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Cincinnati World Cinema   Black Cinema & Resources
Created many years ago as CWC actualized its mission of celebrating cultural diversity, this webpage page had two purposes:
1. To drive awareness in the black community by sharing cinematic works by/about/featuring people who look like them.
2. To acquaint white audiences with the content and quality of works by POC, most of which address important social issues.

Over the years we expanded content beyond just the films shown by CWC to encompass reference materials we used with post-film discussions — socio-cultural resources that hopefully will aid in greater understanding, cooperation and action by all concerned. The Race & Racism and External Resources sections are not exhaustive and clearly a work in progress – we welcome suggestions regarding additional links and content.

Race & Racism | CWC Films Additional External Resources |

Race & Racism



PBS Biographies: Classic Black Authors Everyone Should Read
Maya Agelou, James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, Octavia Butler, W.E.B. DuBois, Ralph Ellison, Alex Haley, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, Richard Wright

The Warmth of Other Suns (2010), Pulitizer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson's mesmerizing non-fiction account of The Great Migration. A must-read for anyone who truly wants to understand contemporary American history.
Also see:
Caste (2020), in which Wilkerson argues that race and caste "can and do coexist in the same culture and serve to reinforce each other. Race, in the United States, is the visible agent of the unseen force of caste. Caste is the bones, race the skin."

Democracy Awakening: Notes on the State of America (2023), by Heather Cox Richardson, discusses how the crisis of democracy in America is a deep-seated current of racial resentment rooted in the failure of Reconstruction back when it engendered the false belief in the minds of poor working class whites that the federal government exists to subsidize Black people at their expense.
Also see:

How The South Won The Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for the Soul of America (2020), by Heather Cox Richardson, traces the competing claims of equality and subordination woven into the nation's fabric and identity created when the system that sustained the defeated Civil War South moved westward and established dominance, cementing racial hierarchies.
Related video: Heather Cox Richardson on C-Span. How and why the Old South not only survived in the West, but thrived.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Turning the Lens Around: Seeing White, Part 1, PODCAST: Looking straight at white America – and at the notion of whiteness itself. Where did this idea of a white race come from? God? Nature? Or is it man-made? Episode Transcript

How Race Was Made: Seeing White, Part 2, PODCAST: For much of human history, people viewed themselves as members of tribes or nations but had no notion of "race." Today, science deems race biologically meaningless. Who invented race as we know it, and why? Episode Transcript

Made In America: Seeing White, Part 3, PODCAST: Chattel slavery in the United States, with its distinctive – and strikingly cruel – laws and structures, took shape over many decades in colonial America. The innovations that built American slavery are inseparable from the construction of Whiteness as we know it today. Episode Transcript

Seeing White PODCAST: Index of and links to Episodes 1 through 14.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Black History and Women's Timeline: 1800 - 1859
Black History and Women's Timeline: 1870 - 1879
Black History and Women's Timeline: 1900 - 1909
Black History and Women's Timeline: 1910 - 1919
Black History and Women's Timeline: 1920 - 1929
Black History and Women's Timeline: 1940 - 1949
Black History and Women's Timeline: 1950 - 1959
Black History and Women's Timeline: 1960 - 1969
Black History and Women's Timeline: 1970 - 1979
Black History and Women's Timeline: 1990 - 1999

The Black Struggle for Freedom - Major Events & Timeline
Civil Rights Movement Timeline: 1951 - 1959
Civil Rights Movement Timeline: 1960 - 1964
Civil Rights Movement Timeline: 1965 - 1969

JAMES BALDWIN - read, watch and listen

Read: Get acquainted: bio, writings, activism
Watch: James Baldwin – Dick Cavett 1969 19:00
Watch: PBS: Baldwin-Buckley race debate still resonates 55 years on 9:00
Watch: James Baldwin – William F. Buckley Debate 1965 58:00
Letter to My Nephew, Listen: James Baldwin's 1962 "Letter to My Nephew" read by Chris Rock 13:00
Letter to My Nephew, Read: Letter to My Nephew by James Baldwin with scrolling text 12:00
Watch: 1986 James Baldwin Interview w/ Mavis Nicholson on BBC Four 20:00
Read: The May 1963 meeting between Baldwin, Bobby Kennedy and black luminaries
Read: Books by James Baldwin (Good Reads)
New to James Baldwin? Start with notable essays: The Fire Next Time, 1955, and Notes of a Native Son, 1963.
Read: Teachers' Guide, The Fire Next Time


Educate Yourself: Online Racial Equality Workshops, Eventbrite's ongoing collection of events to foster learning, understanding and action.
Race & Women's Suffrage, CWC research from 2012. Within the women's suffrage movement there were parallel tracks, white and black, consistent with the parallel cultures that evolved as a result of segregation in America. Few school systems address this in detail, but this four-page document will get you started with learning about African American women who made a difference. Included are: Hallie Quinn Brown, Mary Shadd Cary, Anna Julia Cooper, Sarah Smith Garnett, Angelina Weld Grimke, Charlotte Forten Grimke, Frances Watkins Harper, Addie Waites Hunton, Hester Jeffrey, Adella Hunt Logan, Gertrude Bustill Mossell, Florence Spearing Randolph, Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, Mary Church Terrell, Margaret Murray Washington, Ida Wells-Barnett and Fannie Barrier Williams.
Black Lives Matter: Ways You Can Help
The National Humanities Center ~ Digital library, podcasts, teaching resources, webinars, scholarly research, interdisciplinary digital text books.
Blacks in jail/prison. Roughly 2.3 million people are held in American prisons and jails. America is responsible for 20% of the world's incarerations, more than any other country. Blacks represent 40% of our incarcerated population, but only 13% of the U.S. general population.
New Era of Public Safety: An Advocacy Toolkit for Fair, Safe and Effective Community Policing
Equal Justice Initiative
The Science of Justice: Race, Arrest, and Police Use of Force Talking About Race – National Museum of African American History & Culture
America's Racial Contract is Killing Us
Who Gets to Be Afraid in America
Requiem for the American Dream
Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup
Ijeoma Oluo: So You Want To Talk About Race
Speak Out

