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What Is an American? [electronic resource]: The American Future

Who should be allowed to enter the United States and call themselves an American has always been one of the nation's most divisive issues - and it continues to be so during the 2008 presidential election. In this program, Simon Schama looks at the bitter conflict over immigration, tracing its roots to the founding of America. The early settlers were themselves immigrants but they saw America as fundamentally a white and Protestant nation. Schama examines the key events that challenged this view: the annexation of parts of Mexico in 1848, the immigration and subsequent expulsion of the Chinese in the late 19th century, and the massive emigration from Eastern Europe during the 1920s.

Have You Seen Drum Recently? [electronic resource]: The Story of a Black Magazine in a White World

First published in South Africa during the 1950s, Drum magazine became a rallying point for black people as the anti-apartheid movement took shape. The publication, which featured liberal articles by such intellectuals as Lewis Nkosi, Can Themba, and Henry Nxumalo, gave voice to the movement, helping Nelson Mandela and his compatriots. Drum was more than a magazine - it was an expression of a new way of life. Among the highlights of this documentary is footage of the young Mandela and Oliver Tambo as they conduct political meetings and confrontations. The apartheid regime eventually closed the magazine down, but its legacy lives on to this day.

Minds That Matter [electronic resource]: John Lewis

No one grasps the connections between social activism, electoral politics, and racial issues better than Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), perhaps the most prominent living veteran of the American civil rights movement. In 2007, he received the Robert J. Dole Leadership Prize from the University of Kansas and, in conjunction with the award, granted this in-depth interview before a live audience. Rep. Lewis discusses an epic range of topics, including his childhood in segregated Alabama; his first meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; the back-stage dilemma over his speech at the finale of the March on Washington; his role in the attempted march from Selma to Montgomery; the ongoing need for social activism today; and more.
2009; 2008

Reborn [electronic resource]: New Orleans Schools

Despite its horrific destruction, Hurricane Katrina gave New Orleans educators the opportunity to reinvent a school system that wasn't working. This program chronicles the first official year of public school in New Orleans after the storm and the transition to the widespread use of charter schools in the city. Focusing on predominantly African-American schools, the film examines the situation from the perspective of several different teachers and principals-while also illustrating the hopes and frustrations of students and their families as new schools are constructed and new teaching methods are put into action. Interviews feature KIPP Schools cofounder Mike Feinberg and many other education experts.
2009; 2008

Minority Health [electronic resource]

Healthy living presents special challenges for members of minorities living in lower-income neighborhoods-particularly senior citizens. This program examines those challenges, and the health problems that can result, by focusing on African-Americans and Latinos. Host Dr. Kevin Soden speaks with Dr. Terrance Fullham about difficulties faced by older African-Americans, including obesity and limitations on access to health care, highlighted by a case study of the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Then, Dr. Mark Hathaway leads the discussion on health issues facing Latinos, which are further complicated by language barriers. A thought-provoking perspective on minority rights and social inequality in America's urban areas.
2009; 2007

Hidden People of China [electronic resource]

For many different reasons-perhaps because of ignorance or long-standing cultural and political barriers-China is often viewed by outsiders as a homogeneous nation. Such erroneous views are slowly giving way to greater awareness of the country's myriad minority populations. This program introduces viewers to the 55 officially recognized minority groups of China as many of their members gather to celebrate their diversity and preserve their ways in a dazzling display of sport and cultural pride.
2010; 2008

A Class Divided [electronic resource]

After the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., an elementary school teacher in a small Iowa town decided to introduce ideas about racism and discrimination to her all-white class. This classic Frontline episode recounts Jane Elliott's bold experiment and its provocative approach-awarding special privileges to her blue-eyed students while discriminating against those whose eyes were brown. The program tracks down Mrs. Elliott's former third-graders to learn what effect those early lessons about ignorance and injustice had on their lives.

