“Who We Are: A chronicle of Racism in America” is a documentary by Jeffrey Robinson, an attorney and ACLU representative, that discusses the history of racism. And not just individual racism, which is what the focus tends to be placed on, but rather the history of institutional racism. The systemized structure and practice of white supremacy that was created at the founding of the country. I love documentaries (and books) like this where people use facts and logic to break down the ridiculous efforts to reframe history to suit agendas. It’s especially important as pushes are made to eliminate Black history and the reality of American history from school curriculums. To experience Robinson point by point, just completely picking apart and obliterating all this nonsense that you see out here about Black history was incredibly refreshing.
“Descendant” is a 2022 documentary about the past and present history of the Clotilda and Africatown. The Clotilda was a slave ship that illegally transported what is believed to be the last group of kidnapped Africans to America. After the Civil War, the group settled in an area of Alabama near where they first arrived and established a Black settlement that would come to be called Africatown. The documentary tells the story of the survivors of the Clotilda and follows their descendants’ fight to maintain control of their town and legacy when the ship’s remains are finally located.
Summary Teddy Pendergrass: If You Don’t Know Me is an inspirational 2018 documentary directed by Olivia Lichtenstein about the life and career of the legendary R&B singer. Born and raised…
“Black Hollywood: They’ve Gotta Have Us” is a three-part television miniseries about the history of Black actors and filmmakers in Hollywood. Directed by Simon Frederick, the series features commentary and insights from actors, directors, and others involved in the making of films. They discuss not only specific notable films and roles but also a more birds eye view of how the landscape has changed and also remained the same for Black people in Hollywood.
“Through a Lens Darkly” is a 2014 documentary directed by Thomas Allen Harris about the history of Black people in America both in front and behind the lens. The film explores how the camera has been used at various times to shape the public image of Black America. Beginning during slavery and ending in the recent past, the documentary presents and discusses photos of Black people from through the decades but also presents short profiles of notable Black photographers.