Black History Month 2023
OVID.tv is proud to present a deep dive into Black history – from a documentary on the Apollo Theater in Harlem to a history of African-American art, and documentary portraits of Ella Baker, Roy DeCarava, and Okwui Okpokwasili, to prize-winning films by path-breaking filmmakers such as John Akomfrah, Madeline Anderson, St. Claire Bourne and Marlon Riggs. Explore this selection of over 50 films on aspects of the African-American experience.
Bless Their Little Hearts
Directed by Billy Woodberry • Drama • With Nate Hardman, Kaycee Moore • 1983 • 80 minutes
Searching for steady work, Charlie (Nate Hardman) views his chronic unemployment as a kind of spiritual trial. But selling a few catfish can’t sustain a family of five while his wife, Andais (Kaycee Moore)...
12 O'Clock Boys
Directed by Lofty Nathan • Documentary • 2013 • 76 minutes
The 12 O'CLOCK BOYS are a notorious urban dirt bike pack in Baltimore -- popping wheelies and weaving at excessive speeds through traffic, the group impressively evades the hamstrung police. In Lotfy Nathan's wild, dynamic documentary (t...
Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed
Directed by Shola Lynch • Documentary • With Shirley Chisholm, Amiri Baraka, Octavia Butler, Bobby Seale • 2004 • 77 minutes
Recalling a watershed event in US politics, this compelling documentary takes an in-depth look at the 1972 presidential campaign of Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman...
Carmen and Geoffrey
Directed by Linda Atkinson & Nick Doob • Documentary • With Carmen de Lavallade, Geoffrey Holder, Ailvin Ailey, Lester Horton, Duke Ellington, Josephine Baker • 2006 • 80 minutes
Carmen de Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder, two living legends in the world of American dance, are the subjects of this ...
My Brother's Wedding
Directed by Charles Burnett • Drama • With Everett Silas, Jessie Holmes, Gaye Shannon-Burnett, Ronnie Bell • 1983 • 86 minutes
In 1983, after many long months of shooting, Charles Burnett sent his rough-cut of My Brother’s Wedding to his producers. Ignoring his request to finish the editing of t...
Bronx Gothic (Okwui Okpokwasili)
Directed by Andrew Rossi • Documentary • With Okwui Okpokwasili • 2017 • 91 minutes
From director Andrew Rossi (Page One: Inside the New York Times, The First Monday in May) comes an electrifying portrait of writer and performer Okwui Okpokwasili and her acclaimed one-woman show, Bronx Gothic. R...
Black Is the Color: A History of African American Art
Directed by Jacques Goldstein • Documentary • 2017 • 52 minutes
In 1969, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York mounted a major exhibit called “Harlem On My Mind.” There was just one thing wrong: the show had no work by African-American artists.
The “Harlem on My Mind” fiasco is emblematic ...
Conversations with Roy DeCarava
Directed by Carroll Parrot Blue • Documentary • 1984 • 28 minutes
'It starts before you snap the shutter... It starts with your sense of what's important.' These are the words of Roy DeCarava, one of the foremost photographic artists of the twentieth century, contributor to the Family of Man exh...
Finally Got the News
Directed by Stewart Bird, Rene Lichtman and Peter Gessner • Documentary • 1970 • 55 minutes
FINALLY GOT THE NEWS is a forceful, unique documentary that reveals the activities of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers inside and outside the auto factories of Detroit. Through interviews with th...
Fate of a Salesman
Directed by Ben Crosbie and Tessa Moran • Documentary • 2013 • 27 minutes
Fate of a Salesman is an intimate portrait of a way of life on the verge of disappearing. In its 60th year of business, Men's Fashion Center in Washington, DC has come to represent identity, legacy and redemption for sales...
They Are We
Directed by Emma Christopher, Ph.D. • Documentary • 2014 • 79 minutes
THEY ARE WE is the story of a remarkable reunion, 170 or so years after a family was driven apart by the ravages of the transatlantic slave trade. In Central Cuba, proud members of the Ganga-Longoba, a small Afro-Cuban ethnic ...