Anti-Racism for Beginners


Code Switch (NPR Podcast)
Pod For The Cause (The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights - Podcast)
About Race (Podcast)
Seeing White (Podcast)
1619 Podcast (NYT Podcast)


Black Feminism & the Movement for Black Lives (YouTube) How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion (TED)

CWC Films
Consistent with our mission and commitment to the community, CWC has presented important contemporary and classic films – documentaries, drama, comedies and shorts – offering a variety of entertainment and learning experiences. In this section we identify films that include one or more of the following attributes:
  • feature themes about the African diaspora and the American experience;
  • are made by black filmmakers;
  • feature black artists in significant roles;
  • include post-film discussions with the filmmakers and/or local experts.

    With very few exceptions, these are films that were not otherwise available at the time on the large screen in the Cincinnati market. In most cases CWC has, or can obtain, public performance rights for special presentations. For additional information, contact Cincinnati World Cinema.

  • From the CWC Film Archives:


    Rest Stop, Sundance Shorts 2023
    Directors Crystal Kayiza, Jalena Keane-Lee and Brit Fryer, USA, 2022, 12 min.
    As a family moves through the many landscapes that have come to define the American dream, "Rest Stop" tells a relatable story about the moments when we realize our parents are human and how that shapes our place in the world – moments that explore family, migration, gender, and power.

    Parker, Sundance Shorts 2023
    Directors Catherine Hoffmand and Sharon Lise, USA, 2022, 13 min.
    What's in a name? For Black Americans, naming has always been a fraught topic. Most still have the last names of the men who enslaved black families only a few generations ago. While Parker grapples with some of the complicated themes of naming in the Black community, the Parker family navigates it all with charm and a love that radiates off the screen.

    You Go Girl, Sundance Shorts 2022
    Written and directed by Shariffa Chelimo Ali, USA, 2022, 13 min.
    Balancing comedy and grief with nuanced specificity, the film humor, fear, vulnerability, loss, peace and the beauty of a natural environment to express a poignant message. "You Go Girl!" celebrates Black mothers, life, healing, and self-discovery.

    If I Go Will They Miss Me, Sundance Shorts 2022
    Written and directed by Walter Thompson-Hernández, USA, 2021, 12 min.
    A meditation on the filmmaker's roots and childhood home inspired by real events, "If I Go" explores fatherhood and freedom to explore life.

    White Wedding, Sundance Shorts 2021
    Melody C. Roscher, (director and writer), USA, 2020, 10 min.
    Based on the filmmaker's own family experience, this is an emotionally intense short film about Bella, a biracial bride played by "Black Panther" star Nabiyah Be.

    Generation Impact: The Coder, Lunafest 2022 Documentary
    Director Samantha Knowles, USA, 2021, 7 min.
    An inspiring true story of drive, hope and ingenuity, about a 13-year-old girl who designs and builds a mobile app to help kids stay connected to their incarcerated parents by sending photos and letters.

    Between The Lines: Liz At Large, Lunafest 2022 Documentary
    Director Abi Cole, USA, 2022, 5 min.
    Frustrated with the lack of character diversity in The New Yorker's cartoons, artist Liz Montague submits her own illustrations. She began contributing to the magazine in 2019 and became the first Black, female cartoonist in The New Yorker's storied history.

    A Love Song for Latasha, Oscar Nominated Short Docs 2021
    Director Sophia Nahli Allison, USA, 2020, 19 min.
    The evocative story of 15-year-old Latasha Harlin's life and dreams, lamenting her death in 1992.

    A Concerto is a Conversation, Oscar Nominated Short Docs 2021
    Directors Ben Proudfoot & Kris Bowers, USA, 2020, 14 min
    An uplifting inter-generational story wherein a virtuoso jazz pianist and film composer tracks his family's lineage through his 91-year-old grandfather from Jim Crow Florida to the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

    Genius Loci, Oscar Nominated Short Animation 2021
    Director Adrien Merigeau, France, 2020, 16 min.
    In this abstract animation, we join a young black woman, Reine, encountering mental disorientation and existential confusion as she journeys through her own memory, ranging from domestic tranquility to urban chaos and back again.

    Two Distant Strangers, Oscar Winner, Short Live Action 2021
    Director Travon Free, USA, 2020, 32 min.
    A bittersweet tragicomic satire driving home the repetitive and abhorrent circumstances that comprise an all-to-common aspect of American life.

    Feeling Through, Oscar Nominated Short Live Action 2021
    Director Dough Roland, USA, 2020, 19 min.
    A poignant late-night encounter on a New York City street leads to a profound connection between a teen in need and a man who is DeafBlind.

