New video project, led by Adriane Hopper Williams and Daina Ramey Berry, brings Black women's history to life: "Making History is a documentary film project that uncovers the untold stories of African American women starting from their painful beginnings in slavery. While it is challenging for historians to uncover these early stories, the voices of … Continue reading NEWS/VIDEO: Williams and Berry Launch Making History
Congratulations Erica Dunbar! "Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge, which is a finalist of the National Book Award, will be adapted as a film. "The book is written by historian Erica Armstrong Dunbar. "Oney "Ona" Judge, a 22-year-old slave, escaped in 1796 and was one of the slaves Washington had with him … Continue reading NEWS: Dunbar’s Never Caught’ to be Adapted for Film
Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris discuss the proposed HBO drama Confederate and more on 'Still Processing:' "What do the producers of “Game of Thrones,” Kathryn Bigelow and the painter Dana Schutz have in common? Each was recently at the center of a roiling controversy about what it means for white artists to make work about … Continue reading AUDIO: Still Processing: ‘Confederate,’ ‘Detroit’ and Who Owns Stories About Blackness – The New York Times
Nijla Mu’min looks back at Haile Gerima's film Sankofa for Shadow and Act: "Sankofa is an Akan word meaning roughly, “We must go back and reclaim our past in order to move forward.” Haile Gerima’s cinematic rendering of this is perhaps one of his greatest filmmaking achievements. Screened as part of the UCLA L.A. Rebellion … Continue reading FILM: Haile Gerima’s ‘Sankofa’ Revisited
Salamishah Tillet writes: "Ms. Union, who wrote of being raped at gunpoint when she is right to point out that black women who have been sexually assaulted have been silenced throughout America’s past and present. And yet, in a film about coming to terms with the nation’s founding sin of slavery, restoring Turner to his … Continue reading Tillet on How ‘The Birth of a Nation’ Silences Black Women | @NYTimes
Leslie Alexander reviews Birth of a Nation for The Nation: "After attending an advance screening of the film, however, I now know that Parker failed miserably in his mission. Contrary to his promises of “historical fidelity,” Parker created a deeply flawed, historically inaccurate movie that exploits and distorts Nat Turner’s story and the history of … Continue reading Alexander: ‘The Birth of a Nation’ Is an Epic Fail | The Nation
Vanessa Holden, historian of the Southampton Rebellion (also known as Nat Turner's Rebellion), reviews Birth of a Nation for Process History: "Black women and children do not factor into the agricultural labor of the grand plantations that dot Parker’s fictional Southampton. Unlike their historical counterparts who labored primarily in Southampton’s fields, they populate only domestic … Continue reading Holden on “The Trouble in Nate Parker’s Southampton” | @ProcessHistory
Childs writes: "Later in 1976 the novel would be reconceptualized as a television show, or telenovela. It was wildly successful and became one of the most watched television programs in the world, broadcasted in over 80 countries. It was undoubtedly a smash success in South America but also in the Soviet Union, China, Poland, and Hungary. In fact, it was in Hungary where the most intriguing- or depending on your perspective, most comical- story about the telenovela comes to us. According to legend, it was in Hungary in the 1980s where the faithful viewers of Escrava Isaura took up collections after the final episode of the series to help purchase Isaura’s freedom...."
Erica Armstrong Dunbar (University of Delaware) at Process History on slavery in films: Shortly after its premier, Roots was plagued with controversy regarding the authenticity of Haley’s research and scholarship. But families like mine held fast to the importance of the miniseries. We had no alternatives. Many criticized the romanticized relationships that appeared in Roots, … Continue reading Dunbar on Black Slavery and the General Viewing Audience | Process
The American Historical Association has awarded Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave the John E. O'Conner Film Award for "outstanding interpretations of history through film" in the category of "Dramatic Feature." Other winners include....