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last updated: 9/1/2007

Black History Media Collection

Celebrate Black History Month

A sample bibliography of materials in the media services collection that celebrate and remember influential figures and events in African-American History.  


"I would like to be known as a person who is concerned about freedom and equality and justice and prosperity for all people," 

-Rosa Parks

4 Little Girls
"The Birmingham Campaign was launched in 1963. Martin Luther King Jr. and other activists were soon jailed ... but it was the participation of the children that advanced the momentum of the Birmingham movement. They marched alongside the adults and were taken to jail with them as well. The 16th St. Baptist Church was close to the downtown area, it was an ideal location to hold rallies and meetings. On Sunday morning, Sept. 15, 1963, dynamite planted by the Ku Klux Klan, exploded in the building ... under the fallen debris the bodies of <FOUR>girls were found--Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley died because of the color of their skin" --summary from container  

Call Number: F334.B69 N412 1998

A. Philip Randolph: For Jobs & Freedom
Presents a biography of the African American labor leader, journalist, and civil rights activist, A. Philip Randolph.

Call Number:  E185.97.R27 A833 1995

Black isÖ Black Ain't
Marlon T. Riggs' last documentary weaves an entertaining patchwork of dance, music, visual essays and performance poetry with the testimony of those who have felt uncomfortable and even silenced within the race because their complexion, class, gender, speech, or sexuality has rendered them "not black enough," or conversely, "too black."

Call Number: E185.625 .B5554 1995

Black Music in America from then till now
Traces the history of the contribution of the black man to American music. Includes scenes of Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, and Nina Simone.

Call Number: ML3556 .B629 1971

Black Shadows on a Silver Screen
Reviews the history of Blacks in the film industry, 1915-1950. Includes excerpts from many Black performances.

Call Number: PN1995.9 .N4 B552 1986

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feature.gif (1229 bytes)   Against the Odds: the artists of the Harlem Renaissance

Documentary tells of the struggle of Black visual artists in the 1920's and 1930's to show and sell their work. Documents the influence of the Harmon Foundation in creating an artistic home where Black visual artists flourished and developed a wide range of talent. Also included were items in the show curated by the Newark Museum to celebrate the work of the Foundation.

Call Number: N6538.N5 A353 1994

The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords
"Too long have others spoken for us". A History of African-American newspapers and journalism from the mid-19th century through the 20th century. With commentary by historians, journalists, and photojournalists, tells of the struggles against censorship, discrimination and for freedom of the press.

Call Number: PN4882.5 .B534 1998

Booker T. Washington: The Life and the Legacy
Traces the life of Booker T. Washington with an emphasis on his stewardship of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Historic recreations reveal the turning points of Washington's educational and political career.

Call Number: E185.97.W4 B665 1989

El Hajj Malik el Shabazz (Malcolm X)
A documentary showing the life of Malcolm X, his leadership in the Black Muslim movement, and his influence on black Americans and African nations. 

Call Number: E185.97.L5 E35 1991

Ethnic Notions
Traces the development of the deeply-rooted stereotypes that have fueled anti-Black prejudice in the United States.

Call Number: E185 .E843 1986

feature.gif (1229 bytes)   First Person Singular: John Hope Franklin
This documentary is a personal account of the life of octogenarian John Hope Franklin, one of America's leading historians, emeritus professor at both the University of Chicago and Duke University, and recipient of the Medal of Freedom and 105 honorary degrees. --summary from PBS

Call number: E175.5.F73 F575 1997 

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feature.gif (1229 bytes)   Flyers in Search of a Dream

Neglected by history, America's pioneering black pilots helped shape modern aviation. Meet Bessie Coleman, the first black pilot to receive a license -- that could only be granted in Europe; Hubert Julian, who became a showman and promoter of black aviation, and James Herman Banning, the first black aviator to complete a transcontinental flight. This unique documentary profiles these and other courageous pilots who overcame intense social pressures to gain the right to fly.--summary from PBS

Call Number: TL521 .F558 1986

Freedom and justice, the struggle for civil rights
Documentary featuring the photographs of Cecil J. Williams who gives a first hand photographic account of the black experience ranging from Brown vs. Board of Education to the first black congressman in South Carolina.

