Archive | February, 2011

New Television Show Investigates Civil Rights-Era Cold Cases

25 Feb

The Injustice Files , a new program that investigates racially motivated murders committed during the time of the Civil Rights Movement, premiered February 18 on Investigation Discovery. The series follows filmmaker Keith Beauchamp and members of the FBI as they attempt to solve these cases, which are drawn from a list created by the FBI for its Civil Rights Cold Case Initiative.

The stories covered in the series reveal the violent resistance to integration that took place in many American communities. Often, local police were complicit and the murderers were never even questioned about their crimes.

“Unfortunately, people are still afraid to talk to authority figures when they talk about these unsolved civil rights murder cases,” Beauchamp told an interviewer.

He hopes that the series will encourage witnesses or anyone with information about the crimes to come forward.

The filmmaker’s previous works include The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till and Wanted Justice: Johnnie Mae Chappell. In his exhaustive investigation of cold cases, Beauchamp made use of research files created by the producers of Eyes on the Prize. Those materials form part of the Henry Hampton Collection at the Film and Media Archive.

The first episode of The Injustice Files deals with the case of Wharlest Jackson, a black man who was murdered in a Natchez, Mississippi bombing in 1967. The second show is about the unsolved murder of Oneal Moore and will air at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time on February 25. Check the  Investigation Discovery website for more details.

“It’s so important to tell these stories, to have a cleansing dialogue in this country about race,” Beauchamp said.


The William Miles Prize – 2011

10 Feb

William Miles

This prize honors the life and work of filmmaker William Miles, who chronicled the achievements of African Americans in documentaries such as I Remember Harlem and Men of Bronze.  The Washington University Film and Media Archive houses the William Miles Collection.  In partnership with the Program in African & African-American Studies, the archive will award an undergraduate prize of $500 to an outstanding essay, or other serious research project, that makes significant use of rare or unique materials from the archive.

The Film and Media Archive is a treasure trove of 20th-century African-American history and culture, and of American history and culture more broadly.  Areas represented in the archive include: the Civil Rights Movement, the Great Depression, Great Society programs, 20th-century African-American culture and arts, African Americans in the military, African Americans in science, Pro-democracy movements in Africa (Benin, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Africa), and many other topics related to 20th-century American history and culture.

Eligibility Requirements and Other Information:

  • Essays must be at least 8 pages. Other types of serious research projects are also eligible for the prize (e.g., a documentary film or a multimedia website).
  • Essays and projects must make significant use of rare or unique materials in the Film and Media Archive.
  • Entries are welcome from any academic discipline.
  • All entrants must take a tour of the archive and have a consultation with the archive staff by March 1, 2011.  To schedule your tour and consultation, please contact Alison Carrick at
  • Entries are due April 1, 2011.
  • For more information about the Film and Media Archive, please contact us.

Sponsored by:

Washington University Libraries and The Program in African & African-American Studies

Travel Grant Competition – 2011

9 Feb

Announcing the 2011 Travel Grant Competition

Application Deadline: March 15, 2011. Travel must occur between May 15, 2011 and June 30, 2012.

Travel reimbursement grants of up to $1000 are available to faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, and independent scholars who would like to use our collections for research. Funds may be used for transportation, food, lodging, and photocopying. Applicants must reside at least 50 miles from St. Louis.

For more information on the Travel Grant Competition and how to apply, please visit Washington University Libraries, Department of Special Collections.