Top African-American Documentaries movies on DVD and Blu-ray

Rent The Heart of the Game on DVD The Heart of the Game
Synopsis
Attending predominantly white Roosevelt High because her mother thinks she'll have better opportunities under the school's successful coach, gifted black hoopster Darnellia Russell puts herself -- and her coach -- through the wringer. Shot in a suburban Seattle high school over a seven-year period, director Ward Serrill's stirring documentary explores the complicated relationship between gender, race and organized sports.
Cast
Cast
Darnellia Russell, Bill Resler, Joyce Walker, Ludacris
Director
Director
Ward Serrill
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Social & Cultural Documentaries, Sports Stories, Sports Documentaries, Basketball, African-American Documentaries
Rent A Man Named Pearl on DVD A Man Named Pearl
Synopsis
Angered by white residents' racist comments that he wouldn't "keep up his yard," Pearl Fryar teaches himself topiary sculpture and becomes the first African American in his Bishopville, S.C., neighborhood to win the coveted "yard of the month" award. This acclaimed documentary traces Fryar's inspiring story, as he grows into a legendary horticulturist, welcoming thousands of tourists eager to catch a glimpse of his stunning works of art.
Cast
Cast
Pearl Fryar
Director
Director
Scott Galloway, Brent Pierson
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Social & Cultural Documentaries, Biographical Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, Gardening
Rent 4 Little Girls on DVD 4 Little Girls
Synopsis
Director Spike Lee uses this feature-length documentary to tell the story of the 1963 bombing of an Alabama African-American church -- an event that took the lives of four young girls and became a pivotal moment in the civil rights struggle. Lee's film examines the crime and its perpetrators as well as the four young victims (as described by friends and families). It also includes interviews with noted civil rights activists and journalists.
Cast
Cast
Maxine McNair, Wamo Reed Robertson, Dianne Braddock, Chris McNair, Helen Pegues, Queen Nunn, Arthur Hanes Jr., Howell Raines, Harold McNair, Carole C., Smitherman
Director
Director
Spike Lee
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Historical Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries, Crime Documentaries, Indie Documentaries, African-American Documentaries
Rent Tupac: Resurrection on DVD Tupac: Resurrection
Synopsis
Rap legend Tupac Shakur's life was cut short in 1996 when he died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. This film provides an authorized account of his life, with his mother Afeni Shakur serving as a producer. Also making it unique is the use of otherwise unattainable material from the MTV archives. Through audio and interviews recorded before his death, Tupac's story is presented along with his music, poetry, rare photographs and home movies.
Cast
Cast
Tupac Shakur
Director
Director
Lauren Lazin
Genres
Genres
Music & Musicals, Rockumentaries, Biographical Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, Rap & Hip-Hop, Urban & Dance
Rent Scottsboro: An American Tragedy on DVD Scottsboro: An American Tragedy
Synopsis
When two white women accused nine black teenagers of raping them on an Alabama bus in 1931, their claims set off a chain reaction that eventually reached the Supreme Court -- and launched the modern-day Civil Rights movement.
Cast
Cast
Andre Braugher, Frances McDormand, Stanley Tucci, Harris Yulin, Jeffrey DeMunn, Lee Wilkof, Nesbitt Blaisdell, Sam Catlin, Daver Morrison
Director
Director
Daniel Anker, Barak Goodman
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Social & Cultural Documentaries, PBS, TV Documentaries, Political Documentaries, Crime Documentaries, PBS Documentaries, TV War & Politics, African-American Documentaries
Rent Unforgivable Blackness on DVD Unforgivable Blackness
Synopsis
Long before Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier, boxer Jack Johnson became the first African-American to obtain the world heavyweight title. This documentary tracks the life of the trailblazing boxer, from his early days as the son of former slaves to his rise through the ranks of a traditionally all-white sport, culminating with the 39-year-old's achievement of the prestigious title in 1908.
Cast
Cast
Keith David, Stanley Crouch, Samuel L. Jackson, James Earl Jones, Jack Newfield, Alan Rickman
Director
Director
Ken Burns
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Biographical Documentaries, Sports Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, PBS Documentaries, TV Documentaries, Boxing
Rent The Central Park Five on DVD The Central Park Five
Synopsis
This piercing documentary examines the case of five teenagers, all African-American or Latino, who were convicted of the brutal rape of a white woman in Central Park in 1989. Years later, the confession of the real rapist set the jailed men free.
Cast
Cast
Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, Kharey Wise
Director
Director
Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Crime Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries
Rent I Am Not Your Negro on DVD I Am Not Your Negro
Synopsis
When author James Baldwin died in 1987, he left behind an unfinished book about the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. This documentary uses that unfinished text to create a visual essay on race in America.
Cast
Cast
Samuel L. Jackson
Director
Director
Raoul Peck
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Historical Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries
Rent The Stax Records Story on DVD The Stax Records Story
Synopsis
From 1959 to 1975, Memphis, Tennessee-based Stax Records was synonymous with soul music, cranking out hit after chart-topping hit. This music-laden documentary celebrates the legacy of the groundbreaking label. In addition to launching the careers of such artists as Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes and Booker T. and the MGs, to name a few, Stax became a powerful symbol of the civil rights movement and an inspiration to black-owned businesses everywhere.
Cast
Cast
Samuel L. Jackson, Mavis Staples, Carla Thomas, Sam Moore, Eddie Floyd, Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes
Director
Director
Morgan Neville, Robert Gordon
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Rockumentaries, Classic R&B/Soul, Urban & Dance, African-American Documentaries, PBS
Rent American Blackout on DVD American Blackout
Synopsis
In this award-winning indictment of the election process, guerilla journalist Ian Inaba follows the efforts of Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney to expose disturbing tactics that systematically disenfranchise black voters and silence dissent. A passionate advocate for civil rights, McKinney calls on all citizens to question the political machinery and protect democracy from the institutionalized racism imperiling the country.
Cast
Cast
Cynthia McKinney, Taalam Acey
Director
Director
Ian Inaba
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Indie Documentaries, Political Documentaries, African-American Documentaries
Rent Chisholm '72: Unbought and Unbossed on DVD Chisholm '72: Unbought and Unbossed
Synopsis
Brooklyn-based Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm represented a series of firsts: She was the first African-American woman elected to Congress and the first black person and woman to run a serious, high-profile campaign in the U.S. presidential primary. She made further history when she vied for the presidency in 1972. And while her inspiring journey would have made headlines today, it was virtually ignored by the mainstream media at the time.
