UC Berkeley Library

African American History 1900 to 1940

Men of Bronze.

Story of the Black American combat regiment that was recruited in Harlem and served under the Fourth French Army in World War I. 58 min.

Miles of Smiles: Years of Struggle.

Personal narratives of retired porters about their work and duties on the Pullman trains and about the formation of their union. Produced and directed by Jack Santino and Paul Wagner. c1982. 60 min.
Related web sites: California Newsreels catalog description

Promised Land

Narrated by Morgan Freeman. Based on the book: The Promised Land by Nicholas Lemann ( New York: A.A. Knopf, 1991. Main Stack, Moffitt E185.6 .L36 1991) Documents the migration of rural Southern blacks from the segregated South to Chicago. 90 min. each installment Take Me to Chicago. From Jim Crow laws to the advent of the mechanical cotton picker - rural Southern Blacks had plenty of reasons to listen to the traveling blues musicians with their siren songs of far-off Chicago and the promise of a better, freer life.

Scottsboro: An American Tragedy.

In 1931, two white women stepped from a boxcar in Paint Rock, Alabama to make a shocking accusation: they had been raped by nine black teenagers on a train. So began one of the most significant legal fights of the twentieth century. The trials of the falsely accused nine young men would draw North and South into their sharpest conflict since the Civil War, yield two momentous Supreme Court decisions and give birth to the civil rights movement. Directed by Barak Goodman, Dist.: PBS. 2001. 90 min. l

Struggles in Steel: A Story of African-American Steelworkers.

Interviews with more than 70 retired black steelworkerswho tell of struggles with the company, the union andwhite co-workers to break out of the black job ghetto. Film traces a century of black industrial history--theuse of blacks as strikebreakers against the all-white union during the 1892 Homestead Strike, the Great Migration of fieldworkers to the North in WorldWar I, the racial divisions between workers during theGreat Steel Strike of 1919 and the ultimate success ofthe CIO organizing drives of the 1930s.

Susceptible to Kindness: Miss Evers' Boys and the Tuskegee Syphilis Study

Examines the ethical issues raised by the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male (1932-1972). Includes excerpts from David Feldshuh's play Miss Evers boys and comments by nurses; physicians; government officials; James Jones, the author of Bad blood; and others on the issues raised by the play. Includes scenes from Illusion Theater's production of Miss Evers boys at Cornell University's Center for the Theatre Arts, August 22-31, 1991; directors, D. Scott Glasser, Michael Robbins. 1993. 45 min.

To Be Somebody.

(Great Depression) Many Americans, struggling to survive the Great Depression, were determined to help build a better America through direct action in the courts, in the Congress and in everyday life. At a time when lynchings, segregation, and anti-semitism were commonplace, black heavy-weight champion, Joe Louis became a symbol of national strength. In very different ways Louis and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt challenged America to live up to its promise of justice and opportunity for people of every race and faith. 60 min.

Trouble Behind.

White racism is discussed in the context of the town of Corbin, Ky., where on Oct. 31, 1919 a race riot drove all of the Black residents out of town. Since that date few Blacks have attempted to settle in Corbin. Residents are interviewed to give their perceptions of whether or not racism still exists in their town. 56 min.

Up South: African-American Migration in the Era of the Great War (American Social History Project)

This film chronicles the migration of 500,000 African-Americans from the South to cities in the North between 1916 and 1921. Mississippians chose Chicago as their destination in the great migration. Their story is told through the recollections of migrants themselves and through letters, oral histories, songs, photographs and art. 30 min.

W.E.B. Du Bois: A Biography in Four Voices

In this film four prominent African-American writers each narrate a period in the life of the sociologist and author, W.E.B. Du Bois, and describe his impact on their work. They chronicle Du Bois' role as a founder of the NAACP, organizer of the first Pan-African Congress, editor of Crisis, a journal of the black cultural renaissance, and author of a series of landmark sociological studies. Anathematized during the McCarthy years, Du Bois immigrated to Ghana, the first independent African state, where he died. 1995. 116 min. ; also on VHS

Pages