Capturing the Flag
Directed by Anne de Mare • Documentary • 2018 • 76 minutes
A tight-knit group of friends travel to Cumberland County, North Carolina—the 2016 'posterchild' for voter suppression—intent on proving that the big idea of American democracy can be defended by small acts of individual citizens. What t...
Come Hell or High Water
Directed by Leah Mahan • Documentary • 2014 • 56 minutes
COME HELL OR HIGH WATER follows the painful but inspiring journey of Derrick Evans, a Boston teacher who returns to his native coastal Mississippi when the graves of his ancestors are bulldozed to make way for the sprawling city of Gulfpor...
A Tribute to Malcolm X
Directed by Madeline Anderson • Documentary • 1967 • 16 minutes
Made for the William Greaves-produced WNET program Black Journal, A TRIBUTE TO MALCOLM X includes an interview with Malcolm X’s widow Dr. Betty Shabazz, shortly after his 1965 assassination.
Courtesy of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS, LLC an...
Directed by Gordon Quinn • Documentary • 2017 • 30 minutes
On October 22, 1963, more than 250,000 students boycotted the Chicago Public Schools to protest racial segregation. Many marched through the city calling for the resignation of School Superintendent Benjamin Willis, who placed trailers, ...
Fight Hate With Love
Directed by Andrew Michael Ellis • Documentary • 2017 • 79 minutes
As a young man, Michael Ta'Bon's ex-con father taught him about drugs and crime, and those lessons landed him in prison for 15 years. During his incarceration, Michael promised himself that he would one day start a movement to pr...
An Apollo Legend
Directed by Brian Storm • Documentary • 2008 • 18 minutes
Decades before American Idol and America's Got Talent captured the attention of millons on TV, the world renowned Apollo Theater in Harlem started hosting its popular Amateur Night, which launched the careers of Ella Fitzgerald, James Bro...
Directed by Marlon Riggs • Documentary • 1990 • 10 minutes
An exploration of Black gay male desires and dreams. Affirmations starts with an affectionate, humorous confessional and moves on to a wish for empowerment and incorporation.
Directed by Marlon Riggs • Documentary • 1991 • 8 minutes
Marlon Riggs' experimental music video politicizes the homoeroticism of African-American men. With images—sensual, sexual, and defiant—and words intended to provoke, Anthem reasserts the self-evident right to life and liberty in an era of...
Black is... Black Ain't
Directed by Marlon Riggs • Documentary • 1995 • 87 minutes
Having grappled with the stereotypes imposed upon black people by white America, Riggs turned his attention to another fraught issue: the definitions of “blackness” that African-Americans impose on each other. Weaving together poetry, co...
Directed by Marlon Riggs • Documentary • 1991 • 88 minutes
An essential companion to Ethnic Notions, Color Adjustment explores black representation in the age of primetime television. Deconstructing cultural touchstones from Amos ’n’ Andy to The Jeffersons to The Cosby Show, this cogent and prov...
Directed by Marlon Riggs • Documentary • 1986 • 58 minutes
Unflinching, unsettling, and essential, this Emmy-winning documentary examines the devastating legacy of black stereotypes throughout American history, from the slavery era to the present. Drawing on a wide variety of media—from minstrel...
King of the Hill
Directed by William Canning, Donald Brittain • Documentary • 1974 • 56 minutes
Spring 1972. The Chicago Cubs are poised to win the National League's Pennant race, lead by their star pitcher, a Black Canadian named Ferguson Jenkins, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991. Out of ...
Fundi: The Story of Ella Baker
Directed by Joanne Grant • Documentary • 1981 • 63 minutes
FUNDI: THE STORY OF ELLA BAKER reveals the instrumental role that Ella Baker, a friend and advisor to Martin Luther King, played in shaping the American civil rights movement. The dynamic activist was affectionately known as the Fundi, a...