Cast
Cast
Shirley Chisholm, Walter Cronkite, George Wallace, Octavia Butler, Ron Dellums, Barbara Lee, Walter Fauntrov
Director
Director
Shola Lynch
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Political Documentaries, Biographical Documentaries, Historical Documentaries, Indie Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries
Rent Hey, Boo: Harper Lee & To Kill a... on DVD Hey, Boo: Harper Lee & To Kill a...
Synopsis
Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, and its Oscar-winning film adaptation both had a deep influence on American culture and racial perspectives. This pensive documentary studies the author's life and the controversy her work inspired.
Cast
Cast
Tom Brokaw, Rosanne Cash, James McBride, Jon Meacham, Anna Quindlen, Richard Russo, Scott Turow, Oprah Winfrey, Andrew Young
Director
Director
Mary Murphy
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Biographical Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, Historical Documentaries
Rent Diary of a Tired Black Man on DVD Diary of a Tired Black Man
Synopsis
Written, produced and directed by filmmaker Tim Alexander, this provocative work blends documentary footage with fictionalized vignettes to explore the complicated relationships between African-American men and women in the modern day. Following his less-than-amicable divorce, James (Jimmy Jean-Louis) reluctantly reenters the dating scene but finds little solace in the angry black women he meets.
Cast
Cast
Jimmy Jean-Louis, Paula Lema, Natasha Dixon, Shavsha Israel, Cierra Lockett, Jason Kelley, Vanessa Paul, John Webb, Robynne Young, Shavonne Sciarillo, Alex Morris
Director
Director
Tim Alexander
Genres
Genres
Drama, African-American Dramas, African-American Romance, African-American Documentaries
Rent America Beyond the Color Line on DVD America Beyond the Color Line
Synopsis
Prominent literary critic and scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. explores the status of black America at the start of the 21st century in this documentary. Gates travels to the East Coast, the Deep South, inner-city Chicago and Hollywood for a close look at the current issues facing today's black communities. He interviews everyday African Americans as well as influential leaders and celebrities including Colin Powell, Maya Angelou and Morgan Freeman.
Cast
Cast
Henry Louis Gates Jr., Maya Angelou, Colin Powell, Reggie Rock Bythewood, Don Cheadle, Morgan Freeman, Jesse Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson, Quincy Jones, Alicia Keys
Director
Director
Mary Crisp, Daniel Percival
Genres
Genres
Documentary, PBS, Social & Cultural Documentaries, PBS Documentaries, TV Documentaries, African-American Documentaries
Rent BaadAsssss Cinema on DVD BaadAsssss Cinema
Synopsis
Filmmaker Isaac Julien takes us back to the early 1970s and the explosion of blaxploitation films, one of America's most beloved cult genres. These fun and energetic films had all the action, comedy, sex and groovy music one could want in 2 hours' worth of entertainment. This documentary features a wealth of footage from classic films such as Superfly and Shaft, along with interviews with key players like Richard Roundtree and Quentin Tarantino.
Cast
Cast
Pam Grier, Richard Roundtree, Isaac Hayes, Quentin Tarantino, Melvin Van Peebles, Gloria Hendry, Fred Williamson, Samuel L. Jackson, Larry Cohen, Armond White, Ron Finley, Ed Guerrero, Bell Hooks, Elvis Mitchell, Afeni Shakur
Director
Director
Isaac Julien
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, Blaxploitation
Rent Wattstax on DVD Wattstax
Synopsis
Seven years after the Watts section of Los Angeles ignited in a violent burst of racial tension in August 1965, director Mel Stuart took the pulse of the city by revisiting the issues that led to the devastation. His main stop: The Watts Summer Festival held in 1972 at the L.A. Coliseum, where comedian Richard Pryor joined an illustrious list of entertainers such as Isaac Hayes, the Dramatics and Luther Ingram, who gathered to remember the riots.
Cast
Cast
Isaac Hayes, Richard Pryor, Jesse Jackson, Staple Singers, Roebuck "Pops" Staples, Rufus Thomas, Johnnie Taylor, Kim Weston, Albert King, Dramatics, Luther Ingram
Director
Director
Mel Stuart
Genres
Genres
Music & Musicals, Classic R&B/Soul, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, Urban & Dance
Rent Prom Night in Mississippi on DVD Prom Night in Mississippi
Synopsis
With actor Morgan Freeman's support, Mississippi's Charleston High School stages its first senior prom to integrate both black and white students. This documentary examines the perspectives of several seniors as they prepare for this historic event. A group of disapproving white parents, who refused to meet and talk with the filmmakers, organized a separate White Prom for their children to attend.
Cast
Cast
Morgan Freeman
Director
Director
Paul Saltzman
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries
Rent Only the Strong Survive on DVD Only the Strong Survive
Synopsis
This documentary captures a reunion of some of the greatest soul singers of the 1960s and '70s, including legendary Stax artists Wilson Pickett, Jerry Butler, Mary Wilson, Carla and Rufus Thomas, The Chi-Lites and Sam Moore.
Cast
Cast
Isaac Hayes, Sam Moore, Jerry Butler, The Chi-Lites, Ann Peebles, Wilson Pickett, William Bell, Sir Mack Rice, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Mary Wilson, Roger Friedman
Director
Director
Chris Hegedus, D.A. Pennebaker
Genres
Genres
Music & Musicals, Rockumentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, Classic R&B/Soul, Urban & Dance
Rent Black Indians: An American Story on DVD Black Indians: An American Story
Synopsis
James Earl Jones narrates this examination of the historical relationship between American Indians and African-Americans, who often merged their cultures to work and live together while mainstream white society shunned them. Through illuminating anecdotes and interviews, descendants of fused black and Indian families discuss the complications of their mixed heritage and how their culture was largely erased on official documents.
Cast
Cast
James Earl Jones
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Historical Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, Education & Guidance
Rent Slippin': Ten Years with the Bloods on DVD Slippin': Ten Years with the Bloods
Synopsis
After the 1992 Los Angeles riots, filmmakers Tommy Sowards and Joachim Schroeder spent the next decade documenting the lives of five Blood gangstas, capturing the raw realities, deadly rivalries and tragedies of South Central's gang scene. As K.K., Jumbo, Dig Dug, C.K. and Low Down try to survive and conquer the mean streets, they find themselves locked in a violent, eye-for-an-eye turf war against their sworn enemies, the Crips.