    Black Bodies, Sundance Shorts 2021
    Kelly Fyffe-Marshall (director and co-writer), Canada, 2020, 4 min
    A Black man laments as he comes face-to-face with the realities of being Black in the 21st century.

    Sparkle, Julia Reichert Retrospective, 2022
    Directors Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar, USA, 2012, 18 min
    Sheri "Sparkle" Williams has been a star dancer with the legendary Dayton Contemporary Dance Company for nearly 40 years-a record unheard of in the professional dance community-and she is one of the few dancers outside of New York City to have been honored with the prestigious Bessie Award for Individual Performance.

    Betye Saar: Taking Care of Business  documentary (Regional Premiere)
    Director Christine Turner, USA, 2020
    At age 93, Betye Saar has been pushing boundaries and creating art for 70 years and this portrait shows she isn't done fighting inequality in her personal and powerful work. The film explores Saar's civil rights activism and how, through her artwork, she has taken the stereotypical images that were once used to demean African-Americans and has weaponized them in the fight for equal rights.

    Knocking Down the Fences  documentary (Regional Premiere)
    Director Meg Shutzer, USA, 2020
    The story of AJ Andrews, a Gold Glove winner earning less than $15k a year in an industry more willing to pay female athletes to model than to play their sport.

    Dear Basketball   documentary (Oscar Winner)
    Director Glen Keane, USA, 2017
    Basketball great Kobe Bryant collaborated with visionary animator Glen Keane and legendary composer John Williams on an animated short film that explores what it means to achieve your dream, and then leave it behind. Narrated by Bryant, the film's hand-drawn animation and emotional score will touch fans of all ages with its universal message about love and loss.

    My Nephew Emmett   documentary (Oscar Nominee)
    Director Kevin Wilson, Jr., USA, 2017
    Based on the true story of Emmett Till ... In 1955, a Mississippi preacher tries to protect his 14-year-old nephew Emmett from two racist killers out for blood.

    Traffic Stop   documentary (Oscar Nominee)
    Director Kate Davis, USA, 2017
    The story of Breaion King, a 26-year-old female African-American school teacher from Austin, Texas, whose routine traffic violation quickly escalated into a dramatic arrest at the hands of a white police officer.

    Suicide by Sunlight   drama (Winner, Tribeca)
    Director Nikyatu Jusu, USA, 2019
    Valentina, a hard-working and compassionate african american oncology professional, is struggling to gain visitation privileges with her estranged daughters. But there's a complication – she is a day-walking black vampire protected from the sun by her melanin. A contemporary mix of mythology from West Africa and the Caribbean, set in New York City, the story transcends and exceeds horror genre limitations.

    Hair Love   comedy (Oscar Winner, 2020)
    Directors Matthew Cherry & Karen Toliver, USA, 2019
    A heartfelt short story about the relationship between a father, his daughter Zuri, and the most daunting task a father could encounter – doing his daughter's hair for the first time.

    St. Louis Superman   documentary (Winner, AFI Docs & Traverse City)
    Directors Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan, USA, 2019
    Bruce Franks, Jr., a Ferguson MO activist and father, who was elected to the overwhelmingly white and Republican Missouri House of Representatives, lost a brother to gun violence. An inspiring documentary about overcoming personal trauma and political obstacles enable critical gun control legislation.

    Skin   drama (Oscar Winner, 2020)
    Director guy Nativ, USA/Israel, 2019
    In a small supermarket in a blue collar town, a black man smiles at a ten-year-old white boy across the checkout aisle. This innocuous moment sends two factions into conflict that ends with ironic retribution. Gun culture and Neo-Nazi hatred of "the other" is shown mostly from a young boy's perspective, pitting ingrained family values against the boy's nascent conscience, with unexpected results.

    War Paint   documentary
    Director Katrelle Kindredv, USA, 2018
    A young black girl in South Los Angeles experiences a series of events that intersects racism and sexism during the Fourth of July holiday.

    Knife Skills   documentary (Oscar Nominee)
    Director Thomas Lennon, USA, 2017
    A compelling documentary about rebuilding human lives via the opportunity to learn culinary skills for a restaurant staff comprised of formerly incarcerated men and women seeking a second chance.

    Edith + Eddie   documentary (Oscar Nominee)
    Director Frank Stiefel, USA, 2017
    The story of Edith and Eddie, ages 96 and 95, who are America's oldest interracial newlyweds. A testimony to the power of love, this elderly couple is committed to being together, even as bigots and a family feud threaten to keep them apart.

    Last Day of Freedom   documentary (Oscar Nominee)
    Directors Dee Hibbert-Jones & Nomi Talisman, USA, 2016
    A thought provoking doc about a black veteran afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder who commits murder as his condition worsens. Highlights the disparities in treatment for veterans and a flawed legal system that allows a mentally ill man to be put to death.

    Whakatiki   drama (Tribeca Film Festival)
    Director Louise Leitch, New Zealand, 2012
    Kiri, a New Zealand woman of color, takes a trip to the Whakatiki River where she spent many summers as a girl. A story of identity, purpose and spiritual connection with nature.

    Na Wewe    docudrama (Oscar Nominee Regional Premiere)
    Director Ivan Goldschmidt, Belgium, 2010
    Oscar Nominee. Based entirely on real people and situations, NA WEWE was written by a person who has lived in the beauty of Burundi and suffered the horrors of genocide -- he was shot by a military patrol, rendered blind and wrote the screenplay to share the images in his head. With emotion, suspense, irony and humor the film exposes the absurdity of racism and ethnic strife. "NA WEWE" (pronounced "Na wayway") means "You too" in Kirundi. Winner of 12 film festival awards.

