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Posts Tagged ‘black history’

Activism: James Earl Jones Reads Frederick Douglass’ “What To The Slave Is 4th Of July?” Speech (Video)

Yeah. Here are some real ‘fireworks’ for the 4th for y’all. The historic, convicting words of Abolitionist Frederick Douglass; brought to life by living legend James Earl Jones.

In a Fourth of July holiday special, we hear the words of Frederick Douglass. Born into slavery around 1818, Douglass became a key leader of the abolitionist movement. On July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York, he gave one of his most famous speeches, “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro.” He was addressing the Rochester Ladies Antislavery Society. This is actor James Earl Jones reading the speech during a performance of historian Howard Zinn’s acclaimed book, “Voices of a People’s History of the United States.” He was introduced by Zinn.
– Democracy Now!

@ojones1

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Watch The First 2 Hours Of PBS’ Documentary Series “Africa’s Great Civilizations” (Video)

Yes indeed. PBS’ 6-hour documentary series “Africa’s Great Civilizations” (hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.) hit the airwaves as advertised, February 27th through March 1st; shedding light on the stories, kingdoms and cultures of Africa. Groundbreaking and enriching. Fertile soil for fruitful discussions.

Got the first two hours for you here; hour one embedded above, with hour two after the jump. Take it as seed to build with your bretheren, your family… your human family. Africa’s history is WORLD history. Enjoy!

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Africa’s Great Civilizations (Documentary Series Trailer)

It’s February. Black History Month to those who want to celebrate it as that. But since we make history every month, and we predate history, let’s go with the LOVE theme (not even waiting until the 14th *wink*).

So, on everything we LOVE, the late author & renaissance man Dr. Henry Louis Gates is at bringing us this POWERFUL docu-series on “Africa’s Great Civilizations.” Stirring, speaking truth for the ages… A must-watch when it drops Monday, February 27th on PBS. Peep the trailer above.

(And don’t let “them”… any “them” tell you YOUR history. “They” should not determine YOUR place in the universe. YOU should!)

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Unforgivable Blackness (Documentary Trailer)

Sometimes it takes outsiders to tell you about yourself. PBS America – out of the United Kingdom – put out this documentary on the first Black American boxing champion, Jack Johnson. Dude was ahead of his time ways that would still scare a good amount of White people today. Just saying.

This film by Ken Burns tells the story of one of the greatest boxers of all time and his refusal to accept the rules of a society that considered people of his colour to be second-class citizens. This is the story of a man who refused to recognise racial differences and who forced America to reconsider its very definition of freedom.

Check out this trailer. Watching this documentary would be the way to end your Black History Month viewing with a bang…to the rib cage. Damn. Johnson was a baaaad maaan (Muhammad Ali voice).

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Neshoba: The Price of Freedom (Documentary Trailer)

“Neshoba: The Price of Freedom” tells the story of a Mississippi town still divided about the meaning of justice, 40 years after the murders of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, an event dramatized in the Oscar-winning film, “Mississippi Burning.” Although Klansmen bragged about what they did in 1964, no one was held accountable until 2005, when the State indicted preacher Edgar Ray Killen, an 80-year-old notorious racist and mastermind of the murders. Through exclusive interviews with Killen, intimate interviews with the victims’ families, and candid interviews with Black and White Neshoba County citizens still struggling with their town’s violent past, the film explores whether the prosecution of one unrepentant Klansman constitutes justice and whether healing and reconciliation are possible without telling the unvarnished truth.

NESHOBA: THE PRICE OF FREEDOM (DVD ORDER LINK)

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PBS: Freedom Riders (Documentary)

Wow. Another moment in American History that just so happens to fall into the Black History category. You know how when someone gets in over his head and exclaims, “I did not sign up for this!” Well, in the first few minutes of this film you see that these young adults knew EXACTLY what they signed up for… and they went anyway. Civil Rights fighters of the highest caliber. Man, the courage it must have taken for CORE (Council On Racial Equality) to get on those buses.