Cast
Cast
Director
Director
Tommy Sowards, Joachim Schroeder
Genres
Genres
Documentary, African-American Documentaries, Crime Documentaries
Rent A Great Day in Harlem / The Spitball Story on DVD A Great Day in Harlem / The Spitball Story
Synopsis
Director Jean Bach constructed a remarkable documentary around a renowned 1958 photograph. Taken for <i>Esquire</i> magazine, the photo looked like a class picture featuring 57 jazz legends who have never been together: Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie and scads of others. Through interviews and archival footage, Bach recreates the day the photo was snapped and reveals many of the stories it tells.
Cast
Cast
Quincy Jones, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey, Art Farmer, Count Basie
Director
Director
Jean Bach
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, Classic Jazz, Jazz & Easy Listening
Rent The Robin Harris Story on DVD The Robin Harris Story
Synopsis
Featuring hysterical performance footage and insightful interviews, this affectionate documentary profiles Robin Harris, one of the most respected black comedians of his time whose life was cut short at age 37 by a respiratory problem. Friends and fans such as Bernie Mac, Cedric the Entertainer, Martin Lawrence and Robert Townsend share their memories of the funnyman, who continues to influence young comics.
Cast
Cast
Robin Harris, Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley, Robert Townsend, Reginald Hudlin, Bernie Mac, Martin Lawrence
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Biographical Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries
Rent Why We Laugh on DVD Why We Laugh
Synopsis
Chris Rock, Bill Cosby, Whoopi Goldberg and other notables illuminate the evolution and cultural significance of African American comedy. Accompanying film clips explore the history of black humor from early minstrel shows to modern stand-up stars.
Cast
Cast
Angela Bassett, Bill Bellamy, Jeff Clanagan, Bill Cosby, Tommy Davidson, Marla Gibbs, Louis Gossett Jr., Eddie Griffin, Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Mo'Nique, Sherri Shepherd, Paul Mooney, Chris Rock, Damon Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Shawn Wayans
Director
Director
Robert Townsend, Quincy Newell
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries
Rent Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Perspective on DVD Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Perspective
Synopsis
This documentary program focuses on the Civil Rights leader's many groundbreaking accomplishments. Footage covers Dr. King's war on poverty and his staunch opposition to the Vietnam War. Also included is his stirring "I Have a Dream" speech.
Cast
Cast
Martin Luther King Jr., Arthur Burghardt
Director
Director
Thomas Friedman
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Biographical Documentaries, Historical Documentaries, Political Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries
Rent The Aggressives on DVD The Aggressives
Synopsis
Director Daniel Peddle spent five years recording the lives of six "aggressives" -- lesbians who strive to be as masculine as possible in lifestyle and appearance. The result is a portrait both enlightening and endearing as we watch each woman come up with her own inventive ways of expressing her identity. From prison to the underground ball scene, where lesbians compete for lead "AG" status, this film reveals a largely hidden subculture.
Cast
Cast
Director
Director
Daniel Peddle
Genres
Genres
Documentary, LGBT, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, Lesbian
Rent Prince Among Slaves on DVD Prince Among Slaves
Synopsis
Abdul Rahman, an African prince who was sold into slavery, spent four decades in servitude before an amazing coincidence took him to the White House to meet President John Quincy Adams, where he was granted his freedom. Mos Def narrates this PBS documentary that includes reenactments of scenes from Rahman's life and interviews with historians who discuss the conditions faced by slaves in early America.
Cast
Cast
Mos Def, Marcus Mitchell, Ian Coblyn, John C. Bailey, Henian Boone, Tyler Gatton, Bruce Holmes, Andrew Honeycut, Isaiah Johnson
Director
Director
Andrea Kalin, Bill Duke
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Historical Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, PBS Documentaries, PBS
Rent On the Downlow on DVD On the Downlow
Synopsis
In this fascinating 2007 documentary, experimental filmmaker Abigail Child and cinematographer Arthur Jafa shadow four African-American males who are living dichotomous sexual lifestyles in Cleveland. Tending to their sexual needs "on the downlow" while maintaining a veneer of being straight, these conflicted men are ultimately forced to confront the realities of their sexual choices and the subsequent effects on their lives.
Cast
Cast
Director
Director
Abigail Child
Genres
Genres
Documentary, African-American Documentaries, LGBT, Social & Cultural Documentaries, Gay
Rent American Experience: Freedom Riders on DVD American Experience: Freedom Riders
Synopsis
Based on the award-winning book <i>Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice</i>, this documentary chronicles the daring and courage of a group of activists, black and white, who challenged the segregation laws of the Southern states. Directed by Stanley Nelson (The Murder of Emmett Till), the film focuses on how the civil rights campaign was conceived, and how the movement eventually became a major concern for the Kennedy administration.
Cast
Cast
Director
Director
Stanley Nelson
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Social & Cultural Documentaries, Political Documentaries, Historical Documentaries, African-American Documentaries
Rent Been Rich All My Life on DVD Been Rich All My Life
Synopsis
Five gallivanting Harlem showgirls were the toast of the town during the 1930s, dancing in the hottest venues for renowned bandleaders. In 1985, the Silver Belles -- ages 84 to 96 -- renounced retirement and reunited to grace the stage once again.
Cast
Cast
Marion Coles, Elaine Ellis, Cleo Hayes, Fay Ray, Berte Lou Wood
Director
Director
Heather MacDonald
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, Tap & Jazz Dance
Rent Joe Louis: America's Hero Betrayed on DVD Joe Louis: America's Hero Betrayed
Synopsis
Joe Louis made his name as a heavyweight champion, but as this documentary reveals, he came to symbolize much more: A segregated America united to watch his rise to success. And as the Nazis swept through Europe, Louis's victory over German boxer Max Schmeling represented more than just a triumph in the ring. Maya Angelou, Bill Cosby and Louis's son offer insights, and archive footage captures the champ at his peak.
