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A curated list of films by and about the Black/African-American diaspora that celebrate Black excellence and joy, that document success, and that document difficult histories.

Civil Warriors

Civil Warriors. Directed by Che Broadnax and Deborah C. Hoard. PhotoSynthesis Productions, 2016.

1 Hour 23 minutes

Awards: IndieFest Film Festival, award of merit. See all.

Brief Abstract:

Civil Warriors is a feature film about the experiences of two black families from upstate New York -- fathers and sons who enlisted in the United States Colored Troops (USCT) and fought in the American Civil War. Their compelling true story unfolds through a unique interweaving of historical images with the rhythm and energy of spoken word performance. Contemporary narration guides us and provides historical context as the story unfolds.

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Reconstruction: America After the Civil War

Reconstruction: America After the Civil War, Part 1, Hour 1. Directed by Rob Rapley. Public Broadcasting Service, 2019. 56 minutes

Part 1, hour 2

Part 2, hour 1

Part 2, hour 2

Brief Abstract:

Henry Louis Gates Jr. presents a vital new four-hour documentary series on Reconstruction: America After the Civil War. The series explores the transformative years following the American Civil War, when the nation struggled to rebuild itself in the face of profound loss, massive destruction, and revolutionary social change. The twelve years that composed the post-war Reconstruction era (1865-77) witnessed a seismic shift in the meaning and makeup of our democracy, with millions of former slaves and free black people seeking out their rightful place as equal citizens under the law. Though tragically short-lived, this bold democratic experiment was, in the words of W. E. B. Du Bois, a ‘brief moment in the sun’ for African Americans, when they could advance, and achieve, education, exercise their right to vote, and run for and win public office.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.