    Empty Chairs & Painful Windows   documentary (Midwest Theatrical Premiere)
    Director Linda Spalazzi (Cincinnati), Documentary, USA, 2006.
    The story of Cincinnati families torn apart by the impact of domestic violence.

    The Wraith of Cobble Hill   drama (Winner Sundance & SXSW, Oscar Nominee, Tri-State Premiere)
    Director Adam Parrish King, USA, 2006.
    An urban drama where the protagonist must choose between accepting responsibility or perpetuating a legacy of neglect.
    Winner, Jury Prize for Short Filmmaking, Sundance Film Festival, 2006; Winner, Jury Prize for Best Animated Short Film, SXSW, 2006; Winner, Best Animated/Experimental Short, Los Angeles Film Festival, 2006; Official Selection: Silver Lake Film Festival, 2006; Rhode Island Film Festival, 2006; Florida Film Festival, 2007; Brooklyn International Film Festival, 2006; Annecy International Film Festival, 2007; Animundi, Brazil, 2007; Cork Film Festival, Ireland, 2007; Asheville Film Festival, 2006.

    Inja (Dog)   drama (Oscar Nominee, Midwest Premiere)
    Director Steve Pasvolsky, Drama, Australia/South Africa, 2001.
    A revealing and touching, story of institutional racism and poetic justice in South Africa.
    Oscar Nominee, Live-Action Short. Winner, Best Student Film, Aspen Shorts Fest, 2002; Winner, Best Short Film, St. Kilda Film Festival, 2002; Winner, Best Short Film, Nashville Independent Film Festival, 2002; Winner, Best Foreign Short, LA Shorts Fest, Los Angeles, 2002; Finalist, Best Short Fiction, American Film Institute Awards, 2001; Finalist, Best Screenplay in a Short Film, American Film Institute Awards, 2001.

    The Death of Kevin Carter   documentary (Midwest Premiere)
    Director Dan Kraus, Documentary, South Africa/USA, 2005.
    The impact of the violence and starvation he documented in Africa drove photojounalist Kevin Carter to suicide.
    Oscar Nominee for Best Documentary Short 2005; Winner, Golden Gate Award, San Francisco Intl Film Festival; Winner, Best Short Documentary, Tribeca Film Festival; Winner, Best Documentary, L.A. Intl Short Film Festival; Winner, Best Short Documentary, Cleveland Intl Film Festival; Winner, Audience Choice Award, Orinda Film Festival.

    African American   documentary (Midwest Premiere)
    Director Askia Holloway (Dayton), Documentary, USA, 2003.
    The true story of college campus tension between African and Black American students.
    Winner, Best Documentary, Black Independent Film Festival, Atlanta 2004.

    Madagascar   documentary (Oscar Nominee Regional Premiere)
    Director Bastien Dubois, France, 2010
    A visual travel journal demonstrating the importance of dance, death, and traditional customs present in Malagasy society. As the pages of a diary turn, colorful pencil sketches come to life, revealing the majestic rolling landscapes of Madagascar, and acquainting the audience with Famadihana customs and culture. Winner of 22 film festival awards.

    A Vida Politica   documentary (SXSW)
    Director Katrina Mansoor, Brazil, 2008
    A lively documentary about the dynamic political activism of a Brazilian woman of color who celebrates her job as a hair stylist to promote black identity while empowering others.

    Roz and Joshua   documentary (Silver Docs Film Festival)
    Director Charlene Music, USA, 2008
    A homeless black woman loses custody of her son and begins a quest for stability and rekindling of her familial relationship.

    Color Blind   drama (Theatrical Premiere)
    Director Bryan Amburgey (Cincinnati), Drama, USA, 2002.
    It takes an unintended calamity for black and white gangs to realize the futility of violence.
    Winner: Best Dramatic Short and Best of Show, 2nd Annual Sprockets Film Festival 2002; Best Film in the Teach Me Something category, Ohio regional Apple iFilm Festival, 2002.

    God Sleeps in Rwanda   documentary (Midwest Premiere)
    Directors Kimberlee Acquaro & Stacy Sherman, Documentary, Rwanda/USA, 2005.
    The amazing story of the women who survived the genocide and are now rebuilding Rwanda.
    Winner, Audience Award, Palm Springs Intl Festival of Short Films 2005; Winner, Audience Award, Aspen Shorts Fest 2005; Winner, Audience Award, Silverdocs/AFI Film Festival 2005; Winner, Best of Festival Award, Ojai Film Festival 2005; Winner, World Cinema Short Award, Phoenix Film Festival; Winner, Critic's Choice Award, Jackson Hole Docuweek 2005; Winner, Jury Special Mention, Silverdocs/AFI Film Festival 2005; Nominee, Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Documentary Short 2005; Nominee, Distinguished Short Film, Intl Documentary Association, 2005; Nominee, Pare Lorentz Social Issues Award, Intl Documentary Assoc., 2005; Official Selection: United Nations Film Festival; Amnesty International's Stop Violence Against Women; The Boston Museum of Fine Art; Harvard University's Carr Center for Human Rights; Steven Spielberg's Shoah Foundation, Los Angeles, CA; Woodrow Wilson International Center, Washington DC; Hawaii Intl Film Festival; International Documentary Association, Docuweek; United Nations Traveling Film Festival; Pacific Palisades Film Festival; Bahamas Intl Film Festival; Artists for Amnesty; Flickerfest Intl Short Film Festival.