Call Number: E185.93.S7 F744 1994

Freedom on my Mind
Documentary of the civil rights movement and the events surrounding the Mississippi Voter Registration Project of the early 1960's. Combines archival footage with contemporary interviews.

Call Number: E185.93.M6 F738 1994

Got to Tell it: A Tribute to Mahalia Jackson
Documentaries on the lives of American gospel singer Mahalia Jackson and folk singer and composer Elizabeth Cotten.

Call Number: ML420.J17 G67 1983

In Search of Common Ground
Takes a look at African American sharecroppers who migrated North many years ago and are now senior citizens in a Washington D.C. residence called Potomac Gardens, as they reminisce about a shared rural past. Washington, with its bright lights and big city allure, was a break from the past and even though times were tough, life was better than what they had left. Today these spirited elders take pride in their common heritage and what they have achieved through hard work.

Call Number: E185.93.D6 I5 1993

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feature.gif (1229 bytes)   Frederick Douglass: When the lion wrote history

Born into slavery in 1818, Frederick Douglass was a passionate leader in the early struggle for the civil rights of black people. He also fought for women's rights along with activists Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton. He overcame incredible odds to become a journalist, publisher, diplomat and an elegant, provocative orator. This special PBS program utilizes archival photos and images, interviews and live-action filming of historical locations. --summary from PBS

Call Number: E449.D7 F743 1994 

feature.gif (1229 bytes)  Ipi Ntombi
Twenty years after its fabulous opening in Johannesburg, South Africa, Ipi Ntombi is back in an updated, slick extravaganza of dance and music that blends the traditional and modern heartbeat of Africa.

Call Number: M1500.E344 I652 1997

Malcolm X: His Own Story As it Really Happened
Adapted for the screen from the autobiography he wrote with Alex Haley's assistance, Malcolm X is a stirring portrait of the man whose life has become a rallying cry for millions.

Call Number: E185.97 .L5 A3 1995

Malcolm X: Make it Plain
"This definitive biography weaves together interviews, archival footage, photographs, and an original score to portray the fascinating intellectual journey of a complex   man whose ideas resonate today" -- summary from container.

Call Number: E185.97.L5 M357 1995

Portraits in Black
Three award-winning films to increase awareness of how black writers, artists, and freedom fighters contributed to our American cultural tradition.

Call Number: E185 .P85 1980z

A Question of Color
Examines the issue of color consciousness within the black community. This film explores a caste system based on how closely skin color, hair texture and facial features conform to a European ideal. A variety of African Americans give their experiences and attitudes towards the question of color.

Call Number: E185.625 .Q847 1992

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feature.gif (1229 bytes)   Mississippi, America

Narrated by actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, this powerful documentary chronicles a vital chapter in the history of America's civil rights movement. Using historic footage and on-camera interviews, the film focuses on the pivotal 1964 Freedom Summer when a coalition of civil rights activists broke through racial barriers to bring Mississippi's African-Americans to the voting booth. Citizens and the lawyers who volunteered to help them, confront life-threatening violence in a struggle that played a key role in the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.--summary from PBS

Call Number: KF4893.Z9 M578 1996 

The Road to Brown
Story of segregation and the legal campaign against it which helped launch the civil rights movement, and a tribute to the little-known black lawyer--Charles Houston, "the man who killed Jim Crow", by attacking the legal basis of segregation through education.

Call Number: LC2741 .R642 1990

Rosa Parks: The Path to Freedom
It has only been forty years since the fateful day that Mrs. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, yet the chain of events that she set in motion has changed the world forever. Documentary contains an overview of the events that took place in Montgomery, Alabama: Mrs. Park's arrest, the bus boycott and the segregation laws that were finally overturned. It also tells the story of the Rosa Parks that few people know--the former seamstress whose life continues to be committed to social justice for all people.

