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Juneteenth 2020

In the words of Duke President, Vincent Price, “In recognition of Juneteenth’s message of liberation from oppression, and out of respect for the anger, sadness, exhaustion, and courage of our Black friends and neighbors, this Friday, June 19, will be a day of reflection for the entire Duke community.”

To facilitate this collective action, the Duke University Libraries offers access to streaming videos that reflect the African-American experience. The list here is not exhaustive, but rather provides a window into the many resources available to the Duke community for us to self-enrich and grow as lifelong learners.

The films highlighted below represent just a few  of our streaming titles.  We invite you to explore additional films found in our online catalog as well as those in this curated list of Streaming Videos on the African-American Experience.

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bell hooks Cultural Criticism & Transformation (prod. Media Education Foundation, 1997)

bell hooks: Cultural Criticism & Transformation (MEF documentary in Kanopy)
bell hooks is one of America’s most accessible public intellectuals. In this two-part video, extensively illustrated with many of the images under analysis, she makes a compelling argument for the transformative power of cultural criticism.

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Ethnic Notions (dir. Marlon Riggs, 1986)

Ethnic  Notions (California Newsreel documentary in AVON and FOD)
Directed by Marlon Riggs, this Emmy award-winning documentary analyzes the deep-rooted stereotypes which have shaped the evolution of racial consciousness in America.

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Killer of Sheep (dir. Charles Burnett, 1977)

Killer of Sheep (feature film in AVON)
Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep was one of the first 50 films to be selected for the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry and was chosen by the National Society of Film Critics as one of the 100 Essential Films. The protagonist, employed at the slaughterhouse, is suffering from the emotional side effects of his bloody occupation to such a degree that his entire life unhinges.

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Through a Lens Darkly (prod. First Run Features, 2015)

Through a Lens Darkly (First Run Features documentary in AVON and FOD)
The first documentary to explore the American family photo album through the eyes of black photographers, Through a Lens Darkly probes the recesses of American history to discover images that have been suppressed, forgotten and lost.

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Traffic Stop (dir. Kate Davis, 2018)

Traffic Stop (HBO documentary in FOD)
This haunting and compelling Academy Award®-nominated, 30-minute, documentary short tells the story of Breaion King, a 26-year-old African-American school teacher from Austin, Texas, who was stopped in 2015 for a routine traffic violation-an encounter that escalated into a dramatic and violent arrest.

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Unnatural Causes (prod. California Newsreel, 2008)

Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? (PBS documentary in AVON and FOD)
This series offers an overview of the ways that racial and economic inequality are not abstract concepts but hospitalize and kill even more people each year than cigarettes.  The segment on the impact of racism on African American infant mortality is particularly compelling.

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The Loving Story (dir. Nancy Buirsi, 2011)

The Loving Story (HBO documentary in Docuseek)
Oscar-shortlist selection THE LOVING STORY, the debut feature by Full Frame Documentary Film Festival founder Nancy Buirski, is the definitive account of Loving v. Virginia-the landmark 1967 Supreme Court decision that legalized interracial marriage.


Compiled by Danette Pachtner
Librarian for Film, Video, & Digital Media and Women’s Studies


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