UC Berkeley Library

African American History 1950 to 1970 & Civil Rights Movement

Mighty Times: The Children's March

In May of 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. asked black people of Birmingham, Alabama to go to jail in the cause of racial equality. The adults were afraid to go to jail and so the school children marched and over 5000 of them were arrested. This lead President Kennedy to sponsor the 1964 Civil Rights Act which eventually to the march on Washington. Contains vintage film footage, re-stagings of some activities and interviews with some of the protesters. 2004. 40 min.
Awards Academy Award - Best Documentary, Short Subjects International Documentary Association Award

Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks' simple act of defiance on Dec. 1, 1955, against racial segregation on city buses inspired the African American community of Montgomery, Alabama, to unite against the segregationists who ran City Hall. Over the course of a year, the Montgomery Bus Boycott would test the endurance of the peaceful protestors, overturn an unjust law and create a legacy of mighty times that continue to inspire those who work for freedom and justice today. A project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Producers, Robert Hudson; director Bobby Huston. 2002. 40 min.

Miss Smith of Georgia

Portrait of the Georgia author and civil rights activist Lillian Eugenia Smith who was the first prominent white southerner to denounce racial segregation openly and to work actively against it. This program includes extensive interviews with the author as well as brief appearances by author Carson McCullers and actress Ruby Dee. Originally broadcast as a television program in 1962. 30 min.

Mississippi, America

Through an examination of historical events of 1964, this program gives testimony to persistence and courage in the face of oppression, as citizens and the lawyers who volunteered to help them, confront violence, murder and government repression in Mississippi in order to win the right to vote for Afro-American citizens. Directed and written by Judith McCray. 56 min.

Muhammad Ali and the Negro Movement

A discussion between heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali and William F. Buckley on the draft board reversal of of its earlier determination that he was not sufficiently intelligent to serve as a result of him joining the Black Muslims. Buckley questions Ali about his refusal to be drafted, the "Negro movement" and other topics. Originally taped as an episode of the television program Firing Line on December 12, 1968. 50 min.

Murder on a Sunday Morning

A documentary investigating a true tale of murder and injustice in Jacksonville, Florida. When a 15-year-old black male is arrested for the murder of Mary Ann Stephens, everyone involved in the case--from investigators to journalists--is ready to condemn him,except for his lawyer, Patrick McGuiness. McGuiness reopens the inquiry, and discovers a slew of shocking and troubling elements about the case. Most importantly, can the police be lying? A film by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade 2003. 111 min.
Awards Academy Award - Best Documentary, Features

Nashville: We were Warriors (Force More Powerful: A Century of Nonviolent Conflict)

In Fall 1959, James Lawson offered free evening classes on nonviolent action to university students in Nashville with the goal of training and preparing them to desegregate the city's business district. Lawson had spent three years in India learning about Mohandas Gandhi. Now he guided his students in a study of both the history and practice of nonviolent methods--to prepare them for their "sit-ins" at downtown stores.

Negroes with Guns: Rob Williams and Black Power.

Forefather of the Black Power movement and pioneer in internationalizing the Black American struggle, tells the story of Robert F. Williams, a Civil Rights fighter who dared to advocate armed self-defense against the racist terrorism of the Jim Crow South. Directors, Sandra Dickson, Churchill Roberts. 2005. 53 min.
Related web sites: Description from California Newsreel catalog

Nine From Littlerock

On September 27, 1957 nine black students attended Little Rock Central High School for the first time, escorted by U.S. Army troops sent in by President Eisenhower to enforce the law desegregating schools. This film, narrated by Jefferson Thomas, one of the nine students, looks into the life of each student seven years after their enrollment at Central. Provides personal narrative accounts of their reaction to events at the time and in retrospect and of their success in continuing their educations. Directed by Charles Guggenheim. c2005. 19 min.

No Vietnamese Ever Called Me Nigger.

Documentary footage of Harlem's 1967 protest march against America's involvement in the Vietnamese Conflict. Includes interviews with three Black Vietnam veterans who discuss the relationship between racism and war and their experiences with racism in the United States. Dist. Cinema Guild. 1968. 68 min.

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