UC Berkeley Library

African American History to 1900 Slavery The Civil War and Reconstruction

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.

Gullah Tales.

Set in the rural South around 1830, a slave storyteller entertains plantation children with folktales. Film examines the role of Gullah in African-American storytelling and American history. 22 min.

Homecoming: Sometimes I Am Haunted by Memories of Red Dirt and Clay

A documentary film by Charlene Gilbert exploring the history of ownership of farm lands by African Americans from Reconstruction to the present day. Their struggle for land of their own pitted them against both the Southern white power structure and the federal agencies responsible for helping them. As part of Reconstruction, Congress alloted 45 million acres of land to former slaves but little land was ever actually distributed. Despite formidable obstacles one million African Americans, mostly former sharecroppers, managed to purchase over 15 million acres of land by 1910. 1998.

Ida B.Wells: A Passion for Justice.

Chronicles the life of Ida B. Wells, an early black activist who protested lynchings, unfair treatment of black soldiers, and other examples of racism and injustice toward black Americans around the turn of the century. 1989. 58 min.
Full-text review from: ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries

Jefferson's Blood

Examines Thomas Jefferson's life in the context of his Produced and directed by Thomas Lennon; written by Shelby Steele and Thomas Lennon. ) times and looks at the contradictions in Jefferson's character, weighing the decisions he made in his private life with his public pronouncements on slavery and race-mixing. Follows the descendants of Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings as they research their family history and sort out their place along America's blurred color line.Originally broadcast as an episode of the television program Frontline. 2000. 60 min.

John Brown's Holy War.

A look inside the abolitionist, John Brown: a complex man, farmer, warrior, and avenging angel, revealing the man behind the legend. He is the father of American terrorism-- and an inspiration to the Civil Rights movement. More than 150 years after his execution, questions swirl around John Brown: was he a madman or a martyr? A bloodthirsty fanatic or a great American hero? Draws on interviews with historians and writers and includes commentary on John Brown, Frederick Douglas, James Redpath, Henry David Thoreau, Henry A.

Mean To Be Free: John Brown's Black Nation Campaign.

Film tracing through historic photographs, artworks, poetry and modern scenes the causes and consequences of the attack by abolitionist John Brown on the arsenal at Harper's Ferry, Va., October 16, 1859. 53 min.

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. A film by T. Jackson and A. Baron. c2003.

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.

Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property

Evaluates the authenticity of the earliest source, "The Confessions of Nat Turner", assembled by Thomas R. Gray, a white Virginia lawyer from jailhouse interviews. It then follows the controvery over the Nat Turner story played out through history. Alvin Poussaint and Ossie Davis recall how Nat Turner became a hero in the Black community. Religious scholar Vincent Harding and legal scholar Martha Minow reflect on America's attitudes toward terrorism. One of the most bitter race battles of the 1960s is reexamined, when William Styron published his novel, The Confessions of Nat Turner.

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