield: Gospel Quartets
Spirituals have been described both as the literature of American slavery and as the jewels that slaves brought out of bondage. Today, the harmony, percussive precision, and evangelical fervor of gospel music have made it a hit around the world. This program examines the influence of African music on the gospel sound and spotlights venerable gospel groups concluding with a Sunday gospel quartet celebration. 1984. 60 min. Video/C 7352

Out of Africa. (Portrait of the Caribbean)
A sense of Africa pervades the Caribbean, but in Haiti it feels like Africa itself. The history and culture of Haiti and Jamaica are compared. 1992. 45 min. Video/C 3193

Prince Among Slaves
In 1788, a slave ship sailed from the Gambia River with hundreds of men, women and children bound in chains. Eight months later, a handful of survivors were sold in Natchez, Mississippi. One of them made an astonishing claim: he was a prince of an African kingdom larger and more developed than the newly formed United States. The true story of an African prince who endured the humiliation of slavery without losing his dignity or hope of freedom. In 1828, by the order of President John Quincy Adams and Secretary of State Henry Clay, he was freed after spending 40 years in slavery. Based on the book Prince among slaves by Terry Alford (MAIN: E444.I25 A78 1986). Directed, produced and written by Andrea Kalin. 2008. 60 min. DVD X418

Roots Daughters
A moving testament to a modern living myth that informs about the Rastafari culture, as experienced by Rastawomen. It chronicles the lives of 16 Rastawomen from Guyana, Jamaica and Canada, including the acclaimed reggae singer Judy Mowatt. The film traces the origins of Rastafari from Africa, the mysterious warrior Queen Nyahbinghi after whom Nyahbinghi secret society was named, and Queen Kitami and Queen Muhumusa, who pioneered the spread of Nyahbinghi. In addition the film profiles Jamaican freedom fighter Marcus Garvey and Reggae superstar Bob Marley and includes footage of H.I.M. Haile Selassie, the Ethiopian emperor and spiritual leader of Rastafari, in Geneva at the League of Nations. c1992. 98 min. Video/C MM364

Roots, Rock, Reggae: Inside the Jamaican Music Scene.
Reggae music mostly originated from a few poor districts in Kingston, Jamaica. This film is a street-level tour of the Kingston music scene originally filmed in 1977, a flashpoint year for reggae and Jamaica. The importance of the African-derived music and culture of Rastafarians surfaces in drumming-and-chanting scenes in this film which features reggae performances, interviews and studio scenes with the originators of reggae music and rhythms. Performers: Jimmy Cliff ; Bob Marley ; Toots & The Maytals ; Jacob Miller & Inner Circle ; The Abysinnians ; Lee "Scratch" Perry ; Ras Michael & Sons of Negus ; The Heptones ; Jr. Murvin ; Joe Higgs.30 min. DVD 982; VHS Video/C 3261

Sanpachando: St. Pacho Is for the Revelers (San Pacho es pa'l que lo goce)
Explores the intertwined cultural, religious, political, and afro-ethnic meanings of a vibrant festival honoring St. Francis of Assisi in Quibdo, Choco, on the northwest Pacific coast of Colombia. Special feature: Documentary film: " San Pach para quien?" (26 min. ; 2002) Directed by Daniel O. Mosquera M., Sean C. Ferry. c2009. 48 min. DVD X3252

Description from Berkeley Media LLC catalog

Scattered Africa: Faces and Voices of the African Diaspora.
A documentary examining the African Diaspora, from the violent scattering of African people away from their continent of origin to their contemporary participation in a global community. The film focuses on the enormous -- though largely unknown and unacknowledged -- contributions of Africans and their descendants to the wealth and power of the Americans, and portrays elements of African culture that characterize everyday life throughout the Americas today. Dr. Sheila Walker and other scholars and community leaders from such diverse countries as Argentina, Uruguay, Surinam and Brazil discuss their own discovers of their heritage and the scattered transnational community that is the contemporary African Diaspora. 2002. 50 min. Video/C 9315

A Son of Africa.
A docudrama based on the book, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Oloudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vaasa the African, which was the first influential slave autobiography. When it was published in 1789, it fueled a growing anti-slavery movement in the U.S. and England. This production employs dramatic reconstruction, archival material and interviews with scholars. Equiano's narrative begins in the West African village where he was kidnapped into slavery in 1756. He was shipped to a Virginia plantation and then later sold again to a British naval officer. Here he learned to read and write, became a skilled trader, eventually bought his freedom and married into English society where he became a leading abolitionist. 1996. 28 min. Video/C 4464

Description from California Newsreel catalog

That's My Face(E minha cara)
African American filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris travels to Salvador da Bahia in search of his ancestral roots. He connects this time in Brazil with his childhood experiences living in Tanzania with his mother who went to Africa in search of a mythic motherland. Produced and directed by Thomas Allen Harris. 2001. 56 min. DVD 2223

Twilight City.(1989)
At the end of the 1980s a young journalist receives a letter from her mother now living in Dominica asking her daughter to invite her back "home" to London, where she had previously lived for 35 years. Olivia, the daughter, an aspiring journalist completing a story on the "browning of London", examines the history and current conditions of race relations in the city as she responds to her parent's request. 52 min. DVD X2363 [preservation copy]; vhs Video/C 5080

Unearthing the Slave Trade.
On the eve of the American Revolution, New York City had the largest number of enslaved Africans of any colonial settlement outside Charleston. Though this has seldom been acknowledged, African labor was essential in the building of New York. Today, archeological excavation of sites on both sides of the Atlantic is bringing to light aspects of the slave trade long buried in the liberal minds of those north of the Mason-Dixon line. 28 min. Video/C 4138

Voices of the Orishas
This is an ethnographic documentary which demonstrates the survival and strength of the Yoruba cultural and religious heritage in the contemporary life of Caribbean African-Hispanics. The program was filmed in Havana among practicioners of Santeria, and documents a ritual ceremony that features dancing, singing, praying and drum beating, invoking the twenty-two Orishas, or deities of the Yoruba religion. 1993. 37 min. Video/C 5518

Description from Berkeley Media LLC catalog

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