Liberation Film Series: 2013 - 2014 Season
Injustice & Resistance!
The Liberation Film Series is supported by the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and the Black/African Studies Departments of Michigan State University, University of Michigan - Dearborn, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, Wayne State University, Eastern Michigan University, Wayne County Community College District, Oakland University, University of Massachusetts – Amherst, National Council of Black Studies, Dr. Errol Henderson (Pennsylvania State University), Media Education Foundation, The Walter P. Reuther Library – Wayne State University, Fashion International, Black & White Look Optical Corporation, Wayne State University Press, Bentley Historical Library - University of MIchigan, University Prep Science & Math High School, ASALH-Detroit, community activists, and individual contributors. Charles Ezra Ferrell, a consultant to The Wright Museum, is the LFS Founder and Program Director.
All films and discussions are free and open to the public, and take place in the Museum's General Motors Theater.
The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till - Simple yet riveting, The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till articulates the madness of racism in the South of the 1950s. Combining archival photos and footage with deeply felt interviews, this documentary tells the harrowing story of what happened when a mischievous 14-year-old black boy from Chicago, visiting his relatives in Mississippi, whistled at a white woman in the street. Directed by Keith Beauchamp. Running Time: Approx. 70 minutes.
Conversation: “A Historical Precedent to the Murder of 17 Year-Old Trayvon Benjamin Martin”
Speakers: Keith Beauchamp (Filmmaker), Simeon Wright (Emmett Till's Cousin), & Herb Boyd (Author, Journalist, Educator, Historian, Community Activist
Special Features: Donations – The Trayvon Martin Foundation; Book Signing by Simeon Wright & Herb Boyd
Taking Back Detroit and The Anti-Democratic Assault on Detroit Public Schools - In the 1970s and early 1980s, Detroit was the setting for an unusual development in U.S. urban politics, as voters elected two socialists to citywide office. Taking Back Detroit examines these people and their organization against the backdrop of a city in extreme economic crisis. Directed by Stephen Lighthill. Accompanied by The Anti-Democratic Assault on Detroit Public Schools, a short examining recent controversial developments around Detroit's public education. Total running time: 70 Minutes.
Conversation: “The Demise of Detroit and Proposed Resurrection Solutions"
Speakers: State Senator Bert Johnson (D - Detroit) and Chris White (Co-founder: Restoring Hope To DPS Coalition)
Special Feature: Dr. Melba Joyce Boyd Poetry Reading and Book Signing
Negroes with Guns - Negroes with Guns: Rob Williams and Black Power tells the dramatic story of the often-forgotten civil rights leader who urged African Americans to arm themselves against violent racists. In doing so, Williams not only challenged the Klan-dominated establishment of his hometown of Monroe, North Carolina, he alienated the mainstream Civil Rights Movement, which advocated peaceful resistance. Directed by Sandra Dickson and Churchill Roberts. Running time: 53 minutes.
Conversation: "The Right to Black Self-Defense against Human Injustice & Oppression"
Speakers: Reverend John Williams (Son of Robert F. Williams), Dr. Gloria House (Aneb Kgositsile) (Scholar-Activist and Author), and General Gordon Baker, Jr. (Founding Member: League of the Revolutionary Black Workers)
Special Features: Special appearance by Mabel Williams (Widow of Robert F. Williams), presentation by Councilwoman JoAnn Watson of a resolution honoring the Williams family, and book signings of Negroes With Guns, Hands on the Freedom Plow, and related publications.
Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to the Present - Slavery by Another Name challenges one of America's most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery ended with Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. The documentary recounts how in the years following the Civil War, insidious new forms of forced labor emerged in the American South, keeping hundreds of thousands of African Americans in bondage, trapping them in a brutal system that would persist through today's penal system. Directed by Sam Pollard. Running time: 90 minutes.
Conversation: “The Historical and Increasing Criminalization of Blacks in American Society"
Speakers: Dr. Talitha LeFlouria (Assistant Professor of History, Florida Atlantic University) and Dr. Kidada Williams (Associate Professor, Wayne State University)
The FBI's War on Black America and Assata Shakur – Autobiography Documentary - The FBI's War on Black America offers a thought-provoking look at a government-sanctioned conspiracy, the FBI's counter intelligence program known as COINTELPRO. This documentary establishes historical perspective on the measures initiated by J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI which aimed to discredit black political figures and forces of the late 1960's and early 1970's. Co-produced/Co-directed by Deb Ellis and Denis Meuller. Accompanied by Assata Shakur – Autobiography Documentary, an intimate look into a Black Power movement icon, and the first woman to be placed on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list. Total running time: 107 minutes.