Cast
Cast
Joe Louis, Maya Angelou, Joe Louis Barrow Jr., Bill Cosby, Liev Schreiber
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Biographical Documentaries, Sports Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, Boxing
Rent Gunnin' for That #1 Spot on DVD Gunnin' for That #1 Spot
Synopsis
Filmmaker and Beastie Boy Adam Yauch documents the lives and talent of some of America's most gifted high school basketball players as they prep for the first annual Elite 24 all-star game in 2006 at Harlem's famed Rucker Park. Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabar were groomed on that same court, and young hopefuls such as Jerryd Bayless, Michael Beasley, Tyreke Evans and Kevin Love hope to follow in their footsteps.
Cast
Cast
Jerryd Bayless, Michael Beasley, Tyreke Evans, Donte Greene, Brandon Jennings, Kevin Love, Kyle Singler, Lance Stephenson, Robert Garcia
Director
Director
Adam Yauch
Genres
Genres
Sports & Fitness, Sports Documentaries, Basketball, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, Sports Stories
Rent Jim Brown: All-American on DVD Jim Brown: All-American
Synopsis
Spike Lee paints a picture of an icon on and off the field in this documentary that charts the rise of football superstar Jim Brown. Juxtaposing scenes from Brown's favorite movies (which include "The Dirty Dozen" and "Ice Station Zebra") with sports footage and interviews of teammates, relatives, friends and even enemies (as well as with the man himself), Lee delivers a touchdown tribute to a complicated and dynamic man.
Cast
Cast
Art Modell, Walter Beach, Ed Walsh, Sam Oakley, Allen Dawson, Ed Corley, Oliver Stone, Jim Brown
Director
Director
Spike Lee
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Biographical Documentaries, Sports Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, Football
Rent Street Stars: Game Over on DVD Street Stars: Game Over
Synopsis
This film documents the lives of teenagers Richard Porter, AZ and Alpo, who rose to become powerful New York drug kingpins in the 1980s. Filling a void left by the deaths and imprisonments of their predecessors in the 1970s, these street-savvy kids made millions through a combination of hard work and a talent for the business. But their ambition soon turned to greed, leading to rifts in their partnership and, ultimately, to murder.
Cast
Cast
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, Crime Documentaries
Rent Soundtrack for a Revolution on DVD Soundtrack for a Revolution
Synopsis
Music was a powerful tool in the American civil rights movement, spreading a message that was difficult for many to hear and serving as an energizing force for nonviolent protest. This documentary celebrates that intersection of movement and music. Featuring new performances of freedom songs by artists such as Mary J. Blige, Wyclef Jean and John Legend, the film also includes archival footage and interviews with civil rights leaders.
Cast
Cast
John Legend, Wyclef Jean, The Roots, Joss Stone, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Mary Mary, Richie Havens, Anthony Hamilton, Angie Stone, Mary J. Blige
Director
Director
Bill Guttentag, Dan Sturman
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Historical Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries, Rockumentaries, African-American Documentaries, Contemporary R&B, Classic R&B/Soul, Urban & Dance
Rent The Black Panthers on DVD The Black Panthers
Synopsis
More than 40 years after the Black Panther Party was founded the group and its leadership remain powerful and enduring images in our popular imagination. This will weave together the voices of those who lived this story -- police informants, journalists, white supporters and detractors those who remained loyal to the party and those who left it.
Cast
Cast
Director
Director
Stanley Nelson
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Historical Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, PBS Documentaries
Rent The Story of Gospel Music on DVD The Story of Gospel Music
Synopsis
Gospel music is in a league of its own, a call to spiritual awakening. But where did it come from, and how did it develop into one of the most moving forms of song? This riveting documentary chronicles the beginnings of gospel in West Africa, its journey all the way to the United States and its role in the civil rights movement. Includes performances from legends such as Mahalia Jackson, Aretha Franklin and Shirley Caesar.
Cast
Cast
Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson, Thomas A. Dorsey
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Music & Musicals, African-American Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries, Inspirational Music, Faith & Spirituality, Gospel Music
Rent Brother Outsider: Life of Bayard Rustin on DVD Brother Outsider: Life of Bayard Rustin
Synopsis
This powerful documentary chronicles the life of openly gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, who, among many contributions to the cause, is best known for organizing the 1963 March on Washington, D.C., involving hundreds of thousands of people.
Cast
Cast
Bayard Rustin, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Mohandas Gandhi, A. Philip Randolph, Stokely Carmichael, Liv Ullmann, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Andrew Young, John Rodgers, A.J. Muste, Devi Prasad, Rachelle Horowitz, Robert Ascher, Dorothy Jackson, Walter Naegle, Davis Platt, Michael Thelwell, Ernest Green, Dave McReynolds
Director
Director
Bennett Singer, Nancy D. Kates
Genres
Genres
Documentary, LGBT, Biographical Documentaries, Historical Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, Political Documentaries, Gay
Rent Marcus Garvey: American Experience on DVD Marcus Garvey: American Experience
Synopsis
This powerful installment in PBS's "American Experience" series chronicles the dramatic rise and fall of Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican-born activist who immigrated to the United States and set up headquarters for the Universal Negro Improvement Association. The program compiles film footage, photographs and writings of the era and includes interviews with the descendents of men and women who aligned themselves with Garvey's movement.
Cast
Cast
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Historical Documentaries, PBS, TV Documentaries, Biographical Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, PBS Documentaries
Rent Tongues Untied on DVD Tongues Untied
Synopsis
In this searing documentary, filmmaker Marlon Riggs uses his own and others' stories to reveal the realities of being black and gay in America. Vintage film clips intercut with readings by poet Essex Hemphill accompany tales of gay-bashing, protest movements, drag culture and a memorial for black AIDS victims, all filtered through Riggs's slyly humorous voice. The pointed study originally aired as part of the PBS series "P.O.V."
Cast
Cast
Essex Hemphill
Director
Director
Marlon Riggs
Genres
Genres
Documentary, African-American Documentaries, LGBT, Gay, Social & Cultural Documentaries
Rent Omar & Pete on DVD Omar & Pete
Synopsis
Emmy-winning producer, director and writer Tod Lending -- whose gripping documentary, Legacy, earned him an Oscar nomination in 2000 -- helms this intimate portrait of Omar and Pete, longtime friends and habitual criminals who've spent most of their lives behind bars. After their latest release from prison, each prepares to rejoin society, with mixed results. But can they leave their bad habits behind for good?