Overcoming Prejudice [electronic resource]

Prejudice isn't something we're born with-and if we learn it, we can unlearn it. The first step in that process is to study it objectively, as this video does through candid interviews, dramatizations, and expert commentary. Offering a practical definition of prejudice, the video explores its basis in ignorance and fear of outsiders, the qualities it most frequently targets (race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, physique, social class, and political beliefs) as well as its principal results-namely, discrimination, racism, and oppression. The program focuses in a teen-friendly way on prejudice in American society, with discussions of the "melting pot" concept; how such diversity, while unquestionably desirable, carries with it the potential for racial, ethnic, and cul [...]

Borrow a Stereotype [electronic resource]: Teaching Tolerance Through the Living Library Project

Imagine walking into a public library..sitting down with a person wearing a name tag with a potentially loaded label such as "disabled," "gay," "homeless," "Muslim," "police officer," or even "teenager" and then engaging him or her in a discussion of common prejudices in order to better understand a fellow human too often obscured by a stereotype! Peace activist Ronni Abergel did, and the international Living Library Project was born. This program reports on the launch of North America's first Living Library event, held at the Santa Monica Public Library. Volunteers and participants share their reactions, and Abergel explains how he came to found the Project and why it matters-today more than ever. The message? Don't judge a book by its cover.

Unforgivable Blackness Part 1 [electronic resource]: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson - a Film Directed by Ken Burns

This first part of the film follows Jack Johnson's remarkable journey from his humble beginnings in Galveston, Texas, to his entry into the world of professional boxing, where, in turn-of-the-century Jim Crow America, the heavyweight championship was an exclusively "white title." In 1908 Johnson became the first African-American to earn the title Heavyweight Champion of the World. On July 4, 1910, ex-champion Jim Jeffries, the new "Great White Hope," challenged the champion. The fight was billed as the Battle of the Century. Despite a hostile crowd and a steady stream of racial epithets hurled from Jeffries's corner, Johnson won an easy victory, provoking race riots all around the country.

Unforgivable Blackness Part 2 [electronic resource]: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson - a Film Directed by Ken Burns

By the end of 1910, as the second part of this film begins, Jack Johnson was the most famous - and the most notorious - African-American on earth. But when no one was able to beat the champion in the ring, the U.S. government set out to destroy him in the courts. Unfairly charged with violating the Mann Act, Johnson was convicted and sentenced to jail. Skipping bail, he fled to Europe, where he remained a fugitive for many years. Determined to live his life regardless of the confines imposed by his color, Jack Johnson emerged as a central figure in America's ongoing struggle to deal with the question of race.

Destiny [electronic resource]: Empowering Roma Women

Through the eyes of Maria José, we see how Gypsies are facing up to the challenges of 21st-century life. This documentary is the empowering personal story of one Roma woman who is taking control of her own destiny. Maria José is a pretty, charismatic 28-year-old. She graduated from one of Spain's top universities and has a prestigious career in social services. But she's also a Gypsy and has had to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles to succeed. As a social worker, Maria works hard to improve conditions for other Gypsies. This uplifting film provides new insight into the embattled Roma community.

Moyers & Company [electronic resource]: Confronting the Contradictions of America's Past

Bill Moyers opens this edition of Moyers & Company with thoughts about the origins and lessons of Independence Day. We should remember, he says, that behind the Fourth of July holiday are human beings, like Thomas Jefferson, who were as flawed and conflicted as they were inspired, who espoused great humanistic ideals while behaving with reprehensible racial discrimination. That conflict - between what we know and how we live - is still a struggle in contemporary politics and society. Moyers also speaks with Khalil Muhammad, head of the New York Public Library's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Muhammad is the author of The Condemnation of Blackness, which connects American histories of race, crime, and the making of urban America to modern headlines. Muhammad and Moyer [...]