    My Other Mother   drama (Tri-State Premiere)
    Director Diana Keam, South Africa, 2005.
    When her baby sister dies, Margo's other mother shows her that grieving and the acceptance of loss can transcend the tightly wrapped realm of convention.

    For the Birds   comedy (Midwest Premiere)
    Director Ralph Eggleston, Animated Comedy, USA, 2000
    Black birds and white birds mix it up on a telephone wire, proving that being different is a good thing.
    2002 Oscar Winner, Animation; 74th Academy Awards, Los Angeles 2002; Winner, Best Short Film 2001 Australian Effects and Animation Festival; Winner, Best Animated Computer 3D Short 2001 Vancouver Effects and Animation Festival, Canada; Winner, Award for Humor 2000 Photokina Cologne; Winner, Best 3D Animation, Germany; Winner, Audience Award 2000 Castelli Animati, Italy; Winner, Best Short Film, 2000 London Effects & Animation Festival, UK; Winner, Audience Award, Art Futura, Spain.

    Golden Gate   drama (Midwest Premiere)
    Directors Fernando Meirelles & Katia Lund, Drama, Brazil, 2001.
    The hard lives of 'Los Negritos' in the favelas of Brazil.
    Winner, Best Drama, Aspen Shorts Fest 2002.

    Interior/Exterior   drama (World Premiere)
    Director Sarah Silver (Dayton), Drama, USA, 2003.
    An exploration of love from within/without the spirit world.

    Lucky's   drama (Tri-State Premiere)
    Director Alvoro Leite (Dayton), Short Drama, USA, 2003.
    The consequences of illicit love.
    Semifinalist, Kodak's Cinematic Images Competition; Semifinalist, Fox Searchlight Competition; Official Selection: San Francisco Black Film Festival; Cleveland International Film Festival; Urban Literary Film Festival in North Carolina; Wexner Center Ohio Short Film & Video Showcase; Ohio Independent Film Festival.

    Black Sheep   documentary (Oscar Nominee)
    Director Ed Perkins, UK, 2018
    After moving from a big city to the country for safety, Cornelius and his mother discover their new town is run by racists. The film poses difficult and timely questions about race and identity as Cornelius comes to grips with a culture that doesn't want him.

    Pregancy and Teenage Black Girls   documentary (Premiere)
    Directors Catherine Leonard, Kelly Huff, Lawrence Larking, USA, 2008
    A student documentary revealing the inside story about teenage pregnancy among Cincinnati black girls, told by those who know.

    The Reality of American Families   documentary (Premiere)
    Directors Jehan Altman, Lindsey White, Tony Smith, USA, 2008
    A student documentary about the growing prevalence of single-parent households.

    Binta and the Big Idea   drama (Oscar Nominee, Tri-State Premiere)
    Directors Javier Fesser & Luis Manso, Drama, Senegal, 2006.
    A positive story from a country in Africa where hope and empowerment are realistic possibilities, not impossible dreams.
    Oscar Nominee, Best Short Film, Live Action, Academy Awards, 2006.


    The Lincoln School Story   documentary (Premiere)
    Director Andrea Torrice, USA, 2017
    The inspiring story of five courageous African American mothers and their children who fought for school integration in 1954 in Hillsboro, OH. For two years, mothers and children marched every day, despite segregationist redistricting, cross burnings and legal threats. Their lawsuit against the school board was the first northern test case of the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954, which declared school segregation illegal.

    Support The Girls   drama (Regional Premiere)
    Director Andrew Bujalski, USA, 2018
    With a terrific performance by Regina Hall, we live through a frenetic day in the life of Lisa, a single black mother who manages a road-house/sports bar in Texas - facing the everyday realities of racism and sexism on the job.

    Resisterhood  documentary (Regional Premiere)
    Director Cheryl Jacobs Crim, USA, 2020, with online Q&A.  
    Featuring Margaret Morrison, a seasoned activist who first marched from Selma to Montgomery alongside John Lewis and Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965. Now in her eighties, her legs are weak but her determination to stand for justice is stronger than ever and she has no plans of slowing down.

    Sons & Daughters of Thunder   docudrama (Premiere)
    Directors Kelly & Tammy Rundle, USA, 2019
    Featuring an interracial cast, about the first organized public debate on slavery and abolition in the U.S., held in Cincinnati in 1834. Filmmakers and cast present for post-film Q & A. Co-sponsored by the Harriet Beecher Stowe House.

    Alive and Kicking   documentary (Regional Premiere)
    Director Susan Glatzer, USA, 2016
    The jazz-related origins of swing with the amazing Norma Miller and Freddie Manning taking us back to New Orleans and then the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem.

    Le Bonheur d'Elza   drama (Regional Premiere)
    Director Mariette Monpierre, France/Guadeloupe, 2011
    The emotional journey of a young Parisian woman of color who returns to her native Guadeloupe in search of the father she has never known. Revealing the complexities of class, skin color, and family ties in Guadeloupe. Lushly shot with an intoxicating soundtrack, ELZA acquaints us with the Caribbean's cultural diversity and is the first narrative film by a Guadeloupian female director.

    Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace   documentary (Winner, SXSW)
    Director Jeff Dupre, USA, 2014
    Documenting the latest work by artist Kehinde Wiley, a series of classical portraits of African-American women. To realize his vision, Wiley joined forces with Riccardo Tisci, creative director of fashion house GIVENCHY, in a unique and high-profile collaboration between art and haute couture. Wiley's models and Tisci's dresses create an arresting, new image of black feminine power.

    Blues Legend: The Life & Times of H-Bomb Ferguson   documentary (World Premiere)
    Director John Parker (Cincinnati), Documentary, USA, 2006.
    The life story of musician James "H-Bomb" Ferguson, from growing up in the segregated South, to the segregated concert tours in the fifties, to his establishment on the Cincinnati music scene. Premiere included live post-film performance by H-Bomb Ferguson and the Medicine Men.

    The Last Just Man   documentary (Midwest Premiere)
    Director Steven Silver, Documentary, Canada, 2001.
    The heart-breaking true story of the genocide in Rwanda, and the U.N. colonel who was powerless to stop the carnage thanks to U.S. and world-wide indifference.
    Winner, Humanitarian Award, Canadian Inl Film Festival, 2002; Winner, Audience Award, Canadian Intl Film Festival, 2002; Winner, Humanitarian Cinema Award, Newport Intl Film Festival, 2002; Winner, Best Documentary, Hamptons International Film Festival, 2002; Winner, Best Non-Fiction Film, Cologne Intl Film Conference, 2003; Winner, Audience Award, Double Take Documentary Film Fest, 2002; Winner, Audience Award, Prague One World Film Festival, 2003; Winner, Special Humanitarian Award, Prague One World Film Festival, 2003.

    FELA!    docudrama (Regional Premiere)
    Director Bill T. Jones, USA, 2009
    The story of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, father of Afrobeat music. Musician, composer and band leader, political activist, presidential candidate, human rights advocate and vociferous foe of governmental corruption, Fela Kuti was a unique and ineffable musical and sociopolitical voice of Africa. A proponent of freedom and Afrocentrism, Fela was a living legend and upon his death, one million people attended his funeral.

    Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love   documentary (Regional Premiere)
    Director Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Documentary, USA, 2009
    Named one of Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential Poeple" of 2007, Senegalese vocalist Youssou N'Dour has gained a world-wide reputation for his musical, cultural and humanitarian contributions and attention to pressing global social and political issues.

    That Old Black Magic   documentary (Regional/National Premiere)
    Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Documentary, USA, 2003
    From an accidental discovery - cans of film behind a brick wall, the CBC has lovingly restored 30-minute musical performances that aired on the Canadian network 1955-1960. Featuring Jazz greats who went to Canada to perform because they were blocked from television in the U.S., the lineup includes Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Sammy Davis Jr., Sarah Vaughn, Nat King Cole, Della Reese, Cab Calloway, Marian Anderson and Billy Eckstine. Never aired in the U.S., we believe this CWC event is the national big-screen premiere of significant performances by incredible artists in their prime.

    A Man Named Pearl   documentary (Tri-State Premiere)
    Director Scott Galloway, Documentary, USA, 2008
    Selected as the most important film of the year by CWC audiences, this is a subtle and intriguing film that opens hearts and overcomes stereotypes. In a simple and plain-spoken manner, it focuses on Pearl Fryar, an extraordinary man, a garden of exquisite beauty and love, and a community that has come to life through his artistry, enthusiasm, and sharing of the passion that moves him. Fred Story's jazzy, gospel-infused score elevates the spirit, in perfect harmony with the film.

    Can We All Get Along?,
    Director Pablo Miralles, USA, 2020, 60 min.
    Exploring the past and future of diversity in public schools — the circumstances and failures of the past, and the challenges ahead in promoting well-funded and diverse public education.

    Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things

    John Lewis: "Good Trouble"

    James Baldwin: "I Am Not Your Negro"

    Whose Streets

    Toni Morrison: "The Pieces I Am"

    Long Night's Journey Into Day   documentary (Regional Premiere)
    Directors Frances Reid and Deborah Hoffmann, Documentary, South Africa/USA, 2000.
    The story of the Truth & Reconciliation Committee in South Africa.
    Winner, Grand Jury Award, Sundance Film Festival, 2000; Academy Award Nomination 2001 Documentary Feature; Winner, Golden Spire Award, San Francisco Intl Film Festival 2000; Winner, Audience Award, Sydney Film Festival 2000; Winner, Peace Film Prize, Berlin Film Festival 2000; Winner, & Reader's Jury Prize, Berlin Film Festival 2000; Winner, Human Rights Award, Intl Human Rights Film Festival, NY 2001; Winner, Audience Award Best Documentary, Newport Intl Film Festival 2000 Winner, Best Film, Intl Human Rights Film Festival, Nuremberg 2001; Winner, Spirit of Freedom Award, Jerusalem Film Festival 2000; Nominated, Best Documentary, Amnesty Intl Film Festival Award, 2001; Nominated, Best Documentary, Director's Guild of America 2002.

