Speakers For the Dead // dir. by Jennifer Holness & David Sutherland.

When Irish settlers first moved to the area now known as Priceville in Ontario Canada, to their surprise, they found a community of black people already living there.

This documentary reveals some of the hidden history of Black people in Canada. In the 1930s in rural Ontario, a farmer buried the tombstones of a Black cemetery to make way for a potato patch. In the 1980s, descendants of the original settlers, Black and White, came together to restore the cemetery, but there were hidden truths no one wanted to discuss. Deep racial wounds were opened. Scenes of the cemetery excavation, interviews with residents and re-enactments—including one of a baseball game where a broken headstone is used for home plate—add to the film’s emotional intensity.

Merry Clayton talks background singing in The Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” in the Academy Award-winning documentary, 20 Feet From Stardom.

Such a beast. This part gives me chills everytime. 

Time Is Illmatic [Trailer] // dir. by One9

Time Is Illmatic is a feature length documentary that delves into the making of Nas’ 1994 debut album, Illmatic, and the social conditions that influenced its creation. 

Twenty years after its release, Illmatic has become a hip-hop benchmark that encapsulates the socio-political outlook, enduring spirit, and collective angst of a generation of young black men searching for their voice in America.

Time is Illmatic tracks the musical legacy of the Jones family, handed down to Nas from his jazz musician father, Olu Dara. It also examines the social conditions and environmental influences that contributed to Nas’ worldview.

Along the way, Time Is Illmatic shows how Nas—with the support of his Queensbridge neighborhood crew, the loyalty of his younger brother Jabari “Jungle” Fret, and sacrifices of his mother, Ann Jones—overcame insurmountable odds to create the greatest work of music from hip-hop’s second golden era.

'A Ballerina's Tale' - Documenatry On Black Ballerina Misty Copeland by Nelson George (Kickstarter!)
'A Ballerina's Tale' - Documenatry On Black Ballerina Misty Copeland by Nelson George (Kickstarter!)

At age 13, Misty Copeland was attending the Boys and Girls Club of San Pedro, California, when a dance instructor asked if she’d be interested in participating in a ballet class. 

At age 15, Misty was one of the top ballet prospects in California and was being profiled in a PBS documentary on a state wide arts competition. 

At age 17, Misty was in New York City and a member of the American Ballet Theatre, one of the world’s leading ballet companies. She danced the title role of the Firebird at the Metropolitan Opera House, making her the first black woman to play that signature character in a major ballet company. Making this accomplishment that much more impressive, she performed this part with six stress fractures in her shin. 

This journey would have been unique in the world of dance on its own. Learning ballet at such an “advanced” age and making it to a premiere company made Misty an anomaly. But Misty was also a black woman with womanly curves which, based on the standard popularized by the father of American ballet, George Balanchine, meant she didn’t have the body for ballet. The skinny, long limbed swan with a thin neck and European features has been the ballet standard for half a century. 

Misty’s career is a challenge to every stereotype of what the ballerina symbolizes and should be. 

A BALLERINA’S TALE, directed by Nelson George, will look at the values of a European cultural expression that has tried to maintain its values in the face of an aging audience base and its increasing irrelevance to mainstream culture. Misty’s life embodies a number of themes that speak to the larger culture and her personal challenges. Race, body image and Euro-centric perspective are mixed in with her own physical challenges. 

Misty will narrate the film, bringing us intimately into her world. Several of Misty’s favorite ballets will be filmed in multiple camera shoots that will bring us close to dance in ways less frantic and more realistic than the popularized Hollywood film, Black Swan

The goal is $40,000. They currently have $14,598 and 13 days to go.

Watch the trailer and DONATE here!

All by Myself: The Eartha Kitt Story (documentary, 1982)

Happy Bornday to this timeless legend. She would’ve been 86.

"Very Young Girls" (Full Documentary)
"Very Young Girls" (Full Documentary)

This film is just…

Very Young Girls is an exposé of the commercial sexual exploitation of girls in New York City as they are sold on the streets by pimps and treated as adult criminals by police. The film follows barely adolescent girls in real time, using vérité and intimate interviews with them, documenting their struggles and triumphs as they seek to exit the commercial sex industry. The film also uses startling footage shot by pimps themselves, giving a rare glimpse into how the cycle of exploitation begins for many women.

In Prison My Whole Life (2007, full documentary)
In Prison My Whole Life (2007, full documentary)

Since his incarceration in 1982 for allegedly shooting a Philadelphia policeman to death, Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal awaited execution on Death Row (until 2011), protesting his innocence. Currently an author of five books and an on-air personality who broadcasts over the phone from prison, Abu-Jamal carries the support of no less than Nelson Mandela and the administrators of Amnesty International, who believe in and fervently argue his innocence.

This documentary witnesses William Francome, a British man who was born on the same day as the shooting, traveling to the prison where Abu-Jamal is held to investigate the details of the case. Francome learns about the initial events of that terrible night that led to Abu-Jamal’s arrest and conviction, the allegations that the trial itself was unfair, and the city where it all happened - and investigating the moral and ethical dilemmas that have turned Abu-Jamal into a touchstone for the global crusade against capital punishment. Participants in this documentary are Angela DavisNoam ChomskyMos DefSnoop Dogg, and Alice Walker to name a few.

Central Park Five [Documentary trailer]

Central Park Five, a tale of racial injustice, examines the case of the Central Park rape, in the late 1980s, that triggered strong emotions in New Yorkers, and the sensational media storm across the US that followed. 

Five black and Latino teenagers were arrested and convicted for the brutal rape and assault of Trisha Meili, only to be released after the real attacker confessed in 2002.

Daddy’s Girl (Documentary)

This is so sad! 13-year old Aeriel was given a fake brain cancer diagnosis & chemo all in the name of medical research.

Spread the word!

analoglady:

The ‘Black August’ film directed by dream hampton documents the history and significance of Black August: a month dedicated to the plight of revolutionaries who fought and fight to free the oppressed. The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement hosts an annual hip-hop benefit concert, art exhibit and film festival, and donates the proceeds to U.S. political prisoners. MXGM will be screening ‘Black August’ at its upcoming film festival on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, at The National Black Theatre in Harlem, N.Y.