Black History Month: must-see documentaries

black power mixtape

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (2011)
96 min
Rating: A-

–filmed from 1967 to ’75, this is previously unreleased footage of major figures in the Black Power movement, creating hours of footage that remained unreleased for decades. Stokely Carmichael, Huey P. Newton and Angela Davis discuss the movement’s evolution. Truly moving and powerful film.

dark girls

Dark Girls (2011)
71 min
Rating: B+
Director: D. Channsin Berry, Bill Duke

–examines prejudices dark-skinned women face throughout the world, includes the roots of classism, racism and the lack of self-esteem within a segment of cultures. Thoughtful, provocative and detailed.

soundtrack for a rev

Soundtrack for a Revolution (2009)
82 min.
Rating: A-

–celebrates the intersection of a political movement and music. Featuring new performances of freedom songs by artists such as Mary J. Blige, Wyclef Jean and John Legend, the film also includes archival footage and interviews with civil rights leaders.

good_hair_chris_rock

Good Hair (2009)
95 min
Rating: A
Directed by: Chris Rock

–in this amusing, warm and touching documentary, Chris Rock travels the world to understand African-American women’s hair. He contemplates women’s self-esteem and their looks and the application and purpose of the weave. Rock wanted to understand what his three daughters would go through.

4lg

4 Little Girls (1997)
102 min.
Rating: A
Directed by: Spike Lee

–a member of the Klu Klux Klan bombed a Birmingham, Ala. church and killed four young girls: Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Denise McNair. He put the bomb there to “send a message.” The tragedy served as a catalyst of the Civil Rights Movement. Another sad senseless act of violence in the name of white supremacy.

murder of emmett till

The Murder of Emmett Till (2003)
53 min
Rating: B+

–PBS “American Experience” documentary examines the murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till and the subsequent acquittal of his killers. While visiting the Deep South, Till whistled at a white woman, an act which led to his brutal killing. Activists organized after Till’s mother let national newspapers run pictures of her unrecognizable son. A disgusting and disturbing act of racism. Extremely upsetting and unbelievable.

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