Call Number: E185.97.P3 R673 1996

The Speeches of Martin Luther King Jr.
Presents a collection of Martin Luther King, JR's. major speeches and minor asides, tracing the development of  oratorical style.

Call Number: E185.97.K5 A5 1990

Tuskegee Airmen
Presents the story of the 1st Black Air Force unit, Tuskegee Airmen, established by President Roosevelt in World War II.

Call Number: D810.N4 T877 1992

The Voyage of La Amistad: A Quest for Freedom
Chronicle of the story of the abducted Africans and their battles for freedom, first on the Amistad and then as they stood trial in a strange land, taking their case all the way to the Supreme Court with various abolitionists and former president John Quincy Adams leading the way.

Call Number: E447 .V697 1998

W.E.B. DuBois: a biography in four voices
In this film four prominent African-American writers each narrate a period in the life of the sociologist and author, W.E.B. Du Bois, and describe his impact on their work. They chronicle Du Bois' role as a founder of the NAACP, organizer of the first Pan-African Congress, editor of Crisis, a journal of the black cultural renaissance, and author of a series of landmark sociological studies. Anathematized during the McCarthy years, Du Bois immigrated to Ghana, the first independent African state, where he died.

Call Number: E185.97.D73 W163 1995

feature.gif (1229 bytes)   The American Experience Series:
Since its debut in 1988, The American Experience has brought stories of the people and events that shaped this country into nearly eight million homes each week. As public television's only regularly scheduled prime-time historical documentary series, The American Experience brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that helped form this nation. Now in its eleventh season, the series has produced over 100 programs and garnered every major broadcast award. --summary from PBS
Goin' Back To T-Town F704 .T92 G645 1992
Ida B. Wells: a passion for justice E185.97 .B26 I32 1989
Midnight ramble: Oscar Micheaux and the story of race movies PN1995.9.N4 M52 1994
Roots of resistance: A story of the underground railroad E450 .R66 1990
The Massachusetts 54th Colored Infantry E513.5 54th .M377 1991
feature.gif (1229 bytes)  Africans in America: America's Journey Through Slavery Series:
Considers the contradictions that lay at the heart of the founding of the American nation. The infant democracy pronounced all men to be created equal while enslaving one race to benefit another. Portrays the struggles of the African people in America, from their arrival in the 1600s to the last days before the Civil War.
Part I: The Terrible Transformation E411 .A336 1998 pt. 1
Part II: Revolution E411 .A336 1998 pt. 2
Part III: Brotherly Love E411 .A336 1998 pt. 3
Part IV: Judgement Day E411 .A336 1998 pt. 4
The Promised Land Series:
Documents the migration of rural Southern blacks from the segregated South to Chicago. Cultural and political gains become offset by overcrowding and increasing ghettoization, as Northern politicians ignore resentment that explodes in the Sixties. Finally, Chicago gets its first African-American mayor; many families move out of the ghetto to middle-class success; many others remain mired in a growing "underclass". Includes historical footage and personal interviews
Part I: Take me to Chicago E185.6 .P855 1995 v.1
Part II: A dream deferred E185.6 .P855 1995 v.2
Part III: Strong men keep a-comin' on E185.6 .P855 1995 v.3
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feature.gif (1229 bytes)   Eyes on the Prize Series

Eyes on the Prize, the most comprehensive television documentary on the American civil rights movement ever produced, includes rare film footage and incisive present-day interviews to bring the events of this period to life. Two events of the mid-'50s propel the movement into the headlines: the Mississippi lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till, and the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott, inspired by Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her seat to a white man. Walk with hundreds of thousands of protesters to the triumphant 1963 March on Washington. By the mid-'60s, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. confronts the powerful political machinery of Chicago's Mayer Richard Daley. As America enters the turbulent '70s, African Americans begin celebrating their own culture. --summary from PBS