Cast
Cast
Pete Duncan, Leon Omar Mason
Director
Director
Tod Lending
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Crime Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, TV Documentaries
Rent Afro-Punk on DVD Afro-Punk
Synopsis
Following four devout punk-rock fans who happen to be black, director James Spooner's thought-provoking documentary asks whether "Afro" and "punk" can go together. (Meanwhile, during interviews with black punkers -- including members of Fishbone, the Dead Kennedys, Candiria, Orange 9mm and TV on the Radio -- they resoundingly answer "Yes.") Bad Brains, Tamar Kali, Cipher and Ten Grand are among the featured performers.
Cast
Cast
Bad Brains, Fishbone, Dead Kennedys, Orange 9mm, Tamar Kali, Cipher, Ten Grand, TV on the Radio, Candiria
Director
Director
James Spooner
Genres
Genres
Music & Musicals, Rockumentaries, African-American Documentaries, Punk Rock, Rock & Pop
Rent Harlem Globetrotters: Team that Changed on DVD Harlem Globetrotters: Team that Changed
Synopsis
Relive the greatest moments of the Harlem Globetrotters with this documentary that chronicles the team's legendary 1948 defeat over the Minneapolis Lakers and their historic 1951 Berlin trip. Narrated by rapper Chuck D, the program features vintage footage and interviews with former Globetrotters, NBA coaches and others. Extras include a featurette about the team's 1950 world tour, another on the amazing "Tricks of the Trotters" and much more.
Cast
Cast
Chuck D., Harlem Globetrotters
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Sports & Fitness, Sports Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, Basketball, Sports Stories
Rent The Massachusetts 54th Colored Infantry on DVD The Massachusetts 54th Colored Infantry
Synopsis
Narrated by Morgan Freeman and peppered with historical tintypes and expert commentary, this documentary tells the story of the Massachusetts 54th Colored Infantry, the first all-black Union regiment depicted in the multiple Oscar-winning film Glory. The 54th was given the most dangerous assignments, and they fought valiantly to prove to the commanders and the rest of the country that black Americans had what it took to be first-class soldiers.
Cast
Cast
Morgan Freeman
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Military Documentaries, Historical Documentaries, TV Documentaries, African-American Documentaries
Rent How to Eat Your Watermelon... on DVD How to Eat Your Watermelon...
Synopsis
Joe Angio's award-winning documentary chronicles the remarkable career of influential African-American filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles. Through archival footage and interviews, the film traces Van Peebles's life as a director, Air Force pilot, actor, musician, novelist and stock trader. Spike Lee, Gil Scott-Heron, Gordon Parks and son Mario Van Peebles are among the admirers who discuss the artist's contributions to film and other areas.
Cast
Cast
Spike Lee, Mario Van Peebles, Melvin Van Peebles, Gil Scott-Heron, Gordon Parks, Megan Van Peebles
Director
Director
Joe Angio
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Biographical Documentaries, African-American Documentaries
Rent The Highwaymen: Florida's Outsider Artists on DVD The Highwaymen: Florida's Outsider Artists
Synopsis
This documentary focuses on a piece of American culture that is rarely spoken of. The Highwaymen tells the tale of a group of young African-American, self-taught landscape artists from central Florida in the late 1950's and early 1960's. In a time of segregation, the men traveled the region selling their detailed paintings from the trunk of their cars. Today, the paintings, originally sold as 'junk art,' are virtually priceless. Narrated by Spencer Christian.
Cast
Cast
Alfred Hair, A.E. Bean Backus
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Historical Documentaries, Art & Design, African-American Documentaries, Painting
Rent Ali the Fighter on DVD Ali the Fighter
Synopsis
Director William Greaves's compelling documentary about boxer Muhammad Ali chronicles the champ's 1971 bout against Joe Frazier. Greaves goes behind the scenes of the event, capturing footage of the training, press conferences, negotiations and celebrity attendees as well as graphic film of the "fight of the century." Part biography, the movie also details Ali's earlier days in Louisville, Ky., when he was known as Cassius Clay.
Cast
Cast
Muhammad Ali, Richie Havens, Burt Lancaster, Joe Frazier
Director
Director
William Greaves
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Biographical Documentaries, Sports Documentaries, Boxing, African-American Documentaries, Sports Stories
Rent Legacy on DVD Legacy
Synopsis
In this Academy Award-nominated documentary, filmmaker Tod Lending chronicles one family's inspiring journey toward the American Dream and away from the despair of their crumbling Chicago housing project. Offering proof that people can overcome insurmountable odds if hard work and miracles collide, the film tracks the journey of 16-year-old Nickole Collins, who went on to get a college education and break her family's legacy of poverty.
Cast
Cast
Director
Director
Tod Lending
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries
Rent Notorious B.I.G.: Business Instead of Game on DVD Notorious B.I.G.: Business Instead of Game
Synopsis
This engaging documentary explores the life and tragic 1997 death of hip-hop artist The Notorious B.I.G. (Christopher Wallace), including his long-running feud with his friend-turned-enemy, fellow rapper Tupac Shakur. Using rare footage and previously unaired interviews with the artist, this program sheds light on all stages of Biggie's life, from dropping out of high school and his rise to fame and notoriety, to his untimely, unsolved murder.
Cast
Cast
The Notorious B.I.G.
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Music & Musicals, Rockumentaries, Rap & Hip-Hop, Biographical Documentaries, African-American Documentaries
Rent Welcome to Durham on DVD Welcome to Durham
Synopsis
Gang violence is no longer the exclusive domain of large cities, as evidenced by director Teddy Jacobs's documentary examining the rise of youth gang activity in Durham, N.C. The film traces Durham's history, focusing on the decline of the once-flourishing African-American neighborhood of Hayti, and offers a frank look at local gang culture through interviews with residents, city officials and gun-toting teenage gang members.
Cast
Cast
Director
Director
Teddy Jacobs
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries
Rent Biography: Barack Obama: Inaugural Edition on DVD Biography: Barack Obama: Inaugural Edition
Synopsis
Charting Barack Obama's meteoric rise from a "skinny kid with a funny name" to the United States' 44th president, this biographical profile sheds light on a charismatic speaker whose call for hope and unity appealed to voters from all walks of life. Highlights include a look at Obama's unconventional childhood in Hawaii and Indonesia, his days as a Harvard law student and his decision to embrace politics as a mechanism for systemic change.
