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1.

Black Like Who?

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In this painfully honest documentary, filmmaker Debbie Reynolds explores themes of assimilation, internalized racism and self hatred. Debbie is a black student who grew up in a white neighborhood, went to white schools, had white friends, and did not think about being black. As she grew older and left home, her new friends at college noticed her inability to relate easily to other blacks. Debbie realized she had a troubling identity problem and she searched for its origins within her family. Interviewing her parents, she learns that her father's middle class aspirations led him to a tidy white suburb, safe from drugs and crime. Yet he recalls his amazement when six-year-old Debbie did not realize she was black. In retrospect, her mother mourns that they did not instill black pride in [...]
Online
1997
2.

Invisible Revolution

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This disturbing documentary profiles a chilling subculture among American youth. For over a decade, the clash between racist and anti-racist youth has been virtually invisible, but now, ever younger members are taking control of the white supremacy movement. Rising against them are a group of anti- racist skinheads, punk rockers and mainstream kids who call themselves the Anti Racist Action (ARA). These groups are often indistinguishable as they battle one another. The filmmaker, Beverly Peterson, had extraordinary access to the hate-filled adolescents at war with each other. Their confrontations have led to assaults and even murder, confounding their parents, their communities, as well as the police. While organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Americans for Demo [...]
Online
2001
3.

Race or Reason, the Bellport Dilemma

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In 1969-70, when race riots were sweeping across America in the wake of the civil rights movement, Bellport, a small town on Long Island, NY, was caught in the storm. The town was divided between its poor African-American and Puerto Rican population and affluent whites. The local high school became the scene of angry confrontations, resulting in its temporary closure and a police presence. The house of community resident Betty Puleston was being used as a meeting place where black, white and Latino students could air their grievances. To help further, she gave the students two port-a-pac video cameras following a concept introduced by the National Film Board of Canada. The hope was that media could be used to facilitate dialogue. That hope was realized, as the students recorded their [...]
Online
2003
4.

Race to Execution

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Race to Execution" is a gripping documentary that offers a compelling investigation of America's death penalty, probing how race discrimination infects our capital punishment system. The film neither advocates nor repudiates the death penalty; instead, it enlarges the conversation regarding capital punishment, focusing attention on race-of-jury as well as race-of-victim. Research reveals that our justice system is far worse than arbitrary and capricious; it has deteriorated significantly in the last twenty years. Highlighted is a well-documented indicator of this trend - the higher value placed on the lives of white victims. Once a victim's body is discovered, the race of the victim and the accused deeply influence the legal process: from how a crime scene is investigated, to the dep [...]
Online
2007
5.

Turbans

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Turbans is a presentation of National Asian American Telecommunications Assoc. and Different Drum Productions with funding provided by the CPB. It is a lyrical short drama set in the lush, green Oregon of 1918. It explores the conflict within an Asian Indian immigrant family torn between cultural traditions and a strong desire for social acceptance. Based on the memoirs of the filmmaker's grandmother, Turbans illuminates issues of assimilation faced by all immigrants. The compelling story concerns the young Singh boys who, although born in the U.S., are attacked for being different. The turbans they wear, a tradition sacred to their Sikh ancestors, identify them as outsiders in the prejudiced landscape of their time and place. Their father makes a tough, heart-breaking decision that [...]
Online
2001
6.

A Most Unlikely Hero

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This inspiring film chronicles Capt. Bruce Yamashita s fight against racial discrimination in the Marine Corps. A third-generation American of Japanese ancestry, he grew up in Hawaii and was a graduate of Georgetown law school, and a delegate to the Hawaii Constitutional Convention. In 1989 he joined the Marine Corps and sought to qualify as an officer. Bruce was subjected to humiliating slurs from the moment he entered officer s training. During the nine -week training program, he was continually taunted by both his peers and the officers in charge, who told him in no uncertain terms he should go back to Japan. Two days before graduation, he was "disenrolled," along with three other minority candidates. Although he had never been a civil rights activist, this injustice nagged at him [...]
Online
2006
7.

Bloody Island

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In the early part of the century, thousands of African Americans migrated from the rural South in search of a better life in the northern industrial cities. This black migration was an important event in U.S. history. It fueled the factories of the North, but hurt an already weakened southern economy. In East St. Louis, Ill., trouble was brewing as black workers were being hired to replace striking white workers. It all came to a head on the night of July 1, 1917 when two white men shot randomly into homes in a black neighborhood. As the riot escalated, the militia was called in. When the dust settled, thirty-nine people were officially reported dead and many more were injured. The black community was convinced that these numbers were low, but President Wilson refused to permit a fed [...]
Online
1989
8.

Are We Different?

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A tacit code of silence on matters of race perpetuates divisions. Are We Different? gives voice to African-American students around the country as they articulate issues of race, racism and race relations. It uncovers subjects that are generally taboo or difficult to express. The discussion ranges from whether stylistic differences between whites and blacks are superficial or profound, to the causes and nature of anger and frustration in the black community. The students question why "blackness" is suddenly so fashionable and why some white kids like to hang out in black neighborhoods. They talk about black culture with its special speech patterns and gestures that sets it apart. They talk about black spirituality and energy. As Cornel West, director of Princeton's Afro-American Stud [...]
Online
1993
9.

Long Story Short

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Combining a poignant family story with the stigma of racism, this film gives insight into the Asian-American experience, including the trauma of internment. The latest film from Academy Award-nominated director Christine Choy (Who Killed Vincent Chin?) tells the fascinating story of Larry and Trudie Long, a popular husband-and-wife nightclub act of the '40s and '50s. Narrated by their daughter, actress Jodi Long, the film traces the couple's rise from the Chinatown nightclub circuit to a coveted appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Known as "The Leungs," (a more Chinese-sounding name), they performed a mix of tap dancing, witty repartee and "Chinaman" caricatures that both played to and undermined the racist attitudes of the day. Trudie Long, born Kimiye Tsunemitsu, was actually not C [...]
Online
2009