Conversation: “The U.S.'s Historic and Continued Attacks on the Black Liberation Movement & Activists”
Speakers: "Mother-Comrade" Akua Njeri (Widow of Chairman Fred Hampton, Sr.) and Chairman Fred Hampton, Jr. (Son of Chairman Fred Hampton, Sr.)
Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice - Ida B. Wells: A Passion for Justice documents the dramatic life and turbulent times of the pioneering African American journalist, activist, suffragist and anti-lynching crusader of the post-Reconstruction period. Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison reads selections from Wells' memoirs and other writings in this winner of more than 20 film festival awards. Directed by William Greaves. Running time: 53 minutes.
Conversation: “Our Strongest Voice against the Ubiquitous Lynching of Black America"
Speaker: Dr. Melba Joyce Boyd (Distinguished Professor and Chair of Africana Studies, Wayne State University)
Marcus Garvey: Look For Me in the Whirlwind - He was both a visionary and a manipulator, a brilliant orator and a pompous autocrat. In just ten years following his emigration to the United States as a laborer in 1917, Marcus Garvey rose to lead the largest black organization in history, was taken to prison in handcuffs, and was eventually deported. Marcus Garvey: Look For Me in the Whirlwind is the dramatic story of the rise and fall of an African American leader who influenced politics and culture around the world. Directed by Stanley Nelson. Running time: 90 minutes.
Conversation: “The Importance of Mass Mobilization: PAN-AFRICIANISM Then & Now”
Speaker: Dr. Leonard Jeffries (Former Director of Black Studies at CCNY and Founding Member of ASCAC)
Lumumba - The true story of the rise to power and brutal assassination of the formerly vilified and later redeemed leader of the independent Congo, Patrice Lumumba. Using newly discovered historical evidence, Lumumba renders an emotional and tautly woven account of the mail clerk and beer salesman with a flair for oratory and an uncompromising belief in the capacity of his homeland to build a prosperous nation independent of its former Belgium overlords. Lumumba emerges here as the heroic sacrificial lamb dubiously portrayed by the international media and led to slaughter by commercial and political interests in Belgium, the United States, the international community, and Lumumba's own administration; a true story of political intrigue and murder where political entities, captains of commerce, and the military dovetail in their quest for economic and political hegemony. Directed by Raoul Peck. Running time: 115 minutes.
Conversation: “Neo-colonialism and Post-colonialism: Challenges in African Leadership"
Speakers: Dr. Rita Kiki (Nkiru) Edozie (Professor of International Relations and Director of African American and African Studies, Michigan State University) and Maurice Carney (Co-founder and Executive Director, Friends of the Congo)
Brother Minister: The Assassination of Malcolm X - Brother Minister reveals the mystery surrounding the assassination of Malcolm X at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City on February 21, 1965. It probes the innocence of two of the convicted assassins, reveals the true identity of the killers, examines the FBI and NYPD clandestine roles in the assassination, and discovers the secret origin of the Nation of Islam and its political and religious legacy in America. Co-directed by Jefri Aalmuhammed and Jack Baxter. Running time: 115 Minutes.
Conversation: “The Continuing Relevance of Malcolm X for Black Liberation”
Speakers: Dr. Baba Zak Kondo (Associate Professor, Baltimore City Community College) and Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua (Associate Professor of History, University of Illinois-Urbana & Chief Editor of the Black Scholar)
Scottsboro: An American Tragedy - In 1931, two white women stepped from a box car in Paint Rock, Alabama to make a shocking accusation: they had been raped by nine black teenagers on the train. So began one of the most significant legal fights of the twentieth century. The trial of the nine falsely accused teens would draw North and South into their sharpest conflict since the Civil War, yield two momentous Supreme Court decisions and give birth to the Civil Rights Movement. In addition to its historical significance, the Scottsboro story is a riveting drama about the struggles of nine innocent young men for their lives and a cautionary tale about using human beings as fodder for political causes. Directed by Barak Goodman. Running time: 84 minutes
Conversation: "The Historical Legacy of Racial Injustice & the Criminalization of Black Men"
Speaker: El-Ra Radney (African American and African Studies PhD Program, Michigan State University)