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Film Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Watchmen

‘Watchmen’ Was Fantasy, But Here’s Why The Need To Discuss Reparations Is Very Real

By Reparations

The perils facing Blacks in Tulsa, Oklahoma didn’t end with the show’s season finale. By Dreisen Heath, Human Rights Watch, Co-written by Kristi Williams, The Real Black Wall Street Tour Company — Watchmen may have been snubbed by the Golden Globes, but the season finale left many viewers in awe. As Black women who hail from Tulsa, Oklahoma — where the Watchmen plot plays out — we hope the season’s biggest legacy will…

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Idina Menzel, left, and Kristen Bell at the premiere of “Frozen II” in Los Angeles.

Frozen II isn’t just a cartoon. It’s a brilliant critique of imperialism

By Commentaries/Opinions

We must atone for the sins of imperialism By Priya Satia, Washington Post — Every Thanksgiving, Americans trot out the self-congratulatory myth that colonization was a harmonious, bloodless affair — that native peoples practically gifted their lands to America and then served up a feast. We forget the aggressive colonial practices (including kidnapping and enslavement) that actually surrounded the holiday’s roots. This year, however, Thanksgiving also brought us Disney’s “Frozen II,” a…

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Harriet Tubman

Uplifting the Liberator, Harriet Tubman: Unmasking the Imposter, Harriet of Hollywood

By Dr. Maulana Karenga

By Dr. Maulana Karenga — Part 1. The conversations and controversy surrounding the movie “Harriet” of Hollywood seems, at first sight, to be simply about Harriet Tubman, the liberator, the Harriet Tubman of history. But in a larger sense, it is about Black people, about: how we see ourselves; how we see our heroes and heroines; how we understand and honor our history, especially the history of the Holocaust of…

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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Maulana Karenga

Focusing on Freedom with Harriet Tubman: Enduring Advice on Relentless Resistance

By Dr. Maulana Karenga

By Dr. Maulana Karenga — This is a reminder, prelude and promise of a coming review on the movie “Harriet”. This is in joyful and grateful homage to our illustrious foremother, Harriet Tubman, the liberator. We offer sacred words and water to this leader and liberator, this all-seasons soldier, abolitionist, freedom fighter, strategist, teacher, nurse, advocate of human, civil and women’s rights, and this family woman: daughter of her parents…

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Kasi Lemmons’s “Harriet” - Harriet Tubman Movie.

The Stunning Achievement of Kasi Lemmons’s “Harriet”

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Richard Brody, The New Yorker — A common failure of movies, especially historical ones, is that they don’t open their drama to intellectual context or to the inner lives of their characters. Kasi Lemmons’s “Harriet” is a bold and accomplished exception: this bio-pic of Harriet Tubman develops her actions as a freer of enslaved people with ardent and detailed attention to the prophetic visions that impel her, and the…

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The Apollo Theater

HBO’s The Apollo: ‘The story of how black America lifted itself through music’

By Editors' Choice

The director Roger Ross Williams on the Harlem ‘temple’ that has hosted legendary performers from James Brown to Lauryn Hill. By André Wheeler, The Guardian — The Apollo Theater is a living piece of black history. Located in the heart of Harlem on West 125th Street, the theater has operated as a refuge for black audiences and performers from its opening in 1934. Artists from James Brown and Aretha Franklin to Stevie Wonder and Lauryn Hill have graced…

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Traveling While Black, a virtual reality documentary, discusses the agony and trepidation of a people moving through a country that has not fully accepted them.

Traveling While Black: behind the eye-opening VR documentary on racism in America

By Commentaries/Opinions

In the Emmy-nominated virtual reality project, viewers are given an immersive historical experience on the depressingly topical dangers of being black in America. By Dream McClinton, The Guardian — The theatre has luxurious red velvet upholstered seats, grand ceilings and gilded trimmings. The rows of chairs stretch back into the ostensible blackness, with light beaming from the projector room. Ahead, archival footage of stylish black travelers pack the screen as…

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A relief sculpture of the goddess Mami Wata on the wall of a voodoo temple in Benin.

Mermaids Have Always Been Black

By Editors' Choice

The uproar over Disney casting Halle Bailey as the Little Mermaid overlooks generations of Caribbean and African folklore. By Tracey Baptiste, The New York Times — As a young child growing up in Trinidad and Tobago within sight and walking distance of the Caribbean Sea, I was gripped by the intrigue of mermaids. I was introduced to one version of a mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen, whose tale of a magical girl…

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Toni Morrison

A Documentary That Shows Another Side of Toni Morrison

By Commentaries/Opinions, Reparations

This moving and profound portrait serves as a fitting biographical tribute as well as a piercing, often painful recount of African American history from slavery and the Civil War to the Jim Crow era, the Civil Rights movement and beyond. By Syreeta McFadden, The Atlantic — One of my white teachers in high school insisted that Toni Morrison would be confusing to me as a reader. So I approached the…

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