UC Berkeley Library

African American Literature & the Arts

Material Witness: Race, Identity and the Politics of Gangsta Rap.(Race & Diversity Series)

Contents: Living with difference -- The denial of race -- Race and language -- Black essentialism as defense -- American hybridity -- Complexity of black identity -- An American mix: DuBois & the classics -- Hip-hop culture as material witness to urban neglect -- Representin' the afflicteds' story -- Gangsta rap and the market -- The burden of the race artist -- A limited choice: purity or stereotype -- A wrong response: the elders react -- Towards a politics of anti-essentialism.

Media Assassin.

A discussion of Hip-Hop, Black culture, and racism in America. The audio features an interview with Harry Allen, and the video displays a collage of stills and video animation. 17 min.

Memories of Duke.

Features Duke Ellington and his band on their 1968 Mexican tour, filmed in Mexico City's Palacio de Bellas Artes as well as in Guadalajara. Historic scenes from early films and interviews with band members, Cootie Williams and Russell Procope are included. A film by Art Jones. Dist.: Third World Newsreel. 85 min.

Movies of Color: Black Southern Cinema

A portrait of independent African-American filmmaking in the Southern region of the United States prior to World War II ... an incredible body of truly independent filmmaking made under the most hostile set of circumstances, including racial prejudice, unimaginably low budgets, and crude technical conditions. The film clips shown here, which are a mirror of the Black experience from the 1920s through mid-1950's, focus on the innovative works of film makers Spencer Williams, Oscar Micheaux, Eloyse Gist, and Clarence Muse.

Negro Novelists/Books and Authors with David Littlejohn.

Littlejohn discusses and interprets the work of three African-American novelists; Richard Wright's Native Son, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, and James Baldwin's Going to Meet the Man. Also included is a reading by Littlejohn, of poems by Gwendolyn Brooks and Le Roi Jones (now Imamu Amiri Baraka). 60 min.

New Orleans' Black Indians: A Case Study in the Arts

Pre-lenten Mardi Gras in New Orleans serves as the background for this study of a mixture between American Indians and Blacks who compose the Black Indian tribes of New Orleans. The traditions, costumes, songs and dances date back more than 100 years and create living history of their folk art which is passed from generation to generation. 1983. 23 min.

No Maps on My Taps.

Veteran jazz tap dancing stars, including Bunny Briggs, Chuck Green, and Sandman Sims, reminisce about their art and careers. Dist.: Direct Cinema. 58 min.

Panorama of African-American Theatre.

Dignity of Man and Origins of African-American Theatre. A brief history of Black American performers. Includes excerpts from Colored People's Time. 15 min. Emergence of the African-American Performing Arts Includes brief history of black American performers, and excerpt from Simply heavenly, by Langston Hughes. 15 min. Power of the African-American Playwright. A brief survey of the work of Afro-American playwrights. Includes excerpts from Raisin in the sun, Purlie Victorious, and The Colored Museum.15 min. Present and Future Direction of African-American Theatre.

Race Movies: The Popular Art of the Black Renaissance

Explores the involvement of black filmmakers in filmmaking, from its earliest days through the 1920s with particular emphasis on the work of James Weldon Johnson, Oscar Micheaux, and Richard D. Maurice. Focus is on the movies that were made and the production companies that produced them. 1985. 20 min.

Racism in Literature.

An entertaining and informative look at how racism is handled in comic books and speculative fiction. The program features interviews with minority science fiction authors and cartoonists including black science fiction writer Sanuel R. Delany, native American writer, Owl Goingback, Asian American science fiction writer William F. Wu, and many others. Dist.: Films Media Group. 1995. 30 min.

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