Watch the story of the “Freedom Riders” – expertly told by PBS.

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The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross (Documentary Series)

Five centuries of history… Black History… our history. Encapsulated in an outstanding documentary mini-series you’ve gotta watch if your Black History Month is to be truly complete. Dr. Robert Louis Gates already does fine work helping celebs learn about their ancestries and themselves on “Find Your Roots.” But to teach a people, a nation, a WORLD about itself through something like this? Outstanding!

(Above is Episode 1 to get you started. Hit the jump for Episodes 2-6.)

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4 Little Girls: Spike Lee Speaks On The Heart-Wrenching Decision He Had To Make (Video)

Another must-see before the focus on Black History for 2016 is lost…“4 Black Girls” (a real gut punch; but you still MUST watch). It will be hard to watch. Let Spike tell you (as he tells Oprah, above): It was hard to make.

In 1997, Spike Lee released “4 Little Girls,” a moving documentary about the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, which killed four African-American girls. The film went on to earn an Oscar nomination for best documentary. Watch as Spike discusses one of the most difficult decisions he’s ever made as a director and how the birth of his daughter, Satchel, changed his perspective.

You can see a trailer for the actual documentary here.

4 LITTLE GIRLS (HBO PROMO TRAILER)

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The Murder of Fred Hampton (Documentary Trailer)

‘All Power To The People’ as a concept should not scare us. Fred Hampton’s stance in the above trailer comes through just as plain and clear on grainy archival footage as it would were he standing flat-footed saying it to our faces today: ‘If you are scared of socialism…you are scared of yourselves.’ How deep is that?!

This trailer was made before Fred Hampton’s death when the film was to be called “Black Panther.” It shows Hampton (August 30, 1948 — December 4, 1969) giving a speech on revolution and racism in front of a large audience. Includes glimpses of Panthers Bobby Rush and Bobby Seale and filmmaker Howard Alk. This trailer is not included in the DVD release of the film.
– Chicago Film Archives

Black History is OUR history, all of ours (not just Black people’s). You should watch this; even after February 29th.

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Nine From Little Rock (Documentary)

“Nine From Little Rock” is the Academy Award-winning (1965) documentary short that chronicles the experiences of the nine students selected to integrate Central High School in Little Rock (Arkansas, USA) in 1957. One of those nine students, Jefferson Thomas is the narrator. Famed doc director Charles Guggenheim helmed the storytelling effort. Though scripted, Thomas’ polish does not prevent viewers from understanding the realness of what the nine – Ernest Green (b. 1941), Elizabeth Eckford (b. 1941), Terrence Roberts (b. 1941), Carlotta Walls LaNier (b. 1942), Minnijean Brown (b. 1941), Gloria Ray Karlmark (b. 1942), Thelma Mothershed (b. 1940), and Melba Pattillo Beals (b. 1941), and Thomas himself (1942–2010, RIP) – went through.

Sure, first days at school can make you nervous. But how about riding there and being walked in by armed military escort; being eyeballed by the overly curious and malicious haters alike. Then imagine the pressure to perform! Folks already thinking you should not be there; expecting you to fail!

Watch. Make your Black History Month OFFICIAL!

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The Black Power Mixtape (1967-1975) [Trailer]

Another must-see for your Black History Month experience: “The Black Power Mixtape” (1967-1975). That’s right man. We wouldn’t lead you wrong. A mixtape, before we really recognized the term for the most part, of powerful stuff on the Civil Rights Era struggle. Peep the trailer above ( rent/buy link below), teasing footage of Black Pathers co-founder Bobby Seale, reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., activist Angela Davis, and others; with commentary from contemporaries (like Talib Kweli).

The Black Power Mixtape is an award winning compilation feature documentary that displays the story of the African-American community 1967-1975, the people, the society and the style that fueled a change. Told with sparkling, beautiful and deep footage, lost in the archives in Sweden for 30 years.