Call Numbers - Part 1: E185.61 .E945 1986 nos.1-6
Part 2: E185.61 .E9452 1990 nos. 1-8
Part I:
Awakenings, 1954-1956 E185.61 .E945 1986 no. 1
Fighting back, 1957-1962  E185.61 .E945 1986 no. 2
Ain't scared of your jails, 1960-1961 E185.61 .E945 1986 no. 3
No easy walk, 1961-1963  E185.61 .E945 1986 no. 4
Mississippi: is this America?, 1962-1964  E185.61 .E945 1986 no. 5
Bridge to freedom, 1965 E185.61 .E945 1986 no. 6
Part II: 
The time has come, 1964-1965  E185.61 .E9452 1990 no. 1
Ain't gonna' shuffle no more, 1964-1972 E185.61 .E9452 1990 no. 2
Two societies, 1965-1968 E185.61 .E9452 1990 no. 3
Power!, 1967-1968 E185.61 .E9452 1990 no. 4
The promised land, 1967-1968 E185.61 .E9452 1990 no. 5
A nation of law?, 1968-1971 E185.61 .E9452 1990 no. 6
The keys to the kingdom, 1974-1980 E185.61 .E9452 1990 no. 7
Back to the movement, 1979-mid 1980's E185.61 .E9452 1990 no. 8
Coming soon:  I'll Make Me a World

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I'll Make Me A World celebrates the extraordinary achievements of 20th-century African-American writers, dancers, painters, actors, filmmakers, musicians, and other artists who changed forever who we are as a nation and a culture.

Six primetime hours engage viewers in compelling stories of struggle and creativity, featuring the sounds of jazz, blues, soul, and rap that the entire world identifies as America's music; poetry and fiction that challenge our ideas of race and our ideals of democracy; images that capture our conflicts and our commonalities; and dance, theater, and films that have thrilled and inspired a century of audiences.

Illuminating this rich legacy are some of Americaís most prominent artists, including Quincy Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Maxine Hong Kingston, Spike Lee, Chuck D, Uta Hagen, Bill T. Jones, Jacob Lawrence, Faith Ringgold, Ben Vereen, and Alice Walker. Iíll Make Me A World also includes the voices of scholars, critics, and witnesses of the national and global impact of African-American artists on this century

This multimedia initiative is a production of Blackside, Inc., best known for Eyes on the Prize, The Great Depression, and Americaís War on Poverty. Iíll Make Me A World is produced in association with Thirteen/WNET, public televisionís leading provider of culture and arts programming. --summary from PBS

feature.gif (1229 bytes)*View the PBS Featured Site for this film
**All summaries taken from IUCAT unless otherwise noted


"Who would be free themselves must strike the blow....I urge you to fly to arms and smite to death the power that would bury the Government and your liberty in the same hopeless grave. This is your golden opportunity."

--Frederick Douglass

Afro-American history, the search for authority  E185.97 .W695 F738 1987
Black diamonds: an oral history of Negro baseball. GV863.A1 B573 1978
Black pioneers in American history E185.96 .B5373 1969
History of slavery  E441 .M755 1968
Malcolm X portrait of the "black shining prince E185.97.L5 M286 1985
Poetry and reflections PS3515.U269 A6 1980
Black literature, past and future  PS374.N4 T87
From Renaissance to Negritude to Black art, Black poetry of the 20th century PS153.N5 T935
Black fiction in America PS374.N4 R822 1975
Hollywood and the Black actor PN1995.9 .N4 B644 1975
Great black speeches  E185 .G764 1974 
I have a dream  E185.61 .K529 1982
Conscience for change  E185.97.K5 A5 1970z 
Speeches and sermons E185.97 .K5 A24 1970z
The sickness of America  E185.615 .K497 1968


"Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair

--Martin Luther King Jr

last updated: 9/1/2007