“The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” is a 2013 documentary presented and written by Henry Louis Gates Jr. which tells the history of Black people in America. Over six episodes, Gates and other historians relate the events and experiences that shaped the lives of Black people. It ventures back to Africa before the first slaves landed on the shores of the Americas up to the present of a few years ago. In some regards, the documentary is like a visual companion piece to Before the Mayflower.
Category: <span>Movie Reviews</span>
“A Raisin in the Sun” is a 1961 film adapted from Lorraine Hansberry’s 1959 play about the fictional Younger family. The Youngers are a Black family living on Chicago’s Southside and thus far their dreams of a better life have been held in check by poverty and racism. As the family’s matriarch awaits a possibly life-changing insurance check resulting from her husband’s death, her son and daughter have hopes of using the money to pursue their dreams. The story follows the lives of the Youngers for a few weeks and explores their current lives versus their aspirations.
“40 Years a Prisoner” is a documentary about the events leading up to and following the 1978 Philadelphia police department’s raid of the MOVE organization’s home. There had been a period of increasing hostility between MOVE and the police which led to the raid and a stand-off that left one officer dead and another wounded. During the confrontation, police officers beat a then unarmed member of the organization and bombed the home leading to its destruction and the death of 11 people. Resulting trials would see allegations of police wrongdoing thrown out while several surviving MOVE members would be convicted and spend decades in prison.
“Soul Food” is a 1997 George Tillman Jr. drama about the Joseph family’s descent into dysfunction after the matriarch goes into a coma. The story is told through the eyes of the eldest grandchild, Ahmad, who serves as the film’s narrator. Josephine “Big Mama” Joseph and her three daughters gather with their families on Sundays and holidays to share a good meal. The tradition serves to keep them close while their sibling rivalries, meddling, and their raggedy Cousin Faith threaten to push them apart.
“Confirmation” is a 2016 HBO film about the hearings for Judge Clarence Thomas’ (Wendell Pierce) nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. In Washington, D.C. Thomas seems likely to be confirmed until a former employee, Anita Hill (Kerry Washington), surfaces with allegations of sexual harassment. The movie follows the political, legal, and media machinations of the resulting confirmation hearing.