    Body & Soul   drama (Tri-State Big Screen Premiere)
    Director Oscar Micheaux, Drama, USA, 1925.
    Featuring Paul Robeson in his screen debut, this restored version of the epic silent film includes an impressive new score composed by Jazz artist Wycliffe Gordon, commissioned by Jazz at Lincoln Center as part of the 38th annual New York Film Festival. Considered controversial at the time for its unflattering depiction of a corrupt clergyman, Body and Soul is also remarkable for director Micheaux's groundbreaking use -- back in 1925 -- of flashbacks, dream sequences, simultaneous action and other cinematic devices now considered standard in the industry.

    Paul Robeson: Tribute to an Artist   documentary (Oscar Winner, Tri-State Premiere)
    Director Saul Turell, Documentary, USA, 1979.
    Sidney Poitier narrates the fascinating story of Paul Robeson - athlete, scholar, baritone, stage actor, film star and activist. The son of an escaped slave, Robeson became a top-billed movie star during the time of Jim Crow in America, headlining works ranging from Body and Soul, to British dramas, to social issue documentaries.
    Oscar Winner, Academy Award for Best Short Documentary Film.

    Midnight Ramble   documentary (Tri-State Big Screen Premiere)
    Directors Pearl Bowser and Bestor Cram, Documentary, USA, 1994.
    The story of the Black Film Industry, 1910-1950 -- the filmmakers, the films and their impact upon American society.

    Who Does She Think She Is?   documentary (Tri-State Premiere)
    Director Pamela Tanner Boll, Documentary, USA, 2009
    This outstanding documentary follows five interesting and talented women artists (2 Black, 1 Asian, 1 Hispanic, 1 WASP) as they navigate the societal, economic, psychological, and spiritual challenges of making work outside the elite art world. From the producing team that won an Academy Award for Born Into Brothels, comes a work that examines some of the most pressing balancing-act issues of our time: parenting and work, partnering and independence, economics and art.

    War Photographer   documentary (Midwest Premiere)
    Director Christopher Frei, Documentary, Switzerland, 2001.
    The story of James Nachtway, the photographer who brought the world scenes of starvation, disease and violent war in Africa and elsewhere.
    Oscar Nominee, Best Documentary Feature, 74th Academy Awards, Los Angeles 2002; Winner: Best Nonfiction Film, 12th Intl Film Festival, Cologne 2002; Winner, Best Documentary, 23rd Intl Film Festival, Durban 2002; Winner, Best Film, South African Intl Documentary Festival 2002; Winner, Best Film, Viewpoint Film Festival, Ghent 2002 Winner, Best Film, DocAviv Festival, Tel Aviv 2002; Winner, Silver Award for Best Documentary, Canadian Intl Film Festival; Audience Award Runner-up, Canadian Intl Film Festival.

    Do Not Go Gently   documentary (World Premiere)
    Director Melissa Godoy, Documentary, USA, 2007
    The story of Arlonzia Pettway, 82, a descendant of slaves and the eldest quilter in Gee's Bend, Alabama; and two other seniors, who share secrets about the power of achievement, imagination and creativity in aging. The narrator is Walter Cronkite.

    After Innocence   documentary (Tri-State Premiere)
    Director Jessica Sanders, Documentary, USA, 2006.
    The story of the efforts to release seven men on death row, mostly black, who were unjustly convicted and imprisoned.
    Winner, Special Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival; Winner, Women in Cinema, Seattle Film Festival; Winner, Special Jury Prize, Newport Beach Film Festival; Winner, Audience Award, Independent Film Festival of Boston; Winner, Change Award, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival; Winner, Best Documentary, Nantucket Film Festival.

    Sleepwalking Land   drama (Regional Premiere)
    Director Teresa Prata, Mozambique, 2007.
    In the midst of Mozambique's devastating civil war, Muidinga, an orphaned refugee, wanders the countryside in search of his mother. His only companion is an elderly storyteller, and the only guide to finding his mother is a dead man's diary. Based on Mia Coutou's acclaimed Portuguese novel of the same name, Teresa Prata's transporting drama underscores the power of imagination, compassion and resilience in surviving, and ultimately overcoming, the catastrophe of war.

    Five   drama (Midwest Premiere)
    Director Domingo Vara, Drama, USA, 2002
    An interracial cast reveal their secret fears and beliefs when trapped in an earthquake and faced with death.
    Winner, Best New Work, Guadalupe Film Festival.

    Kirikou & the Sorceress   dramedy (Midwest Premiere)
    Director Michel Ocelot, Animated Drama, West Africa/France, 1998.
    An animated film set in Africa that focuses on African people and culture.
    Winner, Best Animated Film, Chicago Intl Film Festival; Winner, Grand Prix - Best Animated Feature Film, Annecy Intl Festival; Winner, Best Feature Film British Animation Awards; Winner, Special Jury Prize, Montréal Intl Children's Film Festival. Winner, Silver Poznan - Best Animated Film, Ale Kino! - International Young Audience Film Festival;

    Bubba Ho-Tep   comedy (Tri-State Premiere)
    Director Don Coscarelli, Comedy, USA, 2003.
    An amazingly original and touching comedy co-starring the incomparable Ossie Davis in his final feature film performance.
    Winner, Best Screenplay: US Comedy Arts Film Festival; Winner, Best Actor: US Comedy Arts Film Festival; Winner, Prix Publique Audience Award, Best International Film: Montreal Fantasia Film Festival; Official Film Festival Selection: The Toronto International Film Festival, South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival, San Francisco Independent Film Festival, Brussels International Film Festival, Florida International Film Festival, Hong Kong International Film Festival.

