It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Ken Burns is a well-known filmmaker who specializes in documentaries on a variety of historical topics. His work is well-known to historians is one of the go-to filmmakers for many historians. His films are known for their in-depth, probing, investigative style. We have a number of his historical series in Kanopy.
(Six part series) Written and presented by Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., director of W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University, this six-hour series explores the evolution of the African-American people, as well as the multiplicity of cultural institutions, political strategies, and religious and social perspectives they developed -- forging their own history, culture and society against unimaginable odds. Part 1: The Black Atlantic - 1500-1800; Part 2: The Age of Slavery - 1780-1860; Part 3: Into the Fire - 1861-1896; Part 4: Making a Way Out of No Way - 1897-1940; Part 5: Rise! - 1940-1968; Part 6: A More Perfect Union - 1968-2013
THE BLACK PRESS: SOLDIERS WITHOUT SWORDS is the first film to chronicle the history of the Black press, including its central role in the construction of modern African American identity. It recounts the largely forgotten stories of generations of Black journalists who risked life and livelihood so African Americans could represent themselves in their own words and images.
An Oscar-nominated documentary narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO explores the continued peril America faces from institutionalized racism. In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, Remember This House. The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends--Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin's death in 1987, he left behind only thirty completed pages of his manuscript. Now, in his incendiary new documentary, master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin's original words and flood of rich archival material. I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of these three leaders, Baldwin and Peck have produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for.
(Two Part Series) Jack Roosevelt Robinson rose from humble origins to cross baseball's color line and become one of the most beloved men in America. A fierce integrationist, Robinson used his immense fame to speak out against the discrimination he saw on and off the field, angering fans, the press, and even teammates who had once celebrated him for "turning the other cheek." After baseball, he was a widely-read newspaper columnist, divisive political activist and tireless advocate for civil rights, who later struggled to remain relevant as diabetes crippled his body and a new generation of leaders set a more militant course for the civil rights movement.
A tender, revealing documentary about one of the most famous and popular performing artists of the 20th century. Her legendary banana belt dance created theatre history; her song "J'ai deux amours" became a classic, and her hymn.The film focuses on her life and work from a perspective that analyses images of Black people in popular culture. It portrays the artist in the mirror of European colonial cliches and presents her as a resistance fighter, an ambulance driver during WWII, and an outspoken activist against racial discrimination involved in the worldwide Black Consciousness movement of the 20th century.
Distinctly referred to as "a redwood tree, with deep roots in American culture," Dr. Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928-May 28, 2014) led a prolific life. As a singer, dancer, activist, poet and writer, she inspired generations with lyrical modern African-American thought that pushed boundaries. Best known for her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Random House), she gave people the freedom to think about their history in a way they never had before. With unprecedented access, filmmakers Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack trace Dr. Angelou's incredible journey, shedding light on the untold aspects of her life through never-before-seen footage, rare archival photographs and videos and her own words.
(Four Part Series) How did Jim Crow begin? As Reconstruction ended, African Americans' efforts to assert their constitutional rights began to be repressed at every turn, betraying the promises of Emancipation. Southern whites were embolden by the North's withdrawal of support for Black access to land, civil and economic rights, and due process in law and politics. Whites passed laws that segregated, divested and disfranchised African-Americans -- laws that were enforced with violence and terror. This episode recounts the Black response by documenting the work of such leaders as anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells and the emergence of Booker T. Washington as a national figure.
Slavery by Another Name, narrated by Laurence Fishburne, is a 90-minute documentary that challenges one of Americans' most cherished assumptions: that slavery in this country ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. The film tells how even as chattel slavery came to an end in the South after the Civil War, new systems of involuntary servitude took its place with shocking force and brutality. The film documents how for more than 80 years, thousands of African Americans, often guilty of no crime at all, were arrested, compelled to work without pay, repeatedly bought and sold, and coerced to do the bidding of white masters. Tolerated by both the North and South, forced labor lasted well into the 20th century.
Slavery by Another Name, based upon the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Douglas A. Blackmon, gives voice to the largely forgotten victims and perpetrators of forced labor and features moving interviews with their descendants living today. A distinguished group of historians provides context and perspective on one of the most shameful and little known chapters in American history.
Black colleges and universities are a haven for Black intellectuals, artists and revolutionaries and have educated the architects of freedom movements and cultivated leaders in every field. TELL THEM WE ARE RISING: THE STORY OF BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES examines the impact these institutions have had on American history, culture, and national identity.
Official Selection at the Sundance Film Festival. Winner of Outstanding Independent Documentary at the Black Reel Awards.
Ken Burns' 10-part documentary series incorporates American culture and historical events that interact directly with the music. From the 1890s through the ferment of the Harlem Renaissance and the Jazz Age, to the Great Depression, New Deal, Second World War, and beyond, JAZZ paints an astounding portrait of a nation and its improvisational core of music.
Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and Keith David and featuring performances by legends like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington.