Films by Title: "B"
Listed by title followed by year of release, annotation, genre, running time, format, and director
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Baadasssss! (2003) - Mario Van Peebles directs this half documentary/half tribute to his father's (Melvin Van Peebles) 1971 film Sweet Sweetbacks's Baadassss Song, which he wrote, directed and scored. Over thirty years later, Mario Van Peebles stars as his father in this film that chronicles his father's struggles before, during and after the release of the film, including the social impediments and production setbacks faced by the Melvin Van Peebles. Drama, 108 min., DVD, dir: Mario Van Peebles.
Baadasssss: The Birth of Black Cinema (2004) - This documentary follows the making of Baadasssss! (2003) in which director and actor Mario Van Peebles recreated the making of his father's 1971 cult classic Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song. Van Peebles explores the greater struggles for 1970's black filmmakers who were bombarded by studio executives to create films that depict stereotypical African American characters. Documentary, 27 min., DVD, dir: Mario Van Peebles.
BaadAsssss Cinema (2002) - British director Isaac Julien takes a look at the Blaxploitation era of the 1970s in this documentary film through the usage of archival film clips and interviews. Some of the featured stars in this documentary are Pam Grier, Melvin Van Peebles, Isaac Hayes, bell hooks, Fred Williamson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ron Finley and Richard Roundtree. Documentary, 56 min., DVD, dir: Isaac Julien.
Baara (Der Lastenträger ; Le Travail ; The Porter) (1978) - Malian film about a young manager of a factory is exposed to his company’s mistreatment of factory workers. The manager faces the dilemma of being true to his ethics or giving into pressure in order to protect and support himself, regardless of the issues surrounding the welfare of the factory workers. Drama, 91 min., DVD, dir: Cissé Souleymane.
Bab El-Oued City (1994) - Follows the conflict between a young Algerian man and the local Islamic fundamentalists. Drama, 93 min., DVD, dir: Merzak Allouache.
Baby Boy (2001) - John Singleton directs this film about streetwise Jody (Tyrese Gibson), a 20 year-old unemployed black man who still lives at home with his mother and has fathered two children by two different women. After his mother acquires a new live-in boyfriend (Ving Rhames), Jody feels like he is in competition for her affection and is forced to grow up and take responsibility for his actions after she puts him out. Drama, 129 min., DVD, dir: John Singleton.
Baby Clothes (1926) - A conniving couple who have been collecting $50 a week from a rich uncle end up in more trouble when they hire Joe and Mickey to impersonate young children. Allen Hoskins stars as Farina. Comedy, 12 min., 8mm, dir: Robert F. McGowen.
Babylon (1980) - Blue and his Ital Lion crew are looking forward to a competition with the Jah Shaka. But, as Blue is fired from his job his life comes undone from the alienation he suffers as a black member of society. After being beaten by policemen and having the group's sound-system destroyed, Blue is compelled to fight fire with fire. Drama, 91 min., DVD, dir: Franco Rosso.
Back Inside Herself (1984) - Voiceovers by Gamy L. Tyler, Henry A. Saunders, Al Lorenzo, Arabella Chavers, and S. Pearl Sharp describe the interior journey of a black woman who represents the collective identity of African American women. Drama, 5 min., VHS, dir: Saundra Pearl Sharp.
Back to Africa (n.d.) - A collection of newsreels including footage of a parade for the "Back to Africa" movement led by Marcus Garvey. Documentary, 10 min., 16mm, dir: n/a.
Bad Company (1995) - Laurence Fishburne is Nelson Crowe, a CIA operative, in this film filled with lies, deceit and blackmail. Crowe joins a private firm that specializes in business espionage and soon finds himself in the middle of a deadly plot revolving around $50,000 dollars in gold, bribery and possibly death. Drama, 108 min., VHS, dir: Damian Harris.
Bad Cop Chronicles #3, The (1995) - A realistic drama about a cop who is faced with the corruption of a big city and tries to bring justice to a criminal that has constantly been troublesome to the police officer for years. Action , 98 min., VHS, dir: Dennis McGuire.
Badass Supermama (1996) - This lyrical video explores the critical questions of race, gender, sexuality, beauty, body image and representation through the 1970's Blaxplotation movie actress Pam Grier, especially through her character Foxy Brown. The film examines the idea of masquerade and adolescent fantasies about Black womanhood. Documentary, 16 min., VHS, dir: Etang Inyang.
BADDY (1995) - Selection from "Black Visions/Silver Screen: HU Student Film Showcase, Show #8. Black & White." From the S. Torriano Berry Collection (COL 3). Drama, 10 min., DVD, dir: Ajamu Walker.
BaDreaM (1997) - Avant garde. A woman has a nightmarish experience involving faceless men who try to murder her. Music video, 6 min., DVD, dir: Jason Cox.
Baldwin's Nigger (1968) - Documentary of James Baldwin and Dick Gregory discussing the Civil Rights Movement in 1960s Great Britian. Documentary, 46 min., DVD, dir: Horace Ove.
Ballad of the Iron Horse (1970) - This documentary film outlines the rapid and dramatic growth of the railroad until it was eclipsed as a passenger carrier by the automobile and airplane. It also discusses the present situation of the railroads in light of an increasing national need for various different types of transportation. Documentary, 29 min., 16mm, dir: Helen Jean Rogers.
Ballast (2008) - A single mom and her son are struggling to live in a township in the Mississippi Delta. The suicide of one man affects their lives, as well as pushing them into the life of the brother of the deceased. Drama, 96 min., DVD, dir: Lance Hammer.
Bamako (2006) - Melé, a bar singer, and Chaka, her out of work husband, are on the verge of breaking up. In the courtyard of the house they share with other families, a trial court has been set up and African civil society spokesmen have taken proceedings against the World Bank and the IMF, whom they blame for Africa's problems. Life goes on with the pleas and testimonies in the background, and Chaka does not seem concerned with this African desire to fight for its rights. Featuring Danny Glover. Drama, 115 min., DVD, dir: Abderrahmane Sissako.
Bamba, La (1987) - Jackie Wilson (Howard Huntsberry) performs at a major Rock n' Roll festival in Brooklyn, Allan Freed's 1st Anniversary of Rock n' Roll Show. He helps Richie Valens (Lou Diamond Phillips) overcome nerves before the performance that makes Valens an overnight sensation. Drama, 103 min., VHS, dir: Luis Valdez.
Bamboo Gods and Iron Men (1974) - The Jeffersons are on their honeymoon when it is interrupted by people who wish to acquire the Buddha statuette that the husband offered to buy his wife. As things become challenging, Cal Jefferson, a top American boxer, is able to help his career through this predicament. Action, 96 min., DVD, dir: Cesar Gallardo.
Bamboozled (2000) - Pierre Delacroix (Damon Wayans), a Black writer for an independent television network, is assigned to make a show for the African American audience. Wanting to be fired, Delacroix writes a pilot for a minstrel show because he feels that no network would pick it up. To his surprise, the show turns out to be a hit, leaving Delacroix with a lot of explaining to do to the African American community who finds his show highly insulting. Drama, 135 min., DVD, dir: Spike Lee.
Banished (2007) - After the Civil War, various cities throughout the county banished their African-American population. Their option was "Leave or Die". This film visits 3 cities with this legacy, and looks at how the towns confront or ignore their legacy. The racism can still be seen almost a century later. Documentary, 84 min., DVD, dir: Marco Williams.
Bargain Days (1931) - Short from The Little Rascals series. Comedy, 20 min., DVD, dir: Robert F. McGowan.
Barbershop (2002) - Calvin (Ice Cube), who has inherited his father's struggling barbershop, views it as a financial burden and a waste of his time. He sells the shop to Lester (Keith David), a local loan shark, but soon realizes its legacy and importance within the community. After learning of Lester's new plans for the shop, Calvin wants to reverse his original decision to sell, but it may be too late. Comedy, 102 min., DVD, dir: Tim Story.
Barbershops Uncut: East Coast (2004) - As a center of the black community and a place where black men can communicate their voice, this documentary brings the audience inside the barbershop. Guest stars, including Isaac Hayes, JB Smoove, Michael K. Williams, and Darrin DeWitt Henson, sit in the barber's chair while the cameras roll. This is the first in a series highlighting the impact and role of the barbershop in African American culture. Documentary, 57 min., DVD, dir: Dabo Ché.
Baron, The (1977) - Black actor tries to make his own movie with an all-black cast, but to make it he's forced to borrow money from the Mafia. Action, 89 min., DVD, dir: Phillip Fenty.
Barravento (1962) - In the State of Bahia, Brazil, an educated black man returns to his home fishing village to try and free people from mysticism, in particular the Candomblé religion, which he considers a factor of political and social oppression. Drama, 78 min., DVD, dir: Glauber Rocha.
Basquiat (1996) - This film biography chronicles the life of graffiti artist Jean Michel Basquait and his discovery by artist Andy Warhol at the age of 19. Basquait went from living in a cardboard box in a New York City park to living a life full of luxury, drugs, and money. His new lifestyle led to his ultimate downfall when he died from a heroin overdose in 1988 at the young age of 27. Drama, 107 min., VHS, dir: Julian Schanbel.
Battle for Bunker Hill, The (2008) - When former Wall Street executive Peter Salem is released from prison, he heads for the small town of Bunker Hill, Kansas, where his ex-wife and their children have started a new life. Soon after he arrives in town, all power is lost - there is no electricity, and cars and computers suddenly shut down.? Cut off from the world, the town's militant past is reawakened and forces coalesce to protect citizens from an unseen enemy. The town's fear leads to the creation of a posse of gunmen, resulting in torture, illegal searches and eventually, murder. Drama, 103 min., DVD, dir: Kevin Willmott.
Battle for Haiti (2011) - The PBS series Frontline examines life in Haiti after the earthquake and the role gangs, criminals, and corruption are playing in everyday life. Documentary, 60 min., DVD, dir: Dan Reed.
Battle of Algiers, The (1966) - The Battle of Algiers reconstructs the events that occurred in the capital city of French Algeria between November 1954 and December 1957, during the Algerian War of Independence. Drama, 121 min., DVD, dir: Gillo Pontecorvo.
Batuque (2006) - Documentary about Batuque, a style of music performed by women in Cape Verde. Documentary, 52 min., DVD, dir: Marie Clemence Paes.
Beah: A Black Woman Speaks (2003) - Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee are among the cast in this debut film of actress Lisa Gay Hamilton as she documents the life of actress and writer Beah Richards. Richards was born in Mississippi and moved to New York, embarking upon a career as a playwright, poet, teacher, actress, and social activist. This film explores the many dimensions of the distinguished actress. Documentary, 86 min., VHS, dir: Lisa Gay Hamilton.
Beale Street Mama (1946) - A streetcleaner (July Jones) and Bad News Johnson (Specncer Williams) find some stolen money which they use to try to establish themselves in the good life. They are found out and end up losing everything. Drama, 57 min., VHS, U-matic, dir: Spencer Williams.
Bear Facts (1938) - Short from The Little Rascals series. Comedy, 10 min., DVD, dir: Gordon Douglas.
Bear Shooters (1930) - Short from The Little Rascals series. Comedy, 20 min., DVD, dir: Robert F. McGowan.
Beat Street (1984) - Brothers Kenny (Guy Davis) and Lee (Robert Taylor) are street artists dreaming of fame. Fantasy becomes reality when they meet New York University student Tracy (Rae Dawn Chong) who has close connections with Robert (Duane Jones), a record producer. Mary Alice plays the boys' worried mother, Cora. Musical, 106 min., VHS, dir: Stan Lathan.
Beat the Drum (2003) - After a mysterious illness strikes his village, Musa, now orphaned, is left to care for his elderly grandmother. Taking the only item left of family importance, a drum, Musa travels to the city to earn money. He finds much hardship but is able to return to the village a stronger and wiser young man. Drama, 113 min., DVD, dir: David Hickson.
Beatrice Berry Show, The, Episode #1-012 (Airdate: Wednesday, Sept. 29, 1993) - The Beatrice Show is a talk show series hosted by Bertrice Berry, a professor of sociology. She is known for her entertaining lectures that are full of comedy, but discuss a serious message. She is also a best-selling author. Television series, 104 min., U-matic, dir: Beatrice Berry.
Beautiful Me(s): Finding Our Revolutionary Selves in Black Cuba (2008) - A group of Yale graduate students visit Cuba. Documentary, 45 min., DVD, dir: Robin J. Hayes.
Beauty in the Bricks (1981) - Baba (Karen Morgan) is a young determined black woman who excels in spite of living in "the Bricks," a Dallas housing project. She gives her best in everything she does and is an inspiration for young black girls in the community. Documentary, 33 min., 16mm, dir: Allen and Cynthia Mondell.
BeBe's Kids (1992) - Harris (Faison Love) takes Jamika (Vanessa Bell Calloway) and her son Leon (Wayne Collins Jr.) to Fun World for a date. Jamika insists on bringing the children she babysits, LaShawn (Jonell Greene), Kahlil (Marques Huston), Pee-Wee (Tone-Loc), and the kids eventually take over the park and the disagreements begin. Myra J. plays Dorothea, Harris' ex-wife; Nell Carter plays Vivian, her friend; Brad Sanders portrays the bartender; Reynaldo Rey plays Lush; and Bebe Drake-Massey plays a barfly. John Witherspoon, Chino "Fats" Williams, Rodney Winfield and George Wallace are the voices of the card players. Comedy, 74 min., VHS, dir: Bruce W. Smith.
Bedtime Worries (1933) - Short from The Little Rascals series. Comedy, 20 min., DVD, dir: Robert F. McGowan.
Bedwin Hacker (2003) - Nadia El Fani directs this Arab film about a girl named Kalt (Sonia Hamza) who spends her days hacking into the frequencies of foreign television channels and using them to broadcast messages in Arabic, signing them with a moving cartoon character named Bedwin Hacker. Julia (Muriel Sulvay), also known as Agent Marianne and Kalt's old rival, recognizes Kalt’s signature and sets out on a mission to expose her. Drama, 98 min., DVD, dir: Nadia El Fani.
Beginner's Luck (1935) - Short from The Little Rascals series. Comedy, 20 min., DVD, dir: Gus Meins.
Belle (2014) is based on a true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, a daughter of mixed race born in 1761 and raised by a Royal Navy Captain. She is treated like an equal in her family and afforded some privileges due to her upbringing. She is still treated differently by society, however, due to the color of her skin. Belle falls in love with a young vicar’s son, and her lover tries to put an end to slavery. Drama, Romance, 104 min., Blu-Ray, dir: Amma Asante.
Belly (1998) - Hype Williams, music video director turned feature film director, makes his debut in this story about Tommy Brown (DMX) and Sincere (Nas), two friends since childhood. Both have made a good living by dealing drugs and committing armed robberies, allowing them to move out of the ghetto in Queens to an upscale section in Manhattan. Sensing that their lives are heading toward a dead end, the two make huge lifestyle changes on the eve of the new millennium - Sincere gets in touch with his African roots and Tommy joins the Nation of Islam. Drama, 110 min., VHS, dir: Hype Williams.
Belonging (2004) - A South African woman returns home after 10 years abroad. Her chic style and British accent inhibit her re-connection with "home" and family. As she struggles emotionally between South Africa and England, her family holds a "ukwemula," a Zulu ritual, to help her spirit be at peace. Documentary, 52 min., DVD, dir: Minky Schlesinger and Khetiwe Ngcobo.
Beloved (1998) - Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover star in this film that was adapted from Pulitzer Prize winner Toni Morrison's novel bearing the same name. Middle-aged Sethe (Winfrey) is visited by the spirit of her murdered two year-old daughter Beloved (Thandie Newton) in this drama set in 1873 Ohio. Paul D (Glover), an old friend of Sethe's from their slave days in Kentucky, moves in and with the new visitors comes strange happenings in Sethe's once peaceful home. Drama, 180 min., VHS, dir: Jonathan Demme.
Berger & Fry's (pilot) (1989) - Sit-com pilot. Television series, 30 min., VHS, dir: S. Torriano Berry.
Berlin (2007) - Film explores the topic of colonialism and the diaspora as it pertains to Germany. A number of black Germans discuss their opinions and personal reflections on the topic. Documentary, 31 min., DVD, dir: John Sealey.
Bessie (2015) is based on the story of Bessie Smith. Queen Latifah is praised for her intense portrayal of Bessie. The movie exposes audiences to Bessie Smith’s determined spirit to perform despite some violent reactions she received (including a threat from the Ku Klux Klan). Drama, biograpy, music, 135 min., DVD, dir: Dee Rees.
Best Man, The (1999) - Malcolm Lee, Spike Lee's cousin, served as writer and director of this romantic comedy about an aspiring author named Harper (Taye Diggs) who writes a book in which his literary characters were drawn off of his real life family and friends. To make matters worse Jordan (Nia Long) acquired an advance copy of the book and it ends up in the hands of Harper's friend Lance who asked him to serve as his best man. To Lance's surprise, Mia (Monica Calhoun), his fiancée, and Harper had a fling years ago and their affair is revealed in the novel. Drama, 121 min., VHS, dir: Malcolm Lee.
Best Man Holiday (2013) - In the long-awaited sequel to The Best Man (1999), Harper (Taye Diggs), Lance (Morris Chestnut), Quentin (Terrence Howard), Jordan (Nia Long), Robyn (Sanaa Lathan), Mia (Monica Calhoun), Murch (Harold Perrineau), Candy (Regina Hall) and Shelby (Melissa De Sousa) reunite for the first time in years for the Holidays. The college friends soon discover how easy it is to reignite long-forgotten rivalries and romances. When the heart-breaking reason for the reunion is revealed, the group must overcome their longstanding differences to support one another with love and laughter. Drama, 124 min., DVD, dir: Malcolm D. Lee
Best of Black Journal, The (1970) - The Best of Black Journal's (1968-1970) five-part structure focuses primarily on the alignment of modern black artistic expression with its African cultural heritage. "Culture of the South" (directed by Robert Wagoner) looks at modern painting, jazz, theater, and dance in light of the history of slavery in New Orleans. "Black Dance" (by St. Clair Bourne), "Modern and African Art" (by Kent Garrett), and "Black Beauties and Hairstyles" (by Horace Jenkins) all incorporate the African perspective as the true Black source of freedom and slavery. "Malcolm X" (by Madeline Anderson) chronicles the leader's rise to power and his impact on society. William Greaves is the series executive producer. Documentary, 55 min., VHS, dir: Robert Wagoner, St. Clair Bourne, Kent Garrett, Horace Jenkins, Madeline Anderson.
Best of Acapulco Black Film Festival - Includes Possum (1999), dir: Jermaine Encarnacion; Trouble Man (2000), dir: Dabo Che; Twin Cousins (1999), dir: Rod Gailes; When the Time Comes (2000), dir: Tracie Dean Ponder; DVD.
Betty and Coretta(2012) - Focusing on the extraordinary women behind the two men who would change history, "Betty & Coretta" tells the stories of Coretta Scott King (Malik Yoba), and Dr. Betty Shabazz (Mary J. Blige), wife of Malcolm X. When their husbands were tragically assassinated, these two women not only inherited the mantle of the civil rights movement in America, each also found herself to be a single mother who had to find a way to raise her children with no husband or father. The film recounts their unique friendship that spanned three decades. Drama, 90 min., DVD, dir: Yves Simoneau
Betty Boop in Snow White (1933) - This is the story of Betty Boop as Snow White in which she encounters an evil stepmother and the seven dwarfs. Music is performed by Cab Calloway. Children, 8 min., 16mm, dir: Dave Fleischer.
Beulah Show, The (1951-1952) - This tape contains three episodes of The Beulah Show. In the first episode, Louise Beavers portrays Beulah in "Beulah's Misunderstanding." The second episode, "Beulah the Dance Teacher," features Hattie McDaniel in the title role. And, the last episode stars Louise Beavers in "Beulah Helps the Hendersons." Features Ernest Whitman, Ruby Dandridge and Butterfly McQueen. Included on the videocassette are five animated shorts: "Jasper's in a Jam," "Amos n' Andy Rassling Match," "Amos n' Andy The Lion Tamer," "Scrub Me Mama with a Boogie Beat," "Jungle Jitters." Television series, 76 min., VHS, dir: Richard Bare & Abby Berlin.
Beulah Show, The: Volume 1 (1951-1952) - This tape contains two episodes of the 1950s television series about the loveable maid Beulah, played in the first episode by Hattie McDaniel, who originated the role on radio. The second episode features Ethel Waters as Beulah with special guest appearances by Butterfly McQueen and Dooley Wilson. Television series, 53 min., VHS, dir: Richard Bare & James Tinling.
Beur Blanc Rouge (2006) - Brahim, Mouloud and Gaby are three Algerian-French living their lives in this scouring comedy about integration. Comedy, 82 min., DVD, dir: Mahmoud Zemmouri
Beverly Hills Cop (1984) - Eddie Murphy plays Axel Foley, a street smart Detroit detective, who goes to Beverly Hills to search for his friend's murderer. Foley's unorthodox methods lead to his success in resolving a drug smuggling plot. Gilbert R. Hill is Inspector Todd, Foley's Detroit Chief; Art Kimbro is a Beverly Hills detective. Action, 105 min., VHS, dir: Martin Brest.
Beverly Hills Cop II (1987) - Eddie Murphy reprises his role as Axel Foley of the Detroit Police Department and is reunited with his Beverly Hills buddies. Together they solve the "alphabet" thefts masterminded by munitions dealers. Chris Rock makes a cameo appearance as a valet at Hugh Hefner's Mansion. Action, 100 min., VHS, dir: Tony Scott.
Beware (1946) - Musical romance with Lucius (Louis) Jordan coming to the rescue of his alma mater, Ware College, by exposing the unscrupulous tactics of Benjamin Ware III (Milton Woods). He also woos and wins his former love, athletics instructor Annabella Brown (Valerie Black). "Beware" is the title of the song which Jordan writes in honor of the college. Drama, 60 min., VHS, dir: Bud Pollard.
Beware of Strangers with Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids (1984) - Hank, who stayed up late watching television, sleeps through a lesson at school about how to avoid becoming the victim of dangerous strangers. The next day he is kidnapped, although the gang saves him and he learns to be careful of strangers. Children, 15 min., 16mm, dir: Gwen Wetzler.
Beyond the Lights (2014) - Noni (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is the music world’s latest superstar, but the pressures of fame have her on the edge…until she meets Kaz (Nate Pakrer), a handsome young cop with political ambitions who’s been assigned to protect her. Minnie Driver and Danny Glover co-star as Noni's parents. Drama, musical performance, 116 min., Blu-ray, dir: Gina Prince-Bythewood.
Beyond the Steps: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (2006) - This documentary follows the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater during a pivotal time in its history. The company takes on new ventures abroad as well as establishing a new home in New York City. The DVD features a full-length performance of "Love Stories." The stories of the dancers are intertwined through the story of the company. Documentary, 86 min., DVD, dir: Phil Bertelsen.
Bhava Tanha (n.d.) - Avant garde short film. Drama, 3 min., DVD, dir: Robert Ramesar.
Biafran Tragedy, The (1968) - This short includes documentary footage of a famine crisis in Biafra with information about Christian missionary relief work. Documentary, 10 min., 16mm, dir: n/a.
Big Business (1924) - The gang sets up a barber shop which tends to revolutionize the hair styles of the other kids in the neighborhood, much to their mother's dismay. They do have a notable success in transforming Mickey into a normal looking boy. Ernie Morrison stars as Sunshine Sammy, Allen Hoskins stars as Farina and Jannie Hoskins stars as Mango. Comedy, 20 min., 16mm, dir: Robert F. McGowen.
Big City Blues (1986) - This film takes a look at both old and new blues in Chicago. While old blues depicts Black American culture, the new blues combine culture and politics as an informing tool. Jim Brewer, among others, represents the old blues and Son Seals, Queen Sylvia Embry, and Billy Branch the new blues. Documentary, 28 min., VHS, dir: St. Clair Bourne.
Big Ears (1931) - Short from The Little Rascals series. Comedy, 20 min., DVD, dir: Robert F. McGowan.
Big Fella (1937) - Paul Robeson is featured as Joe in this film story of the Marseilles waterfront. Loosely based on McKay's Banjo, the film also provides a small role for Eslanda Robeson; he plays the title role and sings "Lazin'," "Roll Up Sailorman," and "You Didn't Orta Do Such Things." Musical, 73 min., DVD, dir: J. Elder Wills.
Big Score, The (1983) - Officer Frank Hooks (Fred Williamson) is fired from the Chicago police force when he is accused of stealing a large amount of money, so he goes after the real criminals on his own. Nancy Wilson plays his wife Angie; Richard Roundtree plays Gordon; D'Urville Martin is Easy; James Spinks appears as Cheech. Drama, 82 min., DVD, dir: Fred Williamson.
Big Timers, The (1945) - A variety of black entertainment stars are featured including "Moms" Mabley and Stepin Fetchit. Comedy, 36 min., VHS, DVD, dir: Bud Pollard.
Bill Cosby on Prejudice (1971) - The film presents Bill Cosby in a satiric monologue in which a super bigot, who sees himself as the common man on the street, characterizes different minority types. Emphasizes, by implicaton, the contradictions and paradoxes inherent in attributing characteristics to different minority groups. Drama, 24 min., 16mm, dir: Bill Cosby & Tom Mossman.
Bill Cosby, Himself (1981) - Comedian Cosby performs an extended stand-up routine, drawing upon much of his own experience. The presentation covers drug and alcohol use, a visit to the dentist, the trauma of childbirth and childrearing, as well as relationships between the generations. Comedy, 105 min., VHS, dir: Bill Cosby.
Bill T. Jones: Dancing to the Promised Land (2004) - Bill T. Jones is the subject and the host of this film. He is a powerful force in the world of Modern Dance. He provides insight into his style, work and life. Documentary, 60 min., DVD, dir: N/A.
Billboard Frolics (1935) - On Cartoon Collection III. Children, 5 min., VHS, dir: I. Freleng.
BIM: The Movie & the Muisc (1974) - A Young Indian man, Bheem Singh, survives a life of violence and crime in Trinidad and Tobago to become part of the political movement towards independence. Includes CD of the film soundtrack. Drama, 200 min., DVD + CD, dir: Hugh A. Robertson.
Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings, The (1976) - Set against the depression-ridden midwest in 1939, a group of players from baseball's Negro National League become dissatisfied with exploitation by their management and decide to form a club of their own. Drama, 109 min., 16mm, dir: John Badham.
Bintou (2001) - Counter to the opinion of her husband, Bintou, the mother of three children in Ouagadougou, decides to send her daughter to school. Bintou's husband suspects her newfound financial freedom might lead to adultery. Drama, 26 min., DVD, dir: Fanta Regina Nacro.
Bird (1988) - A dramatic version of the life and times of saxophone great Charlie Parker who died in 1955 at the age of 34. Forest Whitaker plays Charlie Parker; Damon Whitaker is the young Charlie Parker; Samuel E. Wright plays Dizzy Gillespie. Drama, 160 min., VHS, dir: Clint Eastwood.
- Music Hath Harms: Rivalry over who will lead the band in a Birmingham nightclub is the basis of the conflict in this musical comedy featuring Spencer Williams, Jr. and Roberta Hyson. Comedy, 21 min., DVD, dir: Walter Graham.
- The Melancholy Dame: Jonquil (Evelyn Preer), the wife of Permanent Williams (Edward Thompson), owner of a nightclub, is jealous of his attentions to one of his entertainers, Sapho (Roberta Hyson). The complications of this love triangle are the source of comedy in this burlesque of the black bourgeoisie of Birmingham, Alabama. One of the first black sound films. Comedy, 21 min., DVD, dir: Arvid E. Gillstrom.
- The Framing of the Shrew: An obstreporous wife (Evelyn Preer) is tamed and trained by her smaller but wily husband (Edward Thompson) through the advice of his friend, Florian Slappey (Charles Olden). Comedy, 20 min., DVD, dir: Arvid E. Gillstrom.
- Oft in the Silly Night: Romance blossoms between a black chauffeur (Edward Thompson) and the boss's daughter (Roberta Hyson). Comedy, 16 min., DVD, dir: Arvid E. Gillstrom.
Biro (2007) - Based on a true story, this one-man play charts the life of a Ugandan solider, including his HIV diagnosis in Cuba and his present life in a Texas jail cell. Drama, 105 min., DVD, dir: Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine.
Birth of a Nation (1915) - Made from Dixon's The Clansman (original title of film) and The Leopard's Spots, the film was the southerner's version of the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. Griffith's extraordinary skill made his controversial film one of the most widely disseminated, in spite of protests by the NAACP and other anti-racist groups. A few black actors like George Reed and Madame Sul-te-Wan (who spits on the old colonel) appear, along with whites in blackface, like Jennie Lee as Mammy, Walter Long as Gus, Mary Alden as Lydia Brown, etc. Griffith's controversial story of the Civil War, despite its virulent racial stereotypes and pro-KKK slant, remains a celebrated triumph for its scope, its narrative complexity, and its innovative technique. Drama, 190 min., 8mm, 16mm, DVD, Laserdisc, dir: D.W. Griffith.
Birth of a Nation: 4x29x92 (1993) - After the Rodney King verdict, residents of Los Angeles express their outrage; businesses burn, and tensions between neighbors escalate. The film includes a rap soundtrack and interviews with rappers Ice T, Ice Cube, Chuck D, and others. Documentary, 63 min., VHS, dir: Matthew McDaniel.
Birth of a Race (1918) - The film intended to counteract the effects and respond to the racial allegations in The Birth of a Nation. It ended up as a kind of patchwork extravaganza beginning in the Garden of Eden and took over two years to make at a cost of over $1,000,000. Released in 1919. Drama, 60 min., VHS, dir: John W. Noble.
Birthday Blues (1932) - Short from The Little Rascals series. Comedy, 20 min., DVD, dir: Robert F. McGowan.
Black 14, The: Not Just a Football Story (1997) - On October 18, 1969, 14 Black football players were kicked off the football team at the University of Wyoming. The Black players refused to remove their black armbands that stood as a form of silent protest against a racist policy of the Mormon Church and the coach retaliated by suspending them from the team the night before a critical game against their rivals. Documentary, 60 min., VHS, dir: Mike McElreath and Niyi Coker, Jr.
Black and Tan (1929) - Fredi Washington is the ill but courageous dancer in this film designed mainly to display the talents of Duke Ellington (his first appearance on film) and his music. In love with Ellington, Washington dances as she dies, but the last sound she hears is Duke's "Black and Tan Fantasy." Musical performance by the Duke Ellington and His Cotton Club Orchestra. Musical, 19 min., 16mm, dir: Dudley Murphy.
Black & White (1991) - An African American building superintendent and a young Soviet emigrant studying medicine form a bond while livingon the edges of Manhattan. Drama, 96 min., VHS, dir: Boris Frumin.
Black and White (1999) - Directed by James Toback, this urban drama focuses on the collision of black and white cultures when a group of White New York teenagers become obsessed with Black Harlem hip-hop culture. Charlie, an upper-class White girl soon becomes involved with Rich, a powerful Black businessman. Intrigued by the mix of the two cultures, a documentary team attempts to capture the story on film. Drama, 100 min., VHS, dir: James Toback.
Black Anthology Cartoons, Vol. 2: Little 'Ol Bosko (1931-1938) - Seven Bosko cartoons produced between 1931-38. Includes The Old House (1936); Bosko's Easter Eggs (1937); Bosko and the Pirates (1937); Bosko and the Cannibals (1937); Bosko in Bagdad (1938); Bosko the Doughboy (1931); and Old Anything (1931). Picture quality is fair to poor. Children, 60 min., VHS, dir: multiple directors.
Black Artists of the U.S.A. (1977) - This documentary short provides a survey of the influential yet often ignored contributions of black artists to American culture and history, from the days of slavery through the 20th century. The film considers many works, including the paintings of Joshua Johnston and Robert S. Duncanson, as well as the works of Charles White. Documentary, 16 min., 16mm, dir: Irene Zmurkevych.
Black Artist's Short Subjects, Vol. 1 (1940) - Sponsored by Chesterfield cigarettes, and hosted by Claude Burnett, titles include The Negro in Sports (Jesse Owens, Mary McNabb, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Larry Doby, Luke Easter, The Harlem Globetrotters and others); Brown Bomber (Joe Louis) Joe Louis vs. Max Schmelling; The Negro in Entertainment (Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Bill Robinson and Fats Waller); The Negro in Industry (narrated by Claude A. Barnett, director of the Associated Negro Press). Documentary, 60 min., VHS, dir: multiple directors.
Black Artist's Short Subjects, Vol. 2 1940 - Sponsored by Chesterfield cigarettes, this compilation looks at Blacks in entertainment: Slow Poke (Stepin Fetchit); Symphony in Black (Duke Ellington and His Orchestra, Billie Holiday); Hi-De-Ho (Cab Calloway); Black and Tan (Duke Ellington and His Cotton Club Orchestra); Jammin' the Blues (Lester Young, Red Callender, Harry Edison and Marlowe Morris). Documentary, 49 min., VHS, dir: multiple directors.
Black Artist's Short Subjects, Vol. 3 (1940) - Sponsored by Chesterfield cigarettes, this variety looks at Blacks in the Film Industry: Music Hath Harm (Valerie Graham, Spencer Williams, Roberta Hyson, Harry Tracy and Nathan Curry); Boogie Woogie Dream (Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson and Teddy Wilson and His Band); Rufus Jones for President (Ethel Waters, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Hamtree Harrington). Documentary, 58 min., VHS, dir: multiple directors.
Black Brigade (1970) - An untested black Army unit is the only hope for saving a strategic dam from the Nazis during World War II. Racial tension erupts when a prejudiced white commando officer is sent to mold the soldiers into an effective combat force. Action, 75 min., VHS, dir: George McCowan.
Black Caesar (1973) - Fred Williamson is a gangster who tries to get his share of the money squeezed from the ghetto by the Mafia. Drama, 92 min., VHS, dir: Larry Cohen.
Black Caricature, The (1996) - This PBS film was produced by Deirdre Leake-Butcher and discusses several of the Black caricatures that have historically and contemporarily exploited Black people in the United States. Among the demeaning caricatures discussed in the film are the coon, mammy, Uncle, Pickanninny and the Sambo. Documentary, 58 min., VHS, dir: Deirdre Leake-Butcher.
Black Captains of the Chesapeake (n.d.) - Documentary on a group of African American Head Boat Captains sailing out of Kent Narrows, Maryland that have been taking anglers fishing on the Chesapeake Bay for the past 40 years. Produced and directed by S. Torriano Berry. Documentary, 57 min., DVD, dir: S. Torriano Berry.
Black Cobra, The (1988) - A maverick detective struggles to protect a female photographer, a key witness of a murder, from a gang of psychopathic bikers. Action, 85 min., DVD, dir: Stelvio Massi.
Black Cobra 2, The (1990) - Robert Malone (Fred Williamson) is back in this sequel. This time he travels to the Philippines to train with Interpol. While in Manila, his wallet is stolen. Malone must endure a rough relationship with his assigned partner Kevin McCall while following the trail of evidence surrounding his stolen wallet, which enventually leads to something much bigger. Action, 92 min., DVD, dir: Edoardo Margheriti.
Black Cobra 3: The Manila Connection (1990) - When Bob Malone (Fred Williamson) is called in to investigate a murder related to a stolen shipment of weapons, his evidence leads him to the Philippines. There he works the streets of Manila with an Interpol agent Greg Duncan. But Malone and Duncan keep having awfully bad luck, leading them to suspect a traitor in their midst. Action, 85 min., DVD, dir: Edoardo Margheriti.
Black Devil Doll From Hell (1984) - A woman buys a doll at a magic shop. Unbeknownst to her, the doll is possessed by an evil spirit, and it proceeds to take her over. Horror, 70 min., DVD, dir: Chester Novell Turner.
Black Dynamite (2009) - In this spoof of 1970s blaxploitation films former CIA agent Black Dynamite must avenge his brother's death while cleaning the streets of a new drug that is ravaging the community. Action, 84 min., DVD, dir: Scott Sanders.
Black Economic Power: Reality or Fantasy? (1977) - In this spoof of 1970s blaxploitation films former CIA agent Black Dynamite must avenge his brother's death while cleaning the streets of a new drug that is ravaging the community. Documentary, 58 min., VHS, dir: Jessie Maple.
Black Gestapo, The (1975) - An inner-city People's Army has been started by General Ahmed to try and help the citizens of Watts. There is increasing pressure from the mafia, and General Ahmed's second in command Colonel Kojah asks to start a protection squad. Ahmed's worst fears come true when the squab turns into a vigilante mob. Ahmed tries to get the power back from Kojah, but he might just be the mob's next victim. Drama, 88 min., DVD, dir: Lee Frost.
Black Girl [aka La Noire de...] (1965) - Ousmane Sembène's first feature length film (his fourth film) tells the story of a young African girl from Dakar enticed into taking a job as a domestic for a French family in Antibes. Enslaved in her new situation the girl commits suicide. The film won the Prix Jean Vigo for Best Direction. Sembène appears as the teacher. Opened in Paris, 1967; in Senegal 1969. In French with English subtitles. Drama, 56 min., DVD, dir: Ousmane Sembène.
Black Godfather, The (1974) - Nate Williams is the Black Godfather, and he realizes his reign is going to end soon, he looks to J.J., a master pimp, to take over his dealings. J.J. wants to fund a black power uprising with drug profits, and eventually starts a drug war with a white trafficker, Tony Burton. Starring Rod Perry, Damu King, Don Chastain, and Jimmy Witherspoon. Drama, 95 min., DVD, dir: John Evans.
Black Hair: The Korean Takeover of the Black Haircare Industry (2005) - Documentary filmmaker Aron Ranen investigates the black beauty supply industry and why it is mostly owned by Koreans. DVD also includes a 15-minute update filmed a year later. Documentary, 34 min., DVD, dir: Aron Ranen.
Black History: Lost, Stolen, or Strayed (1968) - Bill Cosby narrates this documentary on the several unheralded accomplishments African Americans have made in US history, including medical advances made by black doctors, the sacrifices made by black soldiers in the Civil War, and the discrimination endured in the film industry. Documentary, 51 min., 16mm, VHS, dir: Andrew A. Rooney and Perry Wolff.
Black History - The Ultimate Collection (2007) - Six disc set that covers black history in a variety of areas. Vol. 1: In the Beginning, Vol. 2: WWII The Beginning of Change, Vol. 3: Civil Rights Movement, Vol. 4: An Historical Overview, Vol. 5: The Arts, Vol. 6: Sports & Science. Documentary, 1111 min., DVD, dir: N/A.
Black Hollywood 2000 (2000) - This short documentary film includes interviews of Black professionals in the film industry and civil rights groups. Modern media such as film and television are explored in terms of how they are used to portray and hire Black talent. Also shown in the documentary are behind-the-scenes discussions with actors from The Best Man (1999) and The Hurricane (1999). A video collage of posters from the Edward Mapp Collection is also incorporated in the film. Documentary, 15 min., VHS, dir: Emma E. Pullen.
Black Hollywood: Blaxploitation and Advancing an Independent Black Cinema (1984) - Documentary explores the work of black actors, black directors, and the black audience up unitl the early 1980s. Documentary, 75 min., DVD, dir: Howard Johnson.
Black Holocaust (1994) - Conference held at Howard University with scholars and members of the Nation of Islam to discuss the oppression of African Americans. Documentary, 90 min., VHS, dir: Howard University.
Black in Latin America (2011):
- Brazil: A Racial Paradise? Documentary, 55 min., DVD, dir: Ricardo Pollack.
- Cuba: The Next Revolution Documentary, 55 min., DVD, dir: Dienne Petterle.
- Haiti & Dominican Republic: An Island Divided Documentary, 55 min., DVD, dir: Ricardo Pollack
- Mexico & Peru: A Hidden Race Documentary, 55 min., DVD, dir: Ilana Trachtman
Black Indians: An American Story (2001) - Connections between Native Americans and African Americans is the theme of this documentary. By examining their shared histories, together they confront future challenges. This documentary is narrated by James Earl Jones, whose heritage is both Native and African American. Documentary, 60 min., VHS, dir: Chip Richie.
Black Is the Color (Fear) (1973) - This stress training film module for teachers presents a scenario dramatizing a conflict between a white teacher and a black student interspersed with interview clips with teachers discussing racial tensions in schools. Includes teaching guide. Documentary, 17 min., 16mm, dir: Robert Rubin.
Black Is… Black Ain't (1995) - The final film by the late Emmy and Peabody Award winning filmmaker Marlon Riggs jumps into the middle of explosive debates on black identity. The film examines the negative connotations associated with the word "black" and how Blacks have learned to embrace the word as a form of self-empowerment. Activists interviewed in the film include Angela Davis, Cornel West, bell hooks, and Michele Wallace. Documentary, 87 min., DVD, dir: Marlon Riggs.
Black Jesus [aka Seduto alla sua destra] (1968) - Woody Strode plays Alubi, an African leader that refuses to give up his village to European colonists. He gets captured and tortured and is eventually killed. English dubbed version released in the U.S. in 1971. Drama, 84 min., DVD, dir: Valerio Zurlini.
Black Jew (1989) - Zev Putterman and Ishmael Reed discuss the releationships and issues between African Americans and people of Jewish decent. Documentary, 61 min., VHS, dir: N/A.
Black Joy (1977) - An innocent and unsophisticated Guyanan immigrant is exposed to the hustlin' way of life of the Brixton ghetto. Comedy, 97 min., DVD, dir: Anthony Simmons.
Black King, The [aka Harlem Hot Shot] (1932) - "Charcoal" Johnson (A. B. Comathiere), through connivance, becomes the minister/leader of a Logan, Mississippi, congregation from which he attempts to extort money for a Back to Africa movement. The corrupt Johnson proclaims himself King of the United States of Africa. Drama, 72 min., VHS, dir: Bud Pollard.
Black Klansman, The (1966) is a drama about a light-skinned black man who is devastated by his daughter’s death in a church bombing in Alabama. As a result, the man goes undercover, as a member of the Klan in order to avenge his daughter’s death. Drama, 88 min., DVD, dir: Ted V. Mikels.
Black Like Me (1964) - A white southerner, played by James Whitmore, manages to change the color of his skin and live "black" in this film adaptation of John Howard Griffin's autobiographical work, Black Like Me. P.J. Sidney plays Frank Newcomb and Al Freeman, Jr. his son, who represent two opposing black views. Drama, 107 min., 16mm, VHS, dir: Carl Lerner.
Black Magic (2008) - Examines Civil Rights-era America through the prism of basketball at historically black colleges and universities. Documentary, 224 min., DVD, dir: Dan Klores.
Black Mama, White Mama (1973) - Pam Grier and Margaret Markov star as two female immates in a Phillippines work camp who, after being chained together, escape their captors and join up with revolutionaries in the jungle. Action, 86 min., VHS, dir: Eddie Romero.
Black Military Experience: The Negro Soldier, Navy Steward & Negro Sailor (1943-53) - Three short government films with blacks in the Armed Forces. Opens and closes with church sermon. Much stock footage included. Many placards and grave stones featured. Olympic footage (Ben Johnson's high jump). Pearl Harbor footage. The Navy Steward is a United States Navy training film by the U.S. Naval Photographic Center. The Negro Soldier is an All American Digest/News film. Documentary, 75 min., VHS, dir: US Govt. Films (War Department).
Black Mother, Black Daughter (1989) - The film chronicles the struggles of blacks living in Canada who maintain a sense of pride and identity and documents the oral traditions passed down from the mother to daughter. Documentary, 29 min., VHS, dir: Sylvia Hamilton and Claire Prieto.
Black Music in America: From Then Till Now (1971) - The film introduces renowned black musicians and the contribution black music has made to America in the forms of jazz, blues, spirituals, protest songs, swing, and rock and roll. Gives the history of black music, from the time of the introduction of slavery in America to the present day, using old engravings and film clips. Includes Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson, Bessie Smith, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and others. Drama, 28 min., 16mm, dir: Hugh A. Robertson.
Black Music in America: The 70s (1979) - The film is a musical excursion through the world of black music in the 1970s from the Motown sound of Diana Ross to the disco beat of Donna Summer. It includes film clips of over 75 groups showing the growth and influence of black music and black performers. Narrated by Isaac Hayes and Dionne Warwick and produced by the Black Music Association. Documentary, 32 min., 16mm, dir: N/A.
Black Nations/Queer Nations? (1995) - Shari Frilot directs this experimental documentary that chronicles the groundbreaking 1995 conference on lesbian and gay sexualities in the African Diaspora. The film highlights the conference and the various topics discussed by the panelists made up of scholars, activists, and cultural workers. Among the topics discussed are Black and queer identity, Black nationalism, and homophobia in the Black community. Documentary, 52 min., VHS, dir: Shari Frilot.
Black Nativity (2013) - In a contemporary adaptation of Langston Hughes’ celebrated play, the holiday musical drama follows Langston (Jacob Latimore), a street-wise teen from Baltimore raised by a single mother, as he journeys to New York City to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged relatives Reverend Cornell and Aretha Cobbs (Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett). Unwilling to live by the imposing Reverend Cobbs’ rules, a frustrated Langston is determined to return home to his mother, Naima (Jennifer Hudson). Langston embarks on a surprising and inspirational journey and along with new friends, and a little divine intervention, he discovers the true meaning of faith, healing, and family. Musical, 93 min., DVD, dir: Kasi Lemmons.
Black Network, The (1936) - The film is about Blacks trying to create a radio show. Nina Mae McKinney and the Nicholas Brothers star. Musical, 21 min., 16mm, dir: Roy Mack.
Black Orpheus (1959) - Marcel Camus' film loosely parallels the classic legend of Orpheus and Eurydice. The tragic love story unravels against the background of carnival in Rio de Janeiro's black ghetto. Grand Prix, 1959 Cannes Festival. Marpessa Dawn an American dancer, plays Eurydice. Drama, 107 min., DVD, dir: Marcel Camus.
Black Panthers: Huey Newton / Black Panther Newsreel (1968) - Agnes Varda's documentary, Huey! [aka Black Panthers] records speeches by Eldridge Cleaver, Bobby Seale, and Stokely Carmichael among others at the "Free Huey Newton" rally at the Oakland Auditorium in Alameda, CA on February 17, 1968 as well as an interview with Huey P. Newton in prison. Also included on the tape is Black Panther Newsreel produced by San Francisco Newsreel, which presents an overview of the Black Panther Party and includes interviews with Huey P. Newton and Eldridge Cleaver as well as demonstration footage. Documentary, 32 + 15 min., VHS, dir: Agnès Varda / n/a.
Black Panthers, The: Vanguard of the Revolution (2015) - A film by Nelson Stanley on the Black Panther Party. Nelson recalls being a 15-year-old and witnessing police violence. The Black Panther Party became an organization that related to his frustrations. The film features over 40 interviews with members of the Panthers, police officers, and FBI agents. Documentary, 120 min., Blu-Ray, dir: Stanley Nelson.
Black Paths to Leadership: Washington, DuBois & Garvey (1984) - Narrated by William Marshall, the film shows how three historically important black men took different paths in fighting for the rights of African Americans. It uses rare archival footage to document the lives of Booker T. Washington (1856-1915), Marcus Garvey (1887-1940), and W.E.B. DuBois (1868-1963). Documentary, 28 min., 16mm, dir: Pam Hughes.
Black Power in America: Myth or Reality? (1986) - The film surveys some of the changes in American society since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. It looks at African American men and women who have achieved power and influence. Documentary, 59 min., VHS, dir: William Greaves.
Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975, The (2010) - Compiled from archival footage of the US black power movement, 'The Black Power Mixtape 1967 - 1975' offers an outsider's interpretation of events for an innovative and fascinating product. This film appeared at the Sundance 2011 Film Festival. Documentary, 96 min., DVD, dir: Goran Olsson.
Black Press: Soldiers without Swords, The (1998) - This documentary explores the history and cultural contributions of the African American press in the United States from the 1800's to the 1990's. The DVD includes an interactive CD. Documentary, 86 min., VHS, DVD dir: Stanley Nelson.
Black Rodeo (1972) - Documentary about a rodeo made up of black cowboys who visited Harlem and performed. Muhammad Ali visits and interacts with the cowboys and rodeo clowns. Woody Strode also visits - he is speaks throughout the documentary about the history of black cowboys. Documentary, 90 min., DVD, dir: Jeff Kanew.
Black Shadows on a Silver Screen (1975) - The motion picture history of black involvement in American films,with scenes from films depicting positive and negative black images. Contributions of black filmmakers like Oscar Micheaux illustrate the rugged path trod by black producers and actors. Highlighted are the careers of Paul Robeson, Josephine Baker, Fredi Washington with narration by Ossie Davis. Music include performances by Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway and others. Documentary, 55 min., 16mm, VHS, dir: Steven York.
Black Shampoo (1976) - John Daniels stars as Jonathan Knight, the owner of “Mr. Jonathans,” the most successful hair salon for women on the sunset strip. In this Blaxploitation take on the 1975 Warren Beatty vehicle Shampoo, the “loving machine” protagonist turns “killing machine” when he messes with the mob to project his receptionist (Tanya Boyd). DVD special features include a director’s commentary track and bonus exploitation trailers. Action, 85 min., DVD, dir: Greydon Clark.
Black Sister's Revenge (1976) - A desperate small-town girl turns bank robber to free her man from prison. Drama, 100 min., VHS, dir: Jamaa Fanaka.
Black Six, The (1974) - A black high school student is caught dating a white girl by the girl's brother. He and his biker gang beat the boy to death. The boy's brother, who is a member of a black biker gang, hears about it and comes to town to avenge his brother's death. Action, 99 min., DVD, dir: Matt Cimber.
Black Soul (Ame noire) (2000) - This short animated film brings to light the relationship between the past and future as a grandmother teaches her grandson the history of the African Diaspora. In a myriad of colors, it illustrates the history of Africa, slavery, freedom, and the dream of equality. Children, 10 min., DVD, dir: Martine Chartrand.
Black Streetfighter, The (1975) - In order to make money, a black street fighter must work for Los Angeles gangsters. Action, 93 min., DVD, dir: Timothy Galfas.
Black Studies, USA (2007) - Documentary about the Civil Rights Movement within the walls of Higher Education institutions. This deals with the struggle to change the curriculum to reflect the civil rights being fought for in the government and public domain. Includes interviews with professors and people involved in the movement. Documentary, 45 min., DVD, dir: Niyi Coker, Jr.
Black Theatre : The Making of a Movement (1978) - This documentary explores the growth and development of black theatre from its earliest roots, also examining its close ties with the civil rights movement. Included are interviews with veterans of the theatrical world such as James Earl Jones and Ed Bullins. Documentary, 114 min., DVD, dir: Woodie King, Jr.
Black Unicorn, The: Dudley Randall & the Broadside Press (1995) - The film documents the history of the Broadside Press, dubbed "the voice of the Black Arts Movement," and its founder Dudley Randall as the Broadside Press celebrates its 25th anniversary. Randall reads from his many book of poems. Documentary, 45 min., VHS, dir: Melba Joyce Boyd.
Black Wallstreet (1991) - The film traces the demise of a prosperous African American community in North Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921. Documentary, 58 min., VHS, dir: N/A.
Black Warriors of the Seminole (1991) - Narrated by John Amos, this documentary traces the escape of black slaves from Georgia and South Carolina plantations to Florida where they integrated into the Seminole Indian tribes. Documentary, 29 min., VHS, dir: Vinnie Jones.
Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation (1983) - Documentary, 18 min., DVD, dir: N/A.
Blackbird (2014) is a drama about a southern choir boy who seems grounded on the surface, but struggles with his sexuality. Meanwhile his family is heartbroken by the disappearance of his sister. Drama, 99 min., DVD, dir: Patrik-Ian Polk.
Blackboard Jungle (1955) - Slum schools and juvenile deliquency are the subject of this film. At one point, a high school teacher (Glenn Ford) is rescued from teenaged bullies by a black student (Sidney Poitier). Drama, 101 min., DVD, dir: Richard Brooks.
Blackenstein (1972) - A "black" version of the popular Frankenstein in the horror genre. Horror, 87 min., VHS, dir: William Levey.
Blackline (1991) - Spoken work poem set to drum music while images from urban landscapes appear. Poem is titled "Black Line" written by John L. Jackson, Jr. Music video, 4 min., DVD, dir: John L. Jackson.
Blackout (2007) - Chain of events that unfolds in a forgotten Brooklyn neighborhood during the blackout of 2003. Cast includes Jeffrey Wright, Zoe Saldana, Melvin Van Peebles, Michael B. Jordan, LaTanya Richardson, Sean Blakemore, and Susan Kelechi Watson. Drama, 95 min., DVD, dir: Jerry Lamothe.
Blacula (1972) - Turned into a vampire by the evil Count Dracula, Blacula remains sealed until unexpectedly released by art collectors in present day Los Angeles. Horror, 92 min., 16mm, VHS, DVD, dir: William Crain.
Blade (1998) - Wesley Snipes is Blade, half-human, half-vampire in this thriller set in the underground club scenes in New York. Action, 91 min., VHS, dir: Stephen Norrington.
Blaxploitation Cartoon Festival - Includes All This and Rabbit Stew (1941), dir: Tex Avery; Any Bonds Today? (1942), dir: Robert Clampett; Jungle Jitters (1938), dir: Friz Freleng; The Lion Tamer (1934), dir: George Stallings; Little Black Sambo (1933), dir: U.B. Iwerks; Plane Dumb (1932), dir: John Foster & George Rufle; The Rasslin' Match (1934), dir: George Stallings; Scrub Me Mama with a Boogie Beat (1941), dir: Walter Lantz. VHS
Blazing Saddles (1974) - Cleavon Little is the sheriff and Gene Wilder his side kick in this parody of all Westerns and other assorted Hollywood genres. Opens with Blacks who are working on the railroad but who won't sing "them old spirituals" and insist on champagne tunes instead. Anachronisms abound including Count Basie and his band playing in the desert and giving the "Ol West" sheriff the "right on." Comedy, 93 min., VHS, dir: Mel Brooks.
Bless Their Little Hearts (1984) - Charlie Banks (Nate Hardman), an unemployed factory worker in South Central Los Angeles, struggles to find a job and take care of his family. His wife Andais, (Kaycee Moore) works exhaustedly as a domestic to help make ends meet. Their marriage and their children (Angela, Ronald, Kimberly Burnett) are affected by the bleak economic privation of their lives. Drama, 80 min., 16mm, dir: Billy Woodberry.
Blind Faith (1998) - Black lawyer John Williams must defend his nephew who is accused of murdering a white youth. Although his nephew confesses, Williams is compelled to examine the events more closely. Set in 1950's Bronx, Blind Faith examines race relations and personal choices within the frame of one African American family. Drama, 121 min., VHS, dir: Ernest R. Dickerson.
Blind Tom: The Story of Thomas Bethune (1987) - A dramatized version of the extraordinary true story of a young blind slave, Tom Bethune (Vaughn Tyree Jelks), whose natural ability to play the piano earns money for his master who continues to control Tom's life and earnings even after emancipation. Drama, 29 min., VHS, dir: Mark W. Travis.
Blood Diamond (2006) - A story following Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio), a man tortured by his roots. With a strong survival instinct, he has made himself a key player in the business of conflict diamonds. Political unrest is rampant in Sierra Leone as people fight tooth for tooth. Upon meeting Solomon (Djimon Hounsou), Archer's life changes forever as he is given a chance to make peace with the war around him. Drama, 143 min., DVD, dir: Edward Zwick.
Blood Game (2009) - In this Nigerian film, a group of friends find themselves accomplices to murder. Drama, 120 min., DVD, dir: Okey Okoh.
Blood of Jesus, The (1941) - A religious folk-drama, the film concerns the accidental shooting of Martha (Cathryn Caviness) by her husband and of the faith in Jesus that brings her back. As she lies dying, her soul goes on a symbolic journey in which it rejects Hell for Zion, Satan for God, at the foot of the cross. When she awakens, recovered, the choir of sisters and brothers from the church come in to sing and celebrate the miracle with Martha and Frank. Drama, 68 min., 16mm, U-matic, DVD, dir: Spencer Williams, Jr.
Blue Collar (1978) - Three Detroit auto workers, Zeke (Richard Pryor), Smokey (Yaphet Kotto), and Jerry (Harvey Keitel) decide to take action against their corrupt union and senior company officials, but violence perpetrated against them and disunity foil their efforts to undermine the company. Drama, 114 min., VHS, dir: Paul Schrader.
Blueprint (2007) features two main characters, Keith and Nathan, who explore their sexuality. Shannon-Butts wanted to capture a film depicting modern American youth, friendship, and sexuality. Drama, 75 min., DVD, dir: Kirk Shannon-Butts.
Blues Accordin' to Lightnin' Hopkins, The (1968) - The film chronicles the life of Texas' great blues legend, Lightnin' Hopkins. Documentary, 31 min., 16mm, dir: Les Blank.
Bluesland: A Portrait in American Music (1993) - Hosted is by Keith David, this documentary is a complete visual history of blues music and includes archival footage of many of the genre's legendary artists. Documentary, 85 min., VHS, dir: Ken Mandel.
Boarding House Blues (1948) - An "evil" landlord intends to evict "Moms" and her tenants from her boarding house because she can't pay the rent. The tenants are all entertainers who have to have a producer for their show. It all works out with some fortune-telling assistance from Mom. The beautiful heroine Lila (Marie Cooke) is saved from having to cavoch with the landlord and all the boarders have parts in the successful show. Musical, 87 min., DVD, dir: Josh Binney.
Body and Soul (1925) - In his first film, Robeson plays a dual role--a preacher who preys on the people and the heroine and his brother, a good man. Required to give a balance to his theme by the New York Censors, Micheaux changed the preacher's role so that he is preacher, then detective, then finally an uplift-bourgeois future husband for the heroine who awakens from her nightmare experience to a happy ending. (Censors forced Micheaux to revise original 1924 version, "to achieve a higher level of sincerity"--the preacher thing.) Drama, 75 min., DVD, dir: Oscar Micheaux.
Body and Soul, Part II: Soul (1968) - This documentary discusses the history and development of African-American music, including soul, gospel, blues, and jazz. Includes an interview with Ray Charles and performances by Charles, Lester Young, Jimmy Rushing, Billie Holiday, Mahalia Jackson, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Dinah Washington, and Aretha Franklin. Documentary, 30 min., 16mm, dir: N/A.
Body Beautiful, The (1990) - The film examines the real-life relationship between the filmmaker, Ngozi Onwurah, and her mother, Madge, the wife of a Nigerian doctor. Madge Onwurah contracted breast cancer and underwent a masectomy. Using flashbacks and narrated reminiscences by the director and her mother, the film explores how women transcend gender-associated changes in a woman's appearance which force the afflicted in an emotional closet. Drama, 23 min., VHS, dir: Ngozi Onwurah.
Boesman & Lena (2000) - A Cape Town couple finds their lives turned upside-down when their shanty house is destroyed by South African apartheid authorities. Carrying limited possessions but many memories to the mountains, the couple collects various discarded items to build shelter. This narrative is a discourse on the dispiriting conditions of the couple under apartheid as they try to repair their lives. Drama, 90 min., 35mm, VHS, dir: John Berry.
Bombing of Osage Avenue (1986) - The film is a reconstruction of the 1985 Philadelphia police bombing and burning of a black neighborhood from the perspective of the community residents. Documentary, 56 min., VHS, dir: Louis Massiah.
Bone (1972) - Quirky satire of 1970's America. Bone, a mysterious black man (Yaphet Kotto) invades the home of a wealthy Beverly Hills couple (Jeanne Berlin and Andrew Duggan) and demands money and sex. Comedy, 92 min., VHS, dir: Larry Cohen.
Bones (2001) - Jimmy Bones (Snoop Dogg) is a respected member of his neighborhood until he is betrayed and murdered by a corrupt cop (Michael T. Weiss). 22 years later, Bones’ spirit returns for revenge. Horror, 96 min., DVD, dir: Ernest R. Dickerson.
Boodie Wop (1993) - Video to the song "Boodie Wop" by Ariel. Music video, 4 min., DVD, dir: Virgil Hayes.
Boogie Woogie Blues (1948) - Hadda Brooks sings and performs three songs on the piano in this musical short. Music Performance, 10 min., 16mm, dir: Hans Burger.
Boogie Woogie Dream (1942) - Short story set in Cafe Society, New York City. Includes title song, others performed by Lena Horne, Teddy Wilson and his band, and others. Musical, 13 min., 16mm, dir: Hans Burger.
Book of Ezekiel (1999) - A flutist, Freeda, finds courage and inspiration through her ancestor, Ezekiel, who was an enslaved poet. This film also deals with interpretations of the past and dialogue between family members. Drama, 19 min., VHS, dir: LaTrice A. Dixon.
Book of Negroes, The (2015) - Aminata Diallo, also known as Meena, is born in the mid-1700s in Africa. Meena and her parents live a peaceful life until one day some men appear and kill her parents. Meena is forced to endure a life of enslavement, but is determined to find a way back to Africa. Documentary, 450 min., DVD, dir: Clemente Virgo.
Book of Numbers (1973) - Two black waiters start a number racket in the thirties in Arkansas which becomes so lucrative the white underworld wants to take it over. Music performed by Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. Drama, 83 min., 16mm, DVD, dir: Raymond St. Jacques.
Booker (1983) - The film dramatizes the early life of Booker T. Washington, who was born a slave and later founded the Tuskegee Institute. Drama, 55 min., 16mm, dir: Stan Lathan.
Booker T. Washington: The Life and the Legacy (1982) - Using historic photographs for authenticity, this dramatized documentary focuses on Washington's career as the most influential educator of his time. Maurice Woods plays Washington, Al Freeman, Jr. is W.E.B. DuBois. Documentary, 30 min., 16mm, DVD, dir: William Greaves.
Boondocks, The: The First Complete Season (2005) - Based on Aaron McGruder's comic strip. This is a story of Huey and Riley, two brothers who move away from the city and into the sububs with their irritable Grandfather. Cast includes Regina King, John Witherspoon, Mike Epps, and Charles Q. Murphy. Television series, 323 min., DVD, dir: N/A.
Boondocks, The: The Second Complete Season (2008) - Based on Aaron McGruder's comic strip. This is a story of Huey and Riley, two brothers who move away from the city and into the sububs with their irritable Grandfather. Cast includes Regina King, John Witherspoon, Mike Epps, and Charles Q. Murphy. Television series, 325 min., DVD, dir: N/A.
Booty Call (1997) - This comedy focuses on two friends, Bunz (Jamie Foxx) and Rushon (Tommy Davidson) who before having intercourse with their girlfriend Lysterine (Vivica A. Fox) and Nikki (Tamala Jones) must learn how to practice safe sex. The two set out for condoms and their hilarious adventure begins. Comedy, 98 min., VHS, dir: Jeff Pollack.
Bopha! (1993) - Morgan Freeman makes his directorial debut with this drama, shot on location in Zimbabwe, about a South African policeman, Micah Mangena (Danny Glover), who must choose between duty and family when he learns that his son is involved in a violent anti-apartheid rebellion. Alfre Woodard plays Mangena's wife Rosie. They are supported by a largely black South African cast. Drama, 118 min., DVD, dir: Morgan Freeman.
Borderline (1929) - Paul Robeson's first foreign film, shot in Switzerland by an independent British film company, is an experimental study in visual contrasts as well as a comment on racism. Robeson plays Pete, a small town cafe worker whose wife Adah (Eslanda Robeson) returns from an involvement with a white man named Thorne (Gavin Arthur). Thorne and his wife (Hilda Doolittle) become estranged over the issue and the town blames Pete and Adah. Thorne's wife dies accidentally thereby giving the town another excuse for making Pete the scapegoat for its hatreds. Drama, 63 min., DVD, dir: Kenneth MacPherson. [BFC/A also holds a second 75-minute version on DVD].
Borders (2001) - Seven Africans wish to change their lives by traveling north to Europe. They travel unconventionally from Senegal to the coast of Morocco and, near the end of their journey, their group solidarity appears to fall apart. Drama, 105 min., DVD, dir: Mostefa Djadjam.
Bored of Education (1936) - Short from The Little Rascals series. Comedy, 10 min., DVD, dir: Gordon Douglas.
Born in Flames (1984) - Set ten years after the Social Democratic cultural revolution, the film takes a futuristic look at the women's movement. An underground women's liberation army emerges in New York with Adeline Norris (Jeanne Satterfield) its leader. Zella Wylie (Flo Kennedy) is Adeline's mentor and inspiration. When Norris is murdered by the government and the Radical Phoenix Free Radio Station is destroyed by an arsonist, the women band together and go to war against their oppressors. Drama, 80 min., DVD, dir: Lizzie Borden.
Borom Sarret (1962) - A poor cart driver in Dakar sets out with his horse and cart for a day's work. He encounters many disappointments, especially unpaid fees, in addition to having his cart appropriated because he entered the forbidden "exclusive" quarter of Dakar. In French with English subtitles. Drama, 19 min., 16mm/DVD, dir: Ousmane Sembène.
Bosko the Doughboy (1931) - Bosko is fighting in the Great War in this cartoon short. Children, 7 min., VHS, dir: Hugh Harman.
Bosko the Speed King (1933) - On Cartoon Collection III. Children, 7 min., VHS, dir: Hugh Harman.
Bosko's Easter Eggs (1937) - Bosko wants to give painted eggs to Honey, but Bruno the dog breaks them. Bosko then decides to steal eggs from Honey's chicken, which attacks him and his dog. Children, 8 min., VHS, dir: Hugh Harman.
Boss Nigger (1975) - The Boss (Fred Williamson), has "decided to hunt white folks for a change," becoming a bounty hunter and setting out on the trail of fugitive outlaw Jed Clayton (William Smith). With his comic sidekick Amos (D'Urville Martin), he rides into the town of San Miguel, finds that it has no sheriff and takes the job himself in this parody of the 1970s blaxploitation genre. Bonus Features: Original Theatrical Trailers, "A Conversation With Fred 'The Hammer' Williamson" with Joel Blumberg, "A Boss Memory" with producer Myrl Schreibman, A Jack Arnold Tribute to Producer Myrl Schreibman. Action, comedy, 87 min., DVD, dir: Jack Arnold
Boundary Lines (1947) - This highly stylized animation film with musical background is a plea to eliminate the artificial boundaries that divide people from each other as individuals and as nations. Documentary, 12 min., VHS, dir: Philip Stapp.
Bouncing Babies (1929) - Wheezer feels ignored now that he has a new baby brother. Farina tells him a tall tale that he once exchanged an unwanted baby brother for a goat. Wheezer tries the same, not knowing he is taking a doll instead. Everyone is in on it and when Wheezer tries to get brother back he's told the baby's been returned to heaven and can only come back if Wheezer prays hard for him. Aside from the tale Farina is seen with Wheezer being scared by some other kids in Halloween costumes. Allen Hoskins stars as Farina. Comedy, 21 min., 16mm, DVD, dir: Robert F. McGowen.
Bowfinger (1999) - A desperate movie producer, Bobby Bowfinger (Steve Martin), is given the green light to shoot a film, but the condition is to have the superstar actor Kit Ramsey (Eddie Murphy). Unable to secure Ramsey, Bowfinger shoots the film around him and hires a Ramsey look-alike (also played by Eddie Murphy). Comedy, 97 min., DVD, dir: Frank Oz.
Boxer's Blues, A (n.d.) - A boxer fights for his dreams, even though they are in stark contrast to reality. He works in a press but has problems with the foreman. Drama, 7 min., DVD, dir: Edgar Davis.
Boxing Gloves (1929) - Short from The Little Rascals series. Comedy, 20 min., DVD, dir: Robert F. McGowan.
Boy Called Twist (2004) - Boy Called Twist is the harrowing tale of a South African street-kid's search for love, based on Charles Dickens' classic Oliver Twist. Growing up neglected in a rural orphanage, Twist escapes to the unpredictable freedom of Cape Town, where he falls in with Fagin's gang of street urchins. With a gritty honesty steeped in its vibrant characters, Boy called Twist superbly captures the contemporary equivalents of Dickens' seedy individuals as it shadows the timeless tale in its own inimitable style. Drama, 111 min., DVD, dir: Tim Greene.
Boy! What a Girl (1947) - Slight story about a show and its would-be producers provides a reason for the entertainment which features Bid Sid Caslett and his band, the Slam Stewart Trio, and the Halem Maniacs; introduces Deek Watson and the Brown Dots; includes Ann Cornell and the International Jitterbugs and a guest apparance by Gene Krupa. Musical, 70 min., VHS, dir: Arthur H. Leonard.
Boycott (2001) - This historical drama examines the impact of Rosa Parks' defiance of segregation laws that ignited the boycott of the bus system in Montgomery, Alabama and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s rise to leadership. The film includes footage from the Civil Rights movement and chronicles the bus boycott, featuring Jeffrey Wright as Dr. King, Iris Little-Thomas as Rosa Parks, and Terence Howard as Ralph Abernathy. Drama, 112 min., DVD, dir: Clark Johnson.
Boys of Summer, The (1983) - This documentary takes a look back at the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball teams of late 1940s and 1950s through the eyes of some of the members of the club, including Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese, and Joe Black. Documentary, 90 min., VHS, DVD, dir: Marty Bell.
Boyz n the Hood (1991) - The film focuses on the lives of three young men in south central Los Angeles: Ricky (Morris Chestnut), a high school father who hopes to go to USC; his brother Doughboy (Ice Cube), an unemployed drug dealer on parole; and their neighbor, Tre Styles (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) whose father (Laurence Fishburne) gives his son the necessary guidance to survive in the 'hood. Angela Bassett plays Tre's mother; Farrell is Ricky's and Doughboy's mother. Drama, 107 min., VHS, dir: John Singleton.
Brainchild (n.d.) - Video to the song "Brainchild" by B.O.S.S. Urban street and alley scenes. Music video, 5 min., DVD, dir: Jeff Williams.
Braker (1985) - Carl Weathers is Police Lt. Harry Braker. After a studio executive is murdered during the filming of a video, Braker's investigation takes him into the underworld of child pornography and prostitution. Maurice Sneed has a minor role as Booker, Braker's "information" source. Drama, 73 min., 16mm, dir: Victor Lobl.
Brazil: An Inconvenient History (2000) is a well-researched documentary about slavery in Brazil as documented through original texts, letters, and accounts. Documentary, 47 min., VHS, dir: Phil Grabsky.
Break the Walls Down and Can't Jail the Revolution (1991) - These two 30-minute videos use footage compiled from over 40 social justice media productions to chronicle the perspectives of African American, Puerto Rican, Native American and white political prisoners of war within the United States. Documentary, 60 min., VHS, dir: Ada Gay Griffin and Kenyatta Tyehimba.
Breakdown (1997) - Rachel Hunter (Williams) is the sole survivor of a bus station shoot-out. The police investigate the scene but struggle to find out what really happened. Drama, 20 min., DVD, dir: Jeff Byrd.
Breakfast at Ben's (2000) - A young black man named Jamar (William Rowel) who has made it out of poverty wants to give back to African-American youths so he joins a mentoring program. To his surprise, what appears to be a young white girl is assigned to him. Despite his initial apprehension, Jamar takes a liking to the girl and they end up learning a lot from each other. Drama, 23 min., DVD, dir: Chuck Wilson.
Break-Through (n.d.) - This television documentary is about Boston University's African Studies and Research Department. It includes interviews with the director and graduate students. Documentary, 30 min., 16mm, dir: N/A.
Brewster's Millions (1985) Montgomery Brewster (Richard Pryor) is a minor league baseball player who stands to inherit 300 million dollars, if he can spend $30 million in 30 days. Angela Drake (Lonette McKee) is his accountant and romantic interest. Melvin (Ji-Tu Cumbuka) plays a security guard; Grand L. Bush is Rudy, a minor leaguer who gets in a fight with Brewster over his girlfriend; Rosetta La Noire plays Judge R. Woods who presides over the battery case; and Frank Slaten appears as court bailiff. Comedy, 97 min., VHS, dir: Walter Hill.
Brian's Song (1971) - A drama about the deep friendship between Gale Sayers, black halfback for the Chicago Bears and his white teammate, Brian Piccolo, who died of cancer in 1970. Racial differences are transcended when the two men become roomates, a first in the Bears' history. A true story, the film focuses on the mutal respect and affection the two men develop for each other. Drama, 75 min., VHS, dir: Buzz Kulik.
Brief an den Weihnachtsmann, Der (The Letter to Santa Claus) (1990) - A couple, Lynette and Tony, want to adopt Reggie. After Lynette is killed in a tragic accident, the adoption process becomes much more complicated. Drama, 93 min., DVD, dir: Arthur Allen Seidleman.
Bright Road (1953) - Dorothy Dandridge plays a young teacher trying to help a withdrawn, insecure student played by Philip Hepburn. Harry Belafonte made his silver screen debut in this film as the school's principal. Drama, 69 min., VHS, dir: Gerald Mayer.
Bright Victory (1951) - Larry Nevins (Arthur Kennedy) is a war veteran who is blinded in North Africa during the Second World War. He must struggle to adjust to his affliction while overcoming his own racial issues when he discovers a blind black soldier (James Edwards) is among them. Drama, 96 min., 16mm, dir: Mark Robson.
Bring Your "A" Game (2009) - Intended to inspire a "national conversation" about the plight of African American men and boys, Bring Your 'A' Game, in the words of director Mario Van Peebles, "sheds light on the resilience and influence of Black males." Featuring interviews with iconic African American men, the film underscores how essential educational achievement is for success in today's world. Documentary, 23 min., DVD, dir: Mario Van Peebles.
Broad A-Broad Video Magazine (n.d.) - An interview with visual artist Shabaka about his art, inspirations, and life. Featuring sculpture, painting, and clothing designs. Interview, 8 min., DVD, dir: n/a.
Broad Daylight and Other Times: Selected Works of Kevin Jerome Everson (2011) - Kevin Jerome Everson’s prolific body of work is grounded in formalism and combines scripted and documentary elements. The subject matter is the gestures or tasks caused by certain conditions in the lives of African-Americans and people of African descent, often working class. The conditions are usually physical, social and economic circumstances, or weather. His films suggest the relentlessness of everyday life--along with its beauty--and present oblique metaphors for art making. This 3-DVD box set includes the feature Cinnamon, 23 short-form works, and a booklet. Documentary, 182 min., DVD, dir: Kevin Jerome Everson.
Broken Blossoms (1919) - A Chinese shopkeeper (Richard Barthelmess) in London falls in love with a young girl (Lillian Gish) who is regularly beaten by her prizefighter father (Donald Crisp) in this silent melodrama. Drama, 66 min., VHS, dir: D. W. Griffith.
Broken Soul, Part 1 & 2 (2009) - After a tragic accident, will two twin sisters share the same husband? Drama, 133 min., DVD, dir: Evans Orji.
Broken Strings (1940) - Clarence Muse stars as Arthur Williams, a concert violinist, who after an automobile accident and an injury to his hands, is reduced to teaching barely talented pupils and those who are only interested in jazz and swing. A black doctor, played by Jesse Lee Brooks, restores the use of his hands through an operation paid for by performances by his son and his pupils. The operation is a complete success only when he begins to applaud his son's virtuoso swing performance. Matthew (Stymie) Beard plays a teenaged villain. Drama, 80 min., VHS, dir: Bernard B. Ray.
Bronze Buckaroo, The (1938) - Herb Jeffries is the good guy (Bob Blake) who, with his side kick Dusty (Flournoy Miller), tracks down the villain and aids the heroine in this musical western. Filmed at a black dude ranch in California. Western, 57 min., DVD, dir: Richard C. Kahn.
Brooklyn's Bridge to Jordan (2005) - With her partner Leilani (Fylicia Renee King) on her deathbed, Brooklyn Green (Jossie Thacker) copes with homophobia on all fronts. This intense family drama is the directorial debut of screenwriter Tina Mabry. Drama, 20 min., DVD, dir: Tina Mabry.
Brother from Another Planet, The (1984) - Joe Morton is the fugitive brother on the run from another planet who arrives in Harlem and is helped by his new acquaintances (Daryl Edwards, Steve James, Leonard Jackson, Minnie Gentry) to escape from his planet's slave catchers. A number of African Americans serve on the film's production crew: Ernest R. Dickerson (Director of Photography), Fronza Woods (Boom), and Marco Williams (Continuity). Comedy, 109 min., VHS, dir: John Sayles.
Brother John (1971) - John Kane (Sidney Poitier) mysteriously arrives in the small Alabama town of his birth just prior to the death of his aunt. The object of suspicion and fear, John, with a grammer school education, speaks a dozen languages and seems to be able to anticipate the future. A black labor strike during the height of the Civil Rights movement portends mass violence and Kane is suspected of engineering the crisis. Music by Quincy Jones. Drama, 94 min., VHS, DVD, dir: James Goldstone.
Brother Minister: The Assassination of Malcolm X (1994) - Narrated by Roscoe Lee Browne, the film sheds new light on the events surrounding the death of Malcolm X. Included are interviews and de-classified government intelligence documents. Documentary, 115 min., DVD, dir: Jack Baxter.
Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin (2003) - This compelling documentary tells the tale of Civil Rights activist Bayard Rustin. Rustin was a great force in human rights as he organized the March on Washington in 1963, but was kept out of Civil Rights consciousness because he was gay. Documentary, 83 min., DVD, dir: Nancy D. Kates and Bennett Singer.
Brother to Brother (2004) - Set in contemporary New York and during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1930s, Brother to Brother is the story of Perry Williams (Anthony Mackie), a young black artist living in New York city struggling with homosexuality. When he meets an elderly poet who was involved with the Harlem Renaissance, Perry enters the world of Langston Hughes (Daniel Sunjata) and Zora Neale Hurston (Aunjanue Ellis) and is able to gain some perspective about his troubles. Screened at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. Drama, 94 min., DVD, dir: Rodney Evans.
Brother with Perfect Timing, A (1986) - Musical performances by South African jazz musician Abdullah Ibrahim and his band, Ekaya, are interspersed with stories told by Ibrahim about his life and music. Documentary, 90 min., DVD, dir: Chris Austin.
Brotherhood of Death (1976) - 1996 reissue of an action thriller about three black men, who enlist in the army after antagonizing a white man. Their lives change after the Vietnam War as they look for ways to stand up to a racist society and take on corrupt lawmen and the Ku Klux Klan. Drama, 77 + 73 min., Blu-Ray, dir: Bill Berry.
Brown v. Board of Education 50th Anniversary (2004) - Panel discussion co-sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University in Pittsburgh March 26, 2004 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the first Brown v. Board of Education decision. Speakers include Julian Bond, Jack Greenberg, and Minnijean Brown Trickey. Television, 190 min., DVD, dir: n/a.
Buck and the Preacher (1972) - The myth of the West is revised and presented from the black and Indian point of view. With the help of the Indians, Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte take a group of Blacks to resettle in Mexico. Music score by Benny Carter, featuring Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. Western, 102 min., 16mm, VHS, DVD, dir: Sidney Poitier.
Bucket of Cream Ale, A (1904) - In a moment of victory, a black servant (in blackface) pours a bucket of cream ale over a Dutchman, who threw a glass of ale at her first. Comedy, 30 sec., VHS, dir: N/A.
Bucktown (1975) - Duke (Fred Williamson) and his friends struggle against a corrupt and exploitative police force in a southern city. Drama, 91 min., 16mm, DVD, dir: Arthur Marks.
Buena Vista Social Club (1999) - From the crumbling barrios of Havana to the sold out concerts in Amsterdam and New York's Carnegie Hall, an unforgetable, deeply emotional journey into the passion, pride and humanity of the artists whose music sparked a worldwide musical phenomenon. Documentary, 105 min., DVD, dir: Wim Wenders.
Buffalo Soldiers (1997) - "Buffalo Soldiers," a name given to the 9th & 10th all-black Calvary units by the Cheyenne Indians are the focus of this fictional film set during 1879-1880 in which 1st Sgt. Washington Wyatt (Danny Glover) is ordered to get rid of the last group of Apaches along the New Mexico-Arizona border. Carl Lumbly is John Horse. Western, 90 min., DVD, dir: Charles Haid.
Bugged (trailer) (1997) - Urban America is infested with bugs. After a couple tries spraying their home, the pests only grow and their neighborhood faces a bug problem that continues to get worse.From the S. Torriano Berry Collection (COL 3). Trailer, Comedy, 2 min., Beta, DVD, dir: Ronald K. Armstrong.
Bull Dogger, The (1921) - Bill Pickett demonstrates his great skill at "bull dogging" and other cowboy feats; includes trick riding by black cowboys and cowgirls. Western, 32 min., U-matic, VHS, dir: Richard Norman.
Bullet Boy (2004) - A story about a single mother with two sons, one just out of prison and the other too young to be caught up in anything too dangerous, but who looks up to his big brother. They have a choice to either go down the road of crime or put their lives on a better path. Drama, 89 min., DVD, dir: Saul Dibb.
Bulworth (1998) - Halle Berry plays Nina, a South Central Los Angeles rapper who falls in Love with Senator Jay Bulworth (Warren Beatty). Comedy, 108 min., VHS, dir: Warren Beatty.
Bunny Chow (2006) - Four up and coming comedians from Johannesburg embark on a road trip/journey to a rock festival, Oppi koppi. All four have perspective changing moments.This is a film about contemporary culture in South Africa that also reveals the country as a diverse and thriving country. Comedy, 95 min., DVD, dir: John Barker.
Burlesque in Harlem (1954) - Dewey 'Pigmeat' Markham stars in this dance/musical burlesque, which includes an all-black cast of dancers and musicians. Musical, 56 min., VHS, dir: William Alexander.
Burn! [aka Queimada] (1969) - Italian filmmaker Gillo Pontecorvo looks at the problems of neo-colonialism on the island of Queimada, a fictional Portuguese sugar colony in the Caribbean. Marlon Brando is the English villain and Evaristo Márquez the leader of the Black revolution. Opened in Rome in 1969 as Queimada (132 min. full-length version) and the following year in the United States, dubbed and shortened under the title Burn! Drama, 112 min., DVD, dir: Gillo Pontecorvo.
Burn: The Evolution of an American City (2009) - In 1921, a 16 hour riot burned 35 city blocks, left 10,000 people homeless, and resulted in the murder of 300 people. All of this took place in Tulsa, Oklahoma and it is considered the worst race riot in US history. This documentary explores the immediate and lasting effects of the riot on the city. Documentary, 57 min., DVD, dir: Harold Jackson III.
Burning an Illusion (1981) - The first feature film of Menelik Shabazz. Burning an Illusion follows Pat and Del, two young lovers who decide to move in with one another. However, when Del looses his job, they both challenge their assuptions about one another's aspirations. Drama, 101 min., DVD, dir: Menelik Shabazz.
Bus 174 (2002) - This documentary recounts the 2000 takeover of a Rio de Janeiro bus by a young man, Sandro do Nascimento, who threatened to shoot all the passengers and the standoff with police that was broadcast live on television throughout Brazil. Documentary, 122 min., DVD, dir: José Padilha.
Bus Is Coming, The (1971) - When a young black soldier returns from Vietnam, he learns that his brother was killed by a group of racist cops. Enraged by this incident, the soldier joins a black nationalist group in hopes of finding a way to avenge his brother. Drama, 109 min., DVD, dir: Wendell Franklin.
Bush Mama (1976) - The film is a portrait of the changing consciousness of a black woman living on welfare in a Los Angeles ghetto, trying to raise her young daughter alone. Drama, 98 min., 16mm, VHS, DVD, dir: Haile Gerima.
Bustin' Loose (1981) - Joe Braxton (Richard Pryor) has led a life of crime. To avoid further incarceration, he must drive Miss Perry (Cicely Tyson) and eight special education students from their present facility in Philadelphia to a farm in Seattle. Reluctantly, he takes the assignment and is changed by the journey. Comedy, 94 min., VHS, dir: Oz Scott & Michael Schultz.
Butler, The (Lee Daniels' The Butler) (2013) - As Cecil Gaines serves eight presidents during his tenure as a butler at the White House, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events affect this man's life, family, and American society. Drama, 132 min., DVD, dir: Lee Daniels.
Buud Yam (1997) - In an early 19th century African village, Wend Kuuni - a young man, lives with his adopted family after his mother was killed as a witch. When Pughneere - his adopted sister - becomes ill, the villagers suspect Wend Kuuni. In order to save Pughneere's life (and his own) he must set out on a journey to find a healer. His quest brings him in contact with people around him and is a journey of self-discovery. Drama, 97 min., DVD, dir: Gaston Kabore.
By-Line Newsreel, 1 (1956) - Ossie Davis begins with an introduction to The Tyler, Texas Black Film Collection. William Alexander is host of this documentary series focusing on African Americans in politics, sports, entertainment and the military. Documentary, 13 min., 16mm, 35mm, dir: William D. Alexander.
By-Line Newsreel, 2 (1956) Ossie Davis begins with an introduction to The Tyler, Texas Black Film Collection. William Alexander is host of this documentary series focusing on African Americans in politics, sports, entertainment and the military. Documentary, 12 min., 16mm, 35mm, dir: William D. Alexander.
By-Line Newsreel, 3 (1956) Ossie Davis begins with an introduction to The Tyler, Texas Black Film Collection. William Alexander is host of this documentary series focusing on African Americans in politics, sports, entertainment and the military. Documentary, 13 min., 16mm, 35mm, dir: William D. Alexander.
By-Line Newsreel, 4 (1956) Ossie Davis begins with an introduction to The Tyler, Texas Black Film Collection. William Alexander is host of this documentary series focusing on African Americans in politics, sports, entertainment and the military. Documentary, 13 min., 16mm, dir: William D. Alexander.
Bye-Bye (1995) - Tunisian immigrants in France have enough trouble integrating without the misfortunes that befall Ismael and Mouloud in this film. After a relative dies in a fire, they find themselves with rough company in Marseilles. Drama, 105 min., DVD, dir: Karim Dridi.
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