UC Berkeley Library

African American Literature & the Arts

Straight Up Rappin'.

This documentary is about Rap, without music. Examines the political consciousness of a new generation. 29 min.
Related web sites: Filmakers Library catalog description

Strange Fruit

A documentary exploring the history and legacy of the anti-lynching protest song made famous by Billie Holiday. The film examines the history of lynching, the courage of those who fought for racial justice, and the interplay of race, labor and the left and popular culture as forces that would give rise to the Civil Rights Movement. It also presents the story of the composer Lewis Allan, a Jewish schoolteacher and union activist from the Bronx who wrote the poem and later set it to music. c2002. 58 min.

Television & the African American Experience, Civil Rights & Beyond: Bebopping, Hip-hopping, & Slam-dunking: the Influence of African-American Endeavors in Music and Sports on Mainstream Culture

A three part satellite seminar series examining how television has covered and reflected black history and culture over the past fifty years. In this second segment panelists examine the stereotypes of Amos 'n' Andy in the postwar era, the success of the Cosby show in the 1980s, and the recent trend of burgeoning networks concentrating on African-American-themed programming. Presented at the Museum of Television and Radio, Los Angeles, California on November 7, 2001. 90 min.

Television & the African American Experience, Civil Rights & Beyond: Images of African-Americans on Prime-time Television

A three part satellite seminar series examining how television has covered and reflected black history and culture over the past fifty years. In this second segment panelists examine the stereotypes of Amos 'n' Andy in the postwar era, the success of the Cosby show in the 1980s, and the recent trend of burgeoning networks concentrating on African-American-themed programming. Presented at the Museum of Television and Radio, Los Angeles, California on November 7, 2001. 93 min.

Television & the African American Experience, Civil Rights & Beyond: On the Front Lines: Television and African-American Issues

A three part satellite seminar series examining how television has covered and reflected black history and culture over the past fifty years. In this first segment panelists explore issues from the 1950s and 1960s and how television news has interpreted various racial issues and such divisive events as the Rodney King verdict and the confirmation of Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas. Presented at the Museum of Television and Radio, Los Angeles, California on November 7, 2001. 93 min.

That Rhythm--Those Blues (American Experience 110)

Focuses on the rhythm and blues music performed by black musicians during the 1940s and 1950s through the small towns and cities of the South. 58 min. [preservation copy]

The "New Negro" Arts Movement (Art: Transatlantic Modernism)

Between WWI and WWII nearly 2 million blacks migrated to Harlem making it an exciting and culturally rich neighborhood. Although there was still much bigotry directed towards blacks it was the first time that America saw the potential for major art to come out of a great black community. Here Professor Corn shows numerous examples of African-Americans being "in vogue" in the 20's -- one example is famed dancer Josephine Baker, whose high moment of fame in Paris -- "Revue Negre" made her a symbol of the "new woman." 1998. 60 min.

The Big Black Comedy Show.

Host: Mo'Nique ; co-host: Rodney Perry ; performers: Esau Ali, Doug Williams, DeRay Davis, Chris Spencer. series of large venue, live comedy concerts showcasing the talent of today's most popular African-American stand-up comedians. 2005. Vol. 1. 88 min. Vol. 2. 92 min. Vol. 3. 94 min. Vol. 4. 94 min. Vol. 5. 94 min.

The Dancing Man: Peg Leg Bates

Documentary on the life and work of tap dancer Peg Leg Bates, much of it told in his own words. Profusely illustrated with archival footage, including many scenes of Bates dancing at different times of his life on stage, in films, and on television. Bates' performing career is complemented by his work as the owner and operator of a resort in the Catskills, which welcomed blacks in the years before integration.

The Darker Side of Black.

Gangsta chic, violence and nihilism, the hard edge of Rap and Reggae increasingly dominates the image of black popular culture. This film investigates the issues raised by the genre, such as ritualized machismo, misogyny, attitudes towards homosexuality and religion, and gun glorification. Filmed in dance halls, hip hop clubs, and using interviews and music video clips, film takes us to London, Jamaica and the U.S. to examine the "darker" side of contemporary black music. Written & directed by Isaac Julien. 59 min.

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