Positive Youth [electronic resource]: The Face of HIV Is the Human Face

Filmed in the U.S. and Canada, this documentary puts a human face on the new reality of living with HIV by introducing viewers to four very open, very dynamic individuals who are either HIV-infected or "HIV-affected": Austin Head, 27, a well-known DJ, entertainer, and musician; Chris Brooks, 24, a YouTube video blogger; Jesse Brown, 25, who is grappling with the decision of when to begin taking antiretroviral medication; and Rakiya Larkin, 18, who, in helping her HIV+ mom, has had to grow up very fast. Over the course of the program, the four discuss the challenges of living and loving with HIV, while medical and psychological experts provide facts and historical context to show that although HIV is still incurable, it can, with effort, be managed. "We need to teach people that this [...]

Trouble Behind [electronic resource]

Like many industrial centers, Corbin, Kentucky - birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken - attracted African-American sharecroppers looking for better-paying jobs during World War I. But when white veterans returned from the war, economic competition heated up, and on one October night in 1919 black citizens were literally railroaded out of town. The events of that night are reconstructed in this documentary with the help of newsreel clips and interviews with eyewitnesses and scholars, while Corbin's current residents deny the town's "whites only" reputation and evade its haunting past.

From Arusha to Arusha [electronic resource]: Seeking Justice for Rwanda

Focusing on the 1994 Rwandan genocide, this film examines the international justice system and studies the activities of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), which is prosecuting those responsible for the tragedy as well as those of the gacaca courts, or grass courts - the people's tribunals - who are working toward justice through reconciliation. By juxtaposing archival footage of an international court enacting justice behind closed doors with images and testimony gathered in the field, the film presents conflicting points of view and invites the Rwandan people to reappropriate their own history. Director Christophe Gargot has his roots in the rich documentary tradition of filmmakers who are interested in focusing on the rituals of large institutions. This film ex [...]

Australia [electronic resource]: Tracking the Intervention

Shocked at the extent of child abuse in Aboriginal communities, the Australian government in 2007 declared the situation a national emergency and ordered the military to intervene. Control was seized of 73 communities that had been under indigenous rule, bans on alcohol and pornography put in place, and a complex system of welfare payments was instituted that sometimes left recipients without funds - and with their self-esteem in tatters. This program investigates the Australian government's controversial - some say racist - intervention in the Northern Territory's Aboriginal communities, considering whether cultural factors have doomed the action to failure.

Australia's Young Muslims [electronic resource]: Dangerous Ground

The planning of a new Islamic school triggers outrage among Sydney's non-Muslim residents. A protest against the project attracts thousands from all social backgrounds, brought together by their wish to see the Muslims leave town. Hostility like this has impacted the way Australia's young Muslims - most of whom were born in Australia - feel about their country. This program looks at the fraught relationship between these young people and the rest of the population there, arguing that Australia's tough stance on terrorism is alienating an entire community, and possibly creating radicalization among them as a result.

South Africa [electronic resource]: Forest of Crocodiles

Like the crocodiles that carpet their country's riverbanks, some South Africans have never evolved beyond a primitive state that links survival with fear. Their homes are equipped with electric fences and hired security crews for the purpose of keeping out intruders - who would, of course, be black. This program explores the persistence of racist attitudes among white South Africans and also takes a heartening look at those who have overcome their prejudice. "How do you teach a child in South Africa not to be afraid?" asks Johannes, a retired white pastor who works closely with a black congregation. "It has been so emphasized in our history.

What's Your Point, Honey? [electronic resource]: Young Women Prepare for Leadership

She's out there somewhere. She may be a complete unknown, or she may already be in the public spotlight, but sooner or later the first female president of the United States will emerge. While openly acknowledging today's inequalities, this film puts a new face on America's future by introducing several promising young leaders, all of them women. Viewers learn about an innovative program created by CosmoGirl magazine and the White House Project, designed to encourage young women to pursue management roles and to think of themselves as potential office holders. Interwoven with the stories of these hopeful, ambitious interns are conversations with feminist thinkers and activists from previous generations - including the iconic Gloria Steinem, who reflects on her personal journey as well [...]