Cast
Cast
Barack Obama
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Biographical Documentaries, Political Documentaries, African-American Documentaries
Rent Soul in the Hole on DVD Soul in the Hole
Synopsis
Documentary filmmaker Danielle Gardner examines New York street basketball and its powerful place in African-American communities. The film focuses on the Brooklyn champion Ed "Booger" Smith and one season with his team, The Kenny Kings, and the hotheaded man who coaches them, Kenny Jones. The Bedford-Stuyvesant hoopsters' relationships with each other, the community and their coach add up to much more than a simple sports documentary.
Cast
Cast
Kenny Jones, Ed "Booger" Smith
Director
Director
Danielle Gardner
Genres
Genres
Documentary, African-American Documentaries, Sports Documentaries, Sports Stories, Basketball
Rent Martin Luther King, Jr: I Have a Dream on DVD Martin Luther King, Jr: I Have a Dream
Synopsis
Relive one of the seminal moments in the history of the Civil Rights movement with these fascinating excerpted clips from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s landmark speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. In addition to King's most famous address, this compilation also includes the last speech he delivered before his tragic assassination, as well as footage of the beautiful eulogy delivered by friend Bobby Kennedy.
Cast
Cast
Martin Luther King Jr.
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Historical Documentaries, Political Documentaries, African-American Documentaries
Rent ESPN: Black Magic on DVD ESPN: Black Magic
Synopsis
Filmmaker Dan Klores links the rise of the United States civil rights movement to the history of African American basketball players and coaches at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Narrated by actor Samuel L. Jackson and musician Wynton Marsalis, this documentary explores the intersection of sports and culture through game footage and interviews with players such as Willis Reed and Dick Barnett.
Cast
Cast
Samuel L. Jackson, Julius Erving, Wynton Marsalis, Chris Paul
Director
Director
Dan Klores
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Sports & Fitness, Historical Documentaries, Sports Documentaries, Basketball, African-American Documentaries
Rent Glory Road on DVD Glory Road
Synopsis
If you were asked to imagine a leather-clad motorcycle rider, chances are you'd think of a white man. But the motorcycle culture is home to plenty of African-American men and women who suffer serious social stigma because of their love for something that's long been considered "white." This fascinating program talks to authors, historians and independent riders to uncover their previously untold stories of discrimination on the road.
Cast
Cast
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, Motorcycles & Motocross
Rent Little Rock Central High: 50 Years Later on DVD Little Rock Central High: 50 Years Later
Synopsis
Filmmakers Brent and Craig Renaud return to Little Rock's Central High 50 years after the Arkansas school became a flash point during desegregation and the Civil Rights movement. But has there been true change? Present-day students and faculty, community leaders and one of the original Little Rock Nine show how much further we need to go since 1957, when an angry mob attempted to block nine courageous black students from entering the school.
Cast
Cast
Director
Director
Brent Renaud, Craig Renaud
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Historical Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries
Rent On the Shoulders of Giants on DVD On the Shoulders of Giants
Synopsis
Spotlighting the all-black Harlem Renaissance basketball squad -- aka the Harlem Rens -- this film documents the segregated world of pro hoops during the 1930s and follows the Rens on their way to becoming pro basketball's first world champions.
Cast
Cast
Jamie Foxx, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Spike Lee, Maya Angelou, Cornel West, Samuel L. Jackson, Jerry West, Bill Russell, Charles Barkley, Carmelo Anthony
Director
Director
Deborah Morales
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Sports Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries, Basketball
Rent Letter to the President on DVD Letter to the President
Synopsis
Witness rap's birth, beginning with the civil rights movement and the genre's progression from music featured at weekend block parties to its lyrics being debated in the halls of Congress. This volatile documentary looks at President Ronald Reagan's policies (which negatively affected minorities) and how they inspired pioneer hip-hoppers such as Grandmaster Melle Mel and Run DMC to rap about the inequities in song.
Cast
Cast
Common, Chuck D., Dick Gregory, Guru, KRS-One, Snoop Dogg
Director
Director
Thomas Gibson
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Political Documentaries, Rap & Hip-Hop, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, Urban & Dance
Rent Two Nations of Black America on DVD Two Nations of Black America
Synopsis
Respected educator and author Henry Louis Gates Jr. explores the many changes that black America has undergone in the years since Martin Luther King Jr.'s passing in this probing documentary from the award-winning PBS "Frontline" series. Interviewing thinkers such as Cornel West, Eldridge Cleaver and Angela Davis, Gates examines the persistent gap between the upper and lower classes, and why some blacks have been left behind by the civil rights movement.
Cast
Cast
Henry Louis Gates Jr., Eldridge Cleaver, Cornel West, Angela Davis
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Documentary, African-American Documentaries, TV Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries, PBS, PBS Documentaries
Rent Live from Da Gutter on DVD Live from Da Gutter
Synopsis
Banned from major theaters across the country for its graphic content but acclaimed for its realism, this gritty documentary looks at life in the gutters of the West Coast rap scene from street brawls and riots to pit fights in the projects. Featuring an all-star lineup of rappers -- including Yukmouth, C-Bo, Bad Azz, Celly Cel, E-40, Mitchy Slick, T-Nutty and the late Mac Dre -- the film boasts music that rivals the action.
Cast
Cast
C-Bo, Yukmouth, Cellski, Bad Azz, Celly Cel, Mitchy Slick, Outlawz, Mac Dre, T-Nutty, E-40
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Music & Musicals, Rockumentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries, Rap & Hip-Hop, African-American Documentaries, Urban & Dance
Rent The Incredible Voyage of Bill Pinkney on DVD The Incredible Voyage of Bill Pinkney
Synopsis
From Boston to Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Brazil, South Africa, Tasmania, Uruguay and then back, Bill Pinkney became the first African-American to sail solo around the world -- a journey chronicled in this Bill Cosby-narrated documentary. Communicating with schoolchildren in Boston and Chicago throughout his adventure, Pinkney offers inspiration through his story of commitment, courage, education and perseverance on the high seas.
