UC Berkeley Library

UC Berkeley’s library buildings are open. Here’s what you need to know.

Using the Library during COVID-19

UC Berkeley’s library buildings are now open. To stay up to date on the Library’s policies and services during the pandemic, visit the Library’s COVID-19 webpage.

African American History 1950 to 1970 & Civil Rights Movement

Oh Freedom After While: 1939 Sharecroppers Roadside Protest

In January 1939, Missouri Bootheel sharecroppers--black and white--staged a dramatic roadside protest to call attention to unjust treatment by local plantation owners. Their demonstration spurred the U.S. government to develop new housing for displaced sharecroppers. Some demonstrators also established a remarkable farming community--and learned how to make lasting change in their lives. 1999. 57 min.

On Strike! Ethnic Studies, 1969-1999

A historical presentation of the struggle to create and maintain a Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California Berkeley. Includes interviews with participants in the 1969 demonstrations when the program was first established, with the 1999 demonstrators when the funding for the program was threatened and with Ethnic Studies faculty at U.C.B. Directed and produced by Irum Shiekh. 1999. 36 min.

View this video online (UC Berkeley users only)

Philadelphia, Mississippi.

In June 1964, three young civil rights workers--Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner--traveled to Philadelphia, Mississippi in order to investigate the burning of a black Methodist church. Shortly after their arrival, all three men were murdered and hastily buried outside of town, victims of what is generally acknowledged to be a KKK conspiracy. The tragedy almost immediately turned the town into the focus of intense international media scrutiny; the lives of both black and white townsfolk were irrevocably changed in the process.

Poisoned Dreams (1960-1964). (The Century: America's Time; 10.)

Beset by both international and domestic pressures, America during the Camelot years was swiftly approaching a political-cultural meltdown. This program documents U.S.-Soviet conflicts of interest in Cuba and Vietnam and the growing polarization at home between civil rights activists and segregationist hard-liners, which resulted in the Birmingham riots and the freedom march on Washington, D.C. 43 min.

Race relations in Crisis (An Open Mind Special)

Presents discussions on race relations in America in 1963. On the panel were James Farmer, founder and National Director of CORE, the Congress of Racial Equality; Wyatt Tee Walker, Chief of Staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Congress lead by Martin Luther King; Allan Morrison, New York editor of Ebony magazine; and Nation of Islam leader Malcolm X, striking a contrary and eerily prophetic tone in the midst of this plaintive and urgent discussion.

Revolution '67

Focuses on the explosive urban rebellion which erupted in Newark, New Jersey, in July 1967; a tragedy caused by similar problems that sparked race riots across America. The film takes viewers on a daily chronicle of events, including the calling-in of the State Police and National Guard, their occupation of the city and use of unnecessary firepower. Final toll: 26 dead. Produced & directed by Marylou Tibaldo-Bongiorno. c2007. 90 min.
web web sites: Description from California Newsreel catalog

San Francisco State On Strike.

Documentary film of a five month long strike in the Fall of 1968 at San Francisco State College in which the Third World Liberation Front mobilized students to call for "the power to change the racist nature of eduction" and to demand the establishment of a Black Studies Department at the college. 20 min. ;
web web sites: Description from California Newsreel catalog

San Francisco State Strike.

Documents the 1969 strike at San Francisco State College led by minority students and later joined by the teachers' union.

Scarred Justice: the Orangeburg Massacre 1968

Everyone remembers the four white students slain at Kent State University in 1970, but most have never heard of the three black students killed in Orangeburg, South Carolina two years earlier. This stirring investigative documentary restores that bloody tragedy to the history of the Civil Rights Movement after years of official denial...Interviews with survivors of the Massacre, as well as journalists, the governor and a patrolman who had fired at the students reconstruct the horror of that night.

Simple Justice.

Recounts the remarkable legal strategy and social struggle that resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. 133 min.