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African Americans & the Educational System

The Intolerable Burden

Documentary film of how Mae Bertha and Matthew Carter enrolled the youngest eight of their thirteen children in the public schools of Drew, Mississippi in 1965, which were all-white schools. The Drew school board had initiated a "freedom of choice" plan to bring the district in compliance with the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but Blacks were not expected to choose all-white schools. It also looks at how the schools have slowly become "resegregated" in recent years, leading to poorer educational opportunities. 2002. 57 min.

The Lottery

Focuses on the charter school experience for African American families. In a country where 58% of African American 4th graders are functionally illiterate, The Lottery uncovers the failures of the traditional public school system and reveals that hundreds of thousands of parents attempt to flee the system every year. Follows four of these families from Harlem and the Bronx who have entered their children in a charter school lottery. Out of thousands of hopefuls, only a small minority will win the chance of a better future.

The Morehouse Men.

Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia is the only African-American men's college in the United States. For 128 years, Morehouse has educated the black elite, seeking to instill moral, social, spiritual and academic values among its students. It boasts Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Olympic gold medalist Edwin Moses and filmmaker, Spike Lee as graduates. This film follows a group of freshmen students and explores the formal and informal processes whereby boys are molded into "Morehouse Men". A film by Sabita Kumari-Dass. 1994. 600 min.

Too Important to Fail: Investigating the Alarming Dropout Rate of African American Males

Correspondent Tavis Smiley examines one of the most disturbing aspects of the education crisis facing America today - the increased high school dropout rate among black teenage males. With the school drop out rate among black boys approaching 50&percent;, this documentary surveys the causes of the problem and proposes solutions for it. Dist.: PBS. 2011. 60 min.

What's Race Got to Do with It?

This program "chronicles the experiences of a new generation of college students, in this case over the course of 16 weeks of intergroup dialogue on the U.C. Berkeley campus. As they confront themselves and each other about race, they discover they often lack awareness of how different their experience of campus life is from their peers, to the detriment of an inclusive campus climate.

Why is There an Achievement Gap Between African American and European American Students?: The Multiple Complexities Involved in Educating Students of Color

Carl A. Grant, author and researcher on multicultural education, discusses the gap in educational achievement between Causcasian and African Americanstudents in the United States. Lecture given October 30, 2003 at the Longaberger Golf Club, Nashport, Ohio. 77 min.