Cast
Cast
Bill Cosby, Bill Pinkney
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Documentary, African-American Documentaries, Sports Documentaries, Water Sports, Boating & Sailing
Rent Death Before Dishonor on DVD Death Before Dishonor
Synopsis
Rappers Jadakiss and Suge Knight spill the beans in this hard-edged documentary that examines the ethics and stigma of snitching within tight-knit urban communities. Is the campaign against snitching a street code of integrity, or is the movement merely a mantra of unity exploited by criminals afraid of betrayal? Fat Joe, Ja Rule, Young Jeezy and The Game also share their thoughts about the controversial subject.
Cast
Cast
Fat Joe, Jadakiss, Suge Knight, Ja Rule, Young Jeezy, Game
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Rap & Hip-Hop, Social & Cultural Documentaries, Crime Documentaries, African-American Documentaries
Rent Paul Robeson: Portraits of the Artist on DVD Paul Robeson: Portraits of the Artist
Synopsis
A 20th-century Renaissance man -- actor, athlete, singer, social activist, lawyer, author and scholar -- Paul Robeson mesmerized audiences with his talent and commanding presence. This retrospective of his work includes The Emperor Jones, Body and Soul, Borderline, Sanders of the River, Jericho, The Proud Valley, Native Land and the documentary Paul Robeson: Tribute to an Artist, narrated by Sidney Poitier.
Cast
Cast
Paul Robeson, Dudley Digges, Frank H. Wilson, Fredi Washington, Mercedes Gilbert, Julia Theresa Russell, Lawrence Chenault, Marshall Rogers, Eslanda Robeson, Hilda Doolittle, Leslie Banks, Nina Mae McKinney, Robert Cochran, Martin Walker, Henry Wilcoxon, Wallace Ford, Kouka, John Laurie, Edward Chapman, Simon Lack, Rachel Thomas, Art Smith, Fred Johnson, John Rennick, Amelia Romano, Houseley Stevenson
Director
Director
Dudley Murphy, Oscar Micheaux, Kenneth MacPherson, Zoltan Korda, Thornton Freeland, Pen Tennyson, Paul Strand, Leo Hurwitz
Genres
Genres
Classics, Classic Dramas, African-American Dramas, African-American Documentaries, Biographical Documentaries
Rent The Pact on DVD The Pact
Synopsis
After making good on a high-school pact to become physicians despite extraordinary odds, three friends return to their tough hometown of Newark, N.J., to practice medicine and inspire at-risk youths to stay in school and off the streets.
Cast
Cast
Sampson Davis, Rameck Hunt, George Jenkins
Director
Director
Andrea Kalin
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Social & Cultural Documentaries, Biographical Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, PBS
Rent Black Is...Black Ain't on DVD Black Is...Black Ain't
Synopsis
In this stirring documentary, director Marlon Riggs shines a light on traditional black stereotypes -- even those held within the African-American community -- and offers a new take on "blackness" itself. Released the same year Riggs died from AIDS, the film also examines homosexuality and includes penetrating commentary from leading black voices such as bell hooks, Angela Davis and Cornel West.
Cast
Cast
Angela Davis, Cornel West, Essex Hemphill, Bill T. Jones
Director
Director
Marlon Riggs
Genres
Genres
Documentary, African-American Documentaries, LGBT
Rent Percy Julian: Forgotten Genius: Nova on DVD Percy Julian: Forgotten Genius: Nova
Synopsis
Born at the turn of the 20th century, Percy Julian overcame racial prejudice to become a world-class chemist, a self-made millionaire and an inspiration for future African-American scientists -- all while making research breakthroughs that paved the way for numerous medicines and other products. This "Nova" docudrama includes archival footage, interviews with those who knew him best and reenactments featuring Tony-winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson.
Cast
Cast
Ruben Santiago-Hudson
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Biographical Documentaries, TV Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, PBS Documentaries
Rent The Topdog Diaries on DVD The Topdog Diaries
Synopsis
Get inside the head of playwright Suzan-Lori Parks as she spends two arduous years trying to get her 2002 award-winning play "Topdog/Underdog" off the ground. This documentary chronicles the artistic procedure from start to finish, as the play debuts on Broadway and attempts to stay afloat amid a fickle theater-viewing crowd. Includes clips of the live play, featuring actors Don Cheadle, Jeffrey Wright and others.
Cast
Cast
Don Cheadle, Jeffrey Wright
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Miscellaneous Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, Theater Arts
Rent Martin Luther King: I Have a Dream on DVD Martin Luther King: I Have a Dream
Synopsis
In August 1963, against the iconic backdrop of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., Martin Luther King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech and transformed the civil rights movement in America. The eloquence and poeticism of the speech still echoes down through the generations, as reflected in this disc. A few years later, King (who had predicted his own martyrdom in the speech) was slain on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tenn.
Cast
Cast
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Biographical Documentaries, African-American Documentaries
Rent New Orleans Exposed: Before/After Katrina on DVD New Orleans Exposed: Before/After Katrina
Synopsis
Though the reputation of pre-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans was one of parties and parades, this documentary exposes the dark underbelly at the city's core. With extreme poverty, drugs, crime, guns and one of the highest murder rates in the country, life in the inner city of the Big Easy is anything but. This revealing expos&#233; features interviews with hip-hop stars and New Orleans natives Juvenile, Sqad Up and B.G.
Cast
Cast
Juvenile, Sqad Up, B.G.
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries
Rent Desert Bayou on DVD Desert Bayou
Synopsis
Alex LeMay's documentary tells the little-known yet fascinating story of the 600 African-Americans who were evacuated from New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and relocated to a remote military installation in Utah. Facing a startling clash of race, culture and class, these devastated evacuees find themselves strangers in a strange land, struggling to rebuild their lives against insurmountable odds.
Cast
Cast
Director
Director
Alex LeMay
Genres
Genres
Documentary, African-American Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries
Rent Finding Oprah's Roots: Finding Your Own on DVD Finding Oprah's Roots: Finding Your Own
Synopsis
Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s book <i>Finding Oprah's Roots</i> illuminates how to create an African-American family tree, with the popular TV personality as its example. This companion to the book includes excerpts from the documentary Oprah's Roots and discussions with the experts who appeared in the film. This release is an invaluable resource and starting point for anyone beginning their journey into African-American genealogy.
