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Harlem (New York, N.Y.)
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1.

Making a Way Out of No Way [electronic resource]: (1897-1940)

This program portrays the Jim Crow era, when African Americans struggled to build their own worlds within the harsh, narrow confines of segregation. At the turn of the 20th century, a steady stream of African Americans left the South, fleeing the threat of racial violence and searching for opportunities in the North and West. Leaders like Ida B. Wells, W.E.B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington and Marcus Garvey organized, offering different strategies to further black empowerment and equality. The ascendance of black arts and culture showed that a community with a strong identity and sense of pride was taking hold in spite of Jim Crow. The Harlem Renaissance redefined how America saw African Americans - and how African Americans saw themselves?
Online
2014; 2013
2.

Precious (Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire)

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In 1987, obese, illiterate, black 16-year-old Claireece 'Precious' Jones lives in Harlem with her dysfunctional family. She has been raped and impregnated twice by her father, Carl. She suffers constant physical, mental and sexual abuse from her unemployed mother, Mary. After getting pregnant for the second time, Precious is suspended from her school. Her principal arranges to have her attend an alternative school where her new teacher, Ms. Rain, helps Precious learn to read and she responds to this glimmer of hope. Precious also meets Mrs. Weiss, a social worker, who discovers the abuse and incest that Precious has had to endure. Her father dies of AIDS and Precious learns that she is now HIV-positive.
DVD
2010; 2009
3.

The Spirit Moves Part 1 Jazz Dance From the Turn of the Century to 1950: A History of Black Social Dance on Film, 1900-1986

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Mura Dehn was a Russian-born dancer, choreographer, and filmmaker. Her pioneering work in documenting the various styles of American black social dance is found in "The Spirit Moves," a rare and vital social document. This valuable video archive of the evolution of black dance styles features dancers renowned for their exploits at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem during the 1940s. The dancers also recreate song and dance routines of the 1920s and 30s. The dances of the 40s chronicle the prewar optimism of black Americans, while the pessimism and disaffiliation of postwar be-bop styles illustrate its elimination. Essential for dance and music research, this film documents the vital contribution of African American dance to the Jazz scene, and thus, to America's cultural heritage.
DVD
2008
Clemons (Stacks)
4.

American Gangster

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Based on a true story, American Gangster is the story of two men: Frank Lucas, former driver, bouncer, and collector for Bumpy Johnson, the so-called Robin Hood of Harlem; and Richie Roberts, night-school lawyer, detective, and honest cop. Frank is importing heroin direct from Bangkok--by-passing the Italian and Sicilian mafia--undercutting their prices, delivering superior product, and making a fortune. Richie, loathed by cops on the take for turning in a million bucks in unmarked bills found in a suspects car, is heading a newly formed Federal investigation force for narcotics, tasked with finding and arresting North American drug kingpins. These two men are destined to meet, a meeting that will change their lives.
DVD
2008; 2007
Clemons (Stacks)
5.

American Gangster

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Following the death of his employer and mentor, Bumpy Johnson, Frank Lucas establishes himself as the number one importer of heroin in Harlem. He does so by buying heroin directly from a source in South East Asia, and he comes up with a unique way of importing the drugs into the United States. As a result, his product is superior to what is currently available on the street and his prices are lower. His alliance with the New York Mafia ensures his position. Richie Roberts is a dedicated and honest policeman who heads up a joint narcotics task force with the Federal government and is determined to bring down Lucas' drug empire. Based on a true story.
DVD
2008; 2007
Law (Klaus Reading Room) Map
6.

Gunnin' for That #1 Spot

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On September 1, 2006, the top 24 high school basketball players in the nation stepped out onto the basketball court in Harlem's Rucker Park to compete in the first annual Elite 24 Hoops Classic. This documentary film follows eight players as they showcase their skills at the legendary NBA training ground, facing fierce pressures while being groomed to be in the spotlight of a multi-million-dollar game.
DVD
2008
Clemons (Stacks)
7.

Sparkle

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Set in Harlem in 1958, this musical tells the story of three sisters struggling to find stardom as a singing group. But they learn that wishing on a star is one thing, and that being the star can be a one-way ticket to self-destruction.
DVD
2007; 1975
Clemons (Stacks)
8.

Hoodlum

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DVD
2007; 1997
Clemons (Stacks)
9.

The Ron Clark Story

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This drama is based on events in the life of Ron Clark, a passionate and innovative teacher who left his small town to teach in one of Harlem's toughest schools. Clark uses persistence and unconventional methods to reach his students and encourage them to reach their full potential.
DVD
2006
Clemons (Stacks)
10.

From These Roots: A Review of the Harlem Renaissance

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Uses still photographs and filmed sequences to recreate the social and political climate of the Harlem renaissance--a period of great artistic and cultural activity in the 1920's which had, and still has, a profound influence on black American art and self-awareness and life-style.
DVD
2005; 1974
Clemons (Stacks)
11.

