UC Berkeley Library

African American History to 1900 Slavery The Civil War and Reconstruction

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.

Achievements in American Black History: Black Religion.

Traces the history of Black religion from its African origins. Discussion of the roots of Black religion in tribal life and beliefs, its adoption of the White church framework, and its spiritual, social, and political influence in America. 40 min.

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.

African Americans in the West. Lecture by Quintard Taylor

Historian and university professor Quintard Taylor presents an overview of African American history in the West and comments on his book "In search of a racial frontier, a history of African-Americans in the West.". Originally filmed on March 11, 1995. 48 min.

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. Produced and directed by Orlando Bagwell, Susan Bellows. 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.

Almost Down to the Shore: African American Families During Emancipation.

Letters, diary entries, affidavits, etc. of persons associated with the emancipation of slavery read aloud; accompanied by photographs. 35 min.

And Still I Rise.

Prominent black women comment on the history and experiences of the Afro-American slave woman in white European society. Includes interviews with Caron Wheeler (singer), Buchi Emecheta (novelist), Stella Dadzie (writer) along with many others. Writer/director, Ngozi Onwurah. 30 min. ; web web sites: Women Make Movies catalog description Full-text review from: ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries

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. Director, David Maloney. 52 min.

Bigot Songs [Sound recording]

Songs of bigotry and racial prejudice recorded in the United States between 1896 and 1919. Contents: 1896: All Coons look alike to me -- Darkies temptation -- 1898: Chin Chin Chinaman -- 1900: Coon band contest -- 1901: Every darky had a raglan on -- My little zulu -- The phrenologist coon -- Coon, coon, coon --Medley of plantation songs -- Minstrels, Pt. 1 -- Hu-la hu-la cake walk -- 1902: It was the Dutch -- Mick that sent the pick -- Loo Loo-oo, my dusky loo -- 1903: It takes the Irish to beat the Dutch -- Hiawatha -- Coon wedding in So. Ga.

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.
web web sites:
Description from California Newsreel catalog
The Black Athena debate (web site)

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