Cast
Cast
Henry Louis Gates Jr., Oprah Winfrey
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Documentary, PBS, African-American Documentaries, Biographical Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries
Rent Leaving Cleaver on DVD Leaving Cleaver
Synopsis
Shortly before his death in 1998, author, social activist and former Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver granted his last major interview to Henry Louis Gates Jr. In this revealing documentary from the PBS acclaimed "Frontline" series, Cleaver discusses his impact on the civil rights movement. The conversation is mixed with archival footage, audio excerpts from a historic 1975 dialogue with Gates, and commentary from Cleaver's former wife, Kathleen.
Cast
Cast
Henry Louis Gates Jr., Eldridge Cleaver, Kathleen Cleaver
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Documentary, African-American Documentaries, Political Documentaries, TV Documentaries, PBS Documentaries, PBS
Rent Stepping: The Documentary on DVD Stepping: The Documentary
Synopsis
See how the energetic dance known as stepping is sweeping the globe, not only among the African-American fraternities and sororities that have embraced this African cultural tradition, but among youths worldwide. In this explosive documentary, an official selection of the 2008 Pan African American Film and Arts Festival, two first-time feature filmmakers shine a spotlight on the infectious m&#233;lange of dance, jazz and military movements.
Cast
Cast
Director
Director
Marshall Blackwell, Norman Whiteburn
Genres
Genres
Documentary, African-American Documentaries, Hip-Hop & Contemporary Dance, Dance
Rent Against the Odds on DVD Against the Odds
Synopsis
Using archival film, photos and newsreel footage, this hourlong documentary directed by Amber Edwards chronicles the influential black cultural movement known as the Harlem Renaissance. Encompassing literature, music and the visual and performing arts, the movement -- which brought the achievements of black Americans to the fore -- reached its pinnacle between the mid-1920s and early '30s, later inspiring authors Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison.
Cast
Cast
Joe Morton
Director
Director
Amber Edwards
Genres
Genres
Documentary, TV Documentaries, PBS, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries
Rent The Hip Hop Project on DVD The Hip Hop Project
Synopsis
Born into poverty, abandoned by his mother and living on the New York City streets by the time he was a teen, Chris "Kazi" Rolle used his skills as a rapper to pull himself out of the gutter. Determined to help other inner-city kids do the same, Rolle initiated an outreach program called the Hip Hop Project. This uplifting documentary charts the participants' progress as they find a voice for their struggles and eventually record an album.
Cast
Cast
Doug E. Fresh, Diana "Princess" Lemon, Christopher "Cannon" Mapp, Robin "Kheperah" Kearse, Russell Simmons, Bruce Willis, Sway
Director
Director
Matt Ruskin
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, Rap & Hip-Hop
Rent Passin' It On on DVD Passin' It On
Synopsis
Director Jon Valadez's compelling documentary probes the case of Dhoruba Bin Wahad, who was born Richard Moore and became a Black Panther, only to find himself imprisoned for the shooting of two white policemen. Eventually exonerated after spending 19 years in jail, Dhoruba relates the incredible story of his long ordeal and quest for justice, a tale bolstered by the testimony of his attorneys and other Black Panthers.
Cast
Cast
Dhoruba Bin Wahad
Director
Director
Jon Valadez
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Social & Cultural Documentaries, Political Documentaries, Historical Documentaries, African-American Documentaries
Rent Huey P. Newton: Prelude to Revolution on DVD Huey P. Newton: Prelude to Revolution
Synopsis
Hear the inside story of Huey Newton and the Black Panthers with this documentary that examines their efforts to promote the rights of African Americans as well as the organization's violent tactics, including the killing of a police officer. The film features a rare jailhouse interview with Newton discussing the role of revolution and civil disobedience, plus footage of several Panthers' bullet-riddled homes following police raids.
Cast
Cast
Huey P. Newton
Director
Director
John Evans
Genres
Genres
Documentary, African-American Documentaries, Historical Documentaries
Rent Adjust Your Color: Truth of Petey Greene on DVD Adjust Your Color: Truth of Petey Greene
Synopsis
Actor Don Cheadle narrates this insightful documentary that explores the life and times of Petey Greene, the bombastic radio DJ-activist who rose to national prominence in the 1960s via his groundbreaking show, "Rapping with Peter Greene." Fearless and provocative, Greene galvanized audiences with his frank and often humorous commentaries on topics like race, religion, poverty, sex and corruption.
Cast
Cast
Don Cheadle, Petey Greene, Marion Barry Jr., Chuck Brown, James Brown, Sugar Ray Leonard, Robert Hooks, Howard Stern, Virginia Ali, Ernie Barnes
Director
Director
Loren Mendell
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Biographical Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, PBS Documentaries, TV Documentaries, PBS
Rent In Remembrance of Martin on DVD In Remembrance of Martin
Synopsis
Family members, friends, former classmates and advisors of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. relate their memories of the civil rights activist in this moving documentary. Coretta Scott King, Rev. Ralph Abernathy and many others share their personal comments about pivotal events in King's life, paired with historic footage of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, his Lincoln Memorial "I Have a Dream" speech, his acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize and more.
Cast
Cast
Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King, Bill Cosby, Jimmy Carter, Jesse Jackson, Dick Gregory, Ralph Abernathy, Desmond Tutu, Edward Kennedy, Julian Bond
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Biographical Documentaries, TV Documentaries, PBS, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, PBS Documentaries
Rent Presenting Princess Shaw on DVD Presenting Princess Shaw
Synopsis
With the Internet awash in millions of videos by musicians seeking notice, few such artists have much success. But singer-songwriter Samantha Montgomery becomes an exception after drawing the attention of Ophir Kutiel, a master mixer of viral videos.
Cast
Cast
Director
Director
Ido Haar
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Inspirational Biographies, Showbiz Dramas, Indie Documentaries, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries, Inspirational Music
Rent Soul Steppin on DVD Soul Steppin
Synopsis
Line up beside the national step team from the University of Houston's Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. for a road trip to Philadelphia, where teams from all over the United States compete to see who has the goods. From insights on the history of stepping to a behind-the-scenes look at the makings of a show, this video featuring a range of historically black fraternities and sororities is a front-row ticket to the hottest act in town.
Cast
Cast
Phi Beta Sigma, Alpha Phi Alpha
Director
Director
Genres
Genres
Documentary, Social & Cultural Documentaries, African-American Documentaries
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