Treasures of Black Cinema: Volume 1

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The devil's daughter: Isabelle Walton returns to claim her late father's Jamaican plantation. She encounters voodoo and and a jealous half-sister in the process. Comic relief is provided by Hamtree Harrington who thinks his soul has been put into the body of a pig.; Gang war: Classic battle between two gangs for control of the juke box machines in Harlem.; The bronze buckaroo: Bob Blake and his boys arrive at Joe Jackson's ranch to find him missing. While Slim cheats Dusty out of his money using ventriloquism and marked cards, Blake tries to find Jackson. Learning that Thorne and his gang are holding him prisoner, he and his men trail them. When Thorne's gang gets the drop on them, Slim puts his ventriloquism to work.; Up in the air: A radio singer is murdered while singing on the ai [...]
DVD
2005; 1938
Clemons (Stacks)
12.

Against the Odds [electronic resource]: The Artists of the Harlem Renaissance

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Harlem in the 1920s and 1930s was the scene of a passionate outburst of creativity by African-American visual artists. Rich archival footage, including newsreels and photographs, recalls the influential force of the exhibitions, the vibrancy of Harlem and the many significiant personalities that shaped the movement, such as William E. Harmon, W.E.B. DuBois and Alain Locke.
Online
2005; 1994
13.

Jazz: Episode 10 a Masterpiece by Midnight [electronic resource]

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Last of 10 episodes tracing the history of Jazz from its roots in the African-American community of New Orleans. By the early 1960's, jazz is in trouble. Louis Armstrong manages to outsell the Beatles with "Hello Dolly" and Stan Getz helps boost a craze fpr Bossa Nova. During the Civil Rights struggle, some artists mix music with social protest, including Max Roach, Charles Mingus, Archie Shepp, and the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Tenor saxaphone master, Dexter Gordon returns from Europe and a new generation of musicians, led by the trumpeter Wynton Marsalis emerges. As it enters its second century, jazz is still alive, still changing and still swinging.
Online
2005; 2000
14.

New York, a Documentary Film: Episode 5 Cosmopolis, 1919-1931 [electronic resource]

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In this short but dazzling period, New York became the focal point of an extraordinary array of human and cultural energies, reaching its highest levels of urban excitement and glamour. In just over a decade, New York gave birth to its signature skyscrapers, the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings, and to artistic creations like F. Scott Fitzgerald's THE GREAT GATSBY, George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," and to the jazz compositions of Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. Along the way, Harlem emerged as the undisputed capital of the African- American experience and the new media industries of advertising, radio networks, public relations, and magazines found their homes in midtown Manhattan - Program website.
Online
2005; 1999
15.

New York, a Documentary Film: Episode 6 City of Tomorrow, 1929-1941 [electronic resource]

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From the Depression to the New Deal, enormous forces were interested upon New York which permanently altered the city and the country. Two remarkable New Yorkers rose to prominence: May Fiorello La Guardia and master builder Robert Moses. This episode examines their careers in detail, as well as the immense public works that transformed the city in the '30s. Also explored are the demise of Mayor Jimmy Walker, the fate of Harlem during the Depression, and the increasingly complex impact of the automobile on the city - Program website
Online
2005; 2001
16.

Don't Play Us Cheap

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A musical comedy about two minions of the devil who crash a Harlem party, thrown by Miss Maybell, with high hopes of destroying its festive atmosphere.
DVD
2004; 1973
Clemons (Stacks)
17.

The Pawnbroker

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A long time ago, Sol Nazerman was a professor. He had a wife, children. Then the Germans came. Sol survived the concentration camp, his family did not. Now, as the pawnbroker in a shop owned by a racketeer, he grows increasingly bitter and callous, withdrawing still further from the world around him. His eager assistant Jesus looks to him as both a teacher and a father figure, but Sol eschews involvement or compassion. This detachment leads to a tragedy, which awakens Sol's humanity, wherein he can finally acknowledge his burden of grief and guilt.
DVD
2003; 1965
Clemons (Stacks)
18.

Go Tell It on the Mountain

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A young black boy in the 1930's tries to win the respect of his stepfather.
DVD
2003; 1984; 1985
Clemons (Stacks)
19.

Sugar Hill

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Roemello Skuggs (Wesley Snipes) and his older brother Raynathan (Michael Wright) grew up in Harlem with junkies for a mother and father. At an early age, the boys began working for one of the local bosses, Gus (Abe Vigoda). As the years go by, their influence and power expands, until they have become the premier drug dealers in the neighborhood, wielding power to be reckoned with. But Roemello is becoming disillusioned with his life of crime, and is desperately seeking a way out, even as Raynathan tries to keep the "team" together.
DVD
2002
Clemons (Stacks)
20.

Harlem Nights

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A night club owner and his son fight to keep the mob and corrupt police from putting them out of business.
DVD
2001
Clemons (Stacks)