WATCH THE FULL FILM NOW: THE BLACK POWER MIXTAPE (IFC FILMS)

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Eyes on the Prize Parts 1 & 2 (Documentary Series)

Not to say that any print, audio, or audio-visual work is the end-all of what Black History Month should be… But if you have not watched the PBS American Experience documentary “Eyes On The Prize,” you have NOT had Black History Month! Above, you have your chance: Part 1 (“Awakenings”) and Part 2 (“Fighting Back”) are ready for your viewing and enrichment. Arguably, the best series on the decades-long American Civil Rights Movement. Filmmaker Henry Hampton and PBS have, no doubt, taken tremendous pride in bringing this presentation to the masses over the years.

Watch. Now.

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KRS-ONE – Black History Month: Lessons 1 & ​2 (Lecture Audio)

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Black History Month: Lessons 1 and 2 is an eye-opening lecture of Black historical teachings by KRS-ONE. Narrated by Kris himself, this is a critique of Black History Month itself, re-frames the historical narrative of Black people in America properly, speaks of Black consciousness, cites and honors Black revolutionaries (past & present), and covers modern-day Black intellectuals. Mainly, Black History Month: Lessons 1 and 2 is meant to do away with misinformation regarding the African American ancestral narrative. Who better to do this with sharp intellectual analysis, retrievable facts, cited literature and poignant commentary than KRS-ONE? Nobody!

And what price is better than FREE? But, yeah, about that. Maybe… consider PAYING something for it; chipping in whatever you feel is doable financially. Because THIS is worthy work by a man who has been The Teacha to us all (Hip-Hop Nation, Black people AND Humanity) for so long. He did not have to do this. But once you click play you will be so glad he did!

DOWNLOAD: KRS-ONE – BLACK HISTORY MONTH: LESSONS 1 & 2

Samuel King – “What I Wasn’t Taught In School” (Video)

OMG! This was me in secondary school. Can’t help but laugh a bit. But this Samuel King… some serious business with the message he’s delivering in this dramatic spoken word piece delivered in a classroom setting.

A Spoken word short film for those frustrated at Black History teaching in schools. Disillusioned student Samuel King relays his grievances to his teacher that Black History Month isn’t taught with as much depth and with as much pride in schools. Samuel engages in a short rebuttal with his teacher, before arguing that education in school does little to satisfy his thirst for knowledge of influential people in Black history who seem to be elusive in the curriculum.

“There seems to be a lot you haven’t told us, and you shut down and hold back on the bold ones who stand against the way you’re trying to mold us.”

Great video. A must watch!

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Davey D Speaks with Dick Gregory & Paul Mooney (Video)

Davey D caught up with comedians & political/social activists Dick Gregory & Paul Mooney earlier today on this new TradioV [Radio In TV] program I believe that just kicked off today. There’s many jewels dropped in this video if you pay attention. Check out this very interesting interview that just concluded just minutes ago via livestream. The livestream starts with several seconds of music before the show starts with video…

Afrika Bambaataa/ Rage Against The Machine “Renegades of Funk” (Video)



Peace be unto the people of Egypt, for they have been protesting a little over three weeks now. This ordeal will definitely be one for the history books. Hopefully, the future author(s) will report what is happening in truth. I still remember the lies my teachers told me. I didn’t appreciate that. It’s still Black History Month so, I wanted to contribute to the remembrance of those that fought for what was right. Truly, everyday Black History should be celebrated. Never forget.

Best Regards,
Frank Yerby

Everyday is Black History: Rosa Parks (Feb 4,1913- Oct 25,2005)


Born on February 4, 1913, Rosa Parks, the mother of the Civil Rights Movement, was born in Tuskegee, Alabama as Rosa Louise McCauley. Her family background was diverse, a blend of African-American, Scots-Irish and Cherokee-Creek. After her parents, James and Leona, separated, Rosa and her family moved to Montgomery, Alabama, where she attended several schools until forced to care for her ailing grandmother and later, for her mother, too. Read the rest of this entry »

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