Films for African American History Month

Celebrate Black History Month by watching an inspirational film! The following films are available for viewing online through the library’s Films on Demand streaming video collection.  Click on the blue titles below for access.  There are more than 150  films for African American History available through Films on Demand and the library has many DVDs for check out too.

Eyes on the Prize film cover

Eyes on the Prize

Eyes on the Prize tells the definitive story of the civil rights era from the point of view of the ordinary men and women whose extraordinary actions launched a movement that changed the fabric of American life, and embodied a struggle whose reverberations continue to be felt today. Winner of numerous awards, Eyes on the Prize, is the most critically acclaimed documentary on civil rights in America. The 14-part series recounts the fight to end decades of discrimination and segregation.

February One

On February 1st, 1960, four men dressed in their Sunday best sat down at a lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C. but were refused service because of the color of their skin. In this inspiring documentary, the Greensboro Four themselves tell the story of the lunch counter sit-in that revitalized the civil rights movement and established a model of student activism for the coming decade.

Filling the Gap: A Forgotten Chapter of American History

Robert Smalls, Phyllis Wheatley, Elizabeth Keckley, Benjamin Banneker, and countless others of African descent who helped to build the American nation are profiled in this film. This film offers a wealth of dramatized narratives, from the remarkable story of Abdul Rahman Ibrahima, the African prince sold into slavery on a Mississippi plantation, to the White House meeting in which Frederick Douglass urged President Lincoln to uphold the honor and dignity of the Union’s black soldiers, each segment reenacts a pivotal moment in history.

Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice

Ida B. Wells-Barnett was a household name in black America during much of her lifetime (1863-1931). This film is a stirring biography of a crusading journalist, anti-lynching campaigner, and black suffragette during the most repressive years of the Jim Crow period. It documents the dramatic life and turbulent times of the pioneering African-American woman during the post-Reconstruction period.

Tuskegee Airmen: They Fought Two Wars

This inspiring documentary examines the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps—the Tuskegee Airmen. These 450 black men fought the Nazis in World War II and, back in America, they fought prejudice, bigotry, and racism. Extraordinary airmen, they remain today the only fighter group never to have lost one of their bombers to enemy fire. Trained by the segregated military system, their successes led to the integration of the United States armed forces.