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    External Film & Publication Resources

    A Cinema Apart ~ as recently as 2015, the definitive source for surviving black independent films with roughly film 250 titles available, including features, shorts, documentaries and newsreels, plus 'soundies' - the first music videos, made back in the 40s. Film anthologies, custom DVD compilations, posters galore and pages on black film history. Established and curated for decades by Larry and Beverly Richards, the collection was divided after Larry's death. The original site, acinemaapart.com, is now defunct. Portions can be found at The National Museum of African American History & Culture and some items can be seen at CultureType.com along with Alex Haley's Autobiography of Malcolm X, Paul Robeson memorabilia.

    Separate Cinema ~ John Kisch's amazing poster website -- tons of black film posters, artfully displayed, plus a traveling poster exhibit. Definitely worth a visit! (Note the museum exhibit in Evansville IN, in early '08.)

    African American Perspectives ~ 71 documentary titles in a collection at California Newsreel that provides the critical analysis necessary for an appreciation and understanding of African American life and history.

    Black American Firsts in Film and Theatre

    Black Public Media – funding, grants and support for films about African Americans

    "The Movies, Race & Ethnicity - African Americans" Berkeley Library Film Archives

    University of Chicago Black Film Research Online ~ filmmakers, distributors, biographies, library collections, criticism, festivals, film titles and websites, etc.   BFRO

    CalNewsReel ~ film and video for social change.   California News Reel

    Paul Robeson Links   Princeton ~ Robeson DEFUNCT

    Bill "Bojangles" Robinson   http://tinyurl.com/293q72

    Herbert Jeffrey, America's first black motion picture cowboy   Official Jeffrey site and B-Westerns.com

    Contemporary Black Film Websites

    Dallas Juneteenth Black Film Festival   Juneteenth DEFUNCT

    Hollywood Black Film Festival   HBFF DEFUNCT

    Los Angeles Pan African Film & Arts Festival   PAF&AF

    New York Urban World Film Festival   urbanworld VIBE DEFUNCT

    San Francisco Black Film Festival   SFBFF DEFUNCT

    Seattle Langston Hughes Film Festival   LHFF DEFUNCT


    13th – Ava DuVernay (Netflix)
    Fruitvale Station – Ryan Coogler (Rent)
    Clemency – Chinonye Chukwu (iTunes/Vudu)
    Do The Right Thing – Spike Lee (Rent)
    Selma – Ava DuVernay (Prime)
    If Beale Street Could Talk – Barry Jenkins (Hulu)
    CalNewsReel ~ film and video for social change.   California News Reel
    Dear White People – Justin Simeon (Netflix)
    Get Out – Jordan Peele (Rent)
    Moonlight – Barry Jenkins (Netflix & Kanopy)
    Just Mercy – Destin Daniel Cretton (Stream for Free)
    A Time For Burning


    Selected film titles from The 50 Most Influential Black Films: A Celebration of African-American Talent, Determination and Creativity by S. Torriano Berry with Venise T. Berry. Citadel Press Kensington, April 2001 $19.95, ISBN 0-806-52133-3. The 50 Most Influential Black Films

    Silent Films 1910-1928
      The Railroad Porter, 1912
      The Realization of a Negro's Ambition, 1916
      The Birth of a Race, 1918
      Body and Soul, 1925
      The Scar of Shame, 1927

    Early Sound Films 1929 - 1939
      Hearts in Dixie, 1929
      Hallelujah, 1929
      The Emperor Jones, 1933
      Imitation of Life, 1934
      Harlem on the Prairie, 1938

    Race Movies 1940 - 1950
      The Blood of Jesus, 1941
      Cabin in the Sky, 1943
      Stormy Weather, 1943
      Home of the Brave, 1949
      The Jackie Robinson Story, 1950

    Black Directors in Hollywood
    by Melvin Burke Donalson - Performing Arts - 2003 - 396 pages
    A comprehensive look at the work of black directors in Hollywood, from pioneers such as Gordon Parks, Melvin Van Peebles, and Ossie Davis to current talents.

    Redefining Black Film
    by Mark A. Reid - Social Science - 1993 - 170 pages
    Certain to attract film scholars, this work will also appeal to anyone interested in African-American and Women's Studies.

    Struggles for Representation: African American Documentary Film and Video
    by Phyllis Rauch Klotman, Janet K. Cutler - Performing Arts - 1999 - 464 pages
    Examines over 300 non-fiction films by more than 150 African American film/videomakers. Includes a filmography, bibliography, and excerpts from interviews.

    Returning the Gaze: A Genealogy of Black Film Criticism, 1909-1949
    by Anna Everett - Performing Arts - 2001 - 365 pages Shares early critical writing on the cinema by black cultural critics, academics, journalists, poets, writers, and film fans.

    Black Films & Film-Makers: A Comprehensive Anthology
    by Lindsay Patterson - Performing Arts - 1975 - 298 pages

    African American Firsts: Famous, Little-known and Unsung Triumphs of Blacks
    by Joan Potter - Social Science - 2002 - 424 pages
    Completely revised and updated; drawn from old documents, records, letters, family histories and government files.

    Representing: Hip Hop Culture and the Production of Black Cinema
    by S. Craig Watkins - Social Science - 1998 - 330 pages

    Black Film, White Money
    by Jesse Algeron Rhines - Social Science - 1996 - 195 pages
    Looks at the history of Black filmmakers, and shows how the motion picture industry influences Black films.

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