Watch: Learning More about Race in America

Submitted by Durham Tech Library on

Recent protests have reignited larger discussions of race, African American history, and the Civil Rights Movement. To learn more, Films on Demand has some great documentary resources that are free for Durham Tech faculty, staff, and students. 

Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1985

Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement 1954–1985 [note that end date] is a 14-part series produced by Blackside and available through Films on Demand. Narrated by Julian Bond, Eyes on the Prize has won numerous Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, an International Documentary Award, and a Television Critics Association Award. The series shows the Civil Rights Movement through the eyes of its participants, not just the big names we all recognize. Facing History has a  companion study guide available.

Reconstruction: America after the Civil War with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

The legacy of the Civil War and Reconstruction has impacted current events. Reconstruction: America after the Civil War, narrated by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and produced by PBS and on Films on Demand, charts the path of African Americans after slavery, the white backlash that followed, and the reversal of many economic and political gains. 

In Black Lives Matter,a documentary by NBO and also available through Films on Demand, Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of the grassroots movement discusses the motivation behind the #BlackLivesMatter movement and proposes paths forward.

Some other topics to explore and learn: 

  • Voices of Power: African-American Women: This short documentary highlights African American women and their connection to social conscience through literature and writing. Includes bell hooks and Alice Walker.
  • Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise: By PBS and narrated by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., this documentary starts with the Selma marches and Watts riots, to white backlash and hip-hop and hope, to the divisive 1980s and 1990s, and ends with enduring modern obstacles. 
  • Policing The Police: A Frontline documentary that follows the Newark New Jersey Police Department after it is ordered to reform by the Department of Justice. 

To access these documentaries, use the link provided in the description or go through the library’s Articles, Journals, and Databases box on the library homepage (F for Films on Demand) and log in off-campus by using your Durham Tech username and password--the same one you would use for Sakai or Self-Service. 

Don't be afraid to seek out reliable information to increase your knowledge and understanding.