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Jack Willis Screening

14 Oct

Thank you to Jack Willis for presenting the Streets of Greenwood (1964) and Lay My Burden Down (1966), as part of the Henry Hampton Minority Documentarian Film Series.

Jack Willis Screening - Henry Hampton Minority Documentarian Series

Jack Willis Screening – Henry Hampton Minority Documentarian Series

Jack Willis is a journalist, filmmaker, television producer and executive. His films and programs have won many awards including 7 Emmys, the George Polk Award for Investigative Journalism, and the First Amendment Award. His documentaries on race, poverty and other major social issues have been widely distributed in America and Europe. He is a Co-Founder and Sr. Vice President of Programming for Link TV, a Satellite channel currently in over 50 million American homes.

The fiftieth anniversary of the marches from Selma to Montgomery in support of African American voter registration and the Voting Rights Act, and the recent release of Ava DuVernay’s Hollywood film Selma have brought these landmark events to the consciousness of contemporary Americans. At the same time, recent events have triggered unprecedented media coverage of longtime systemic problems in the policing of African Americans. Willis’ work is as relevant and vital now as it was when the films debuted in the 1960s, and we were honored to have him present his work at Washington University.

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Judy Richardson and Scarred Justice

21 Apr
Judy Richardson

Judy Richardson

Filmmaker, producer, editor, and former Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) member Judy Richardson will attend a free screening of her film Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968. With a Q&A Session following the film.

Free Screening ~April 23, 2015 ~7:30 PM

Etta Eiseman Steinberg Auditorium

6465 Forsyth Blvd., Danforth Campus

Judy Richardson was one of the first producers on the Eyes on the Prize team the series created by filmmaker Henry Hampton and was instrumental in the production of the groundbreaking series about the civil rights movement. She began working on what would become Eyes on the Prize in 1978 and was a series research consultant, and then a series associate producer for Eyes on the Prize II. After Hampton’s death, Ms. Richardson continued to work in film as a senior producer at Northern Light Productions, as well as lecture, create exhibits,  and hold teacher-training workshops on the civil rights movement.

In this video clip from Brown University, Judy Richardson talks about what her goals were when working on Eyes on the Prize. She says,

The main thing about Eyes is it showed you people who looked like you in the audience. They were the ones who were the leaders. They were the ones who were plowing these fields long before any national organization gets there. And they are amazingly brilliant and amazingly brave and all of that stuff, and they look like the folks in the audience…but what Eyes does is it shows all these regular folks who made the movement, and sustained it, and they were just like those people in the audience.

Other interview clips with Richardson can be found here.

Continuing the work she did with Blackside, Richardson creates works which highlight little-known, underplayed, or ignored episodes in the history of the movement. Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968 tells the story of a confrontation between law enforcement and students from South Carolina State College and from Claflin University when the students tried to integrate the only bowling alley in Orangeburg, SC. The bowling alley had a whites-only policy despite the passage of the Civil Rights Act four years earlier.

When the students conducted a protest at the bowling alley, they were met by local police who forcibly tried to remove them from the bowling alley. After an altercation, several students and one policeman needed medical attention. Tensions continued to run high as the governor deployed the National Guard and two nights later on Feb. 8 there was another clash between the students and the state troopers. The officers fired into the crowd repeatedly with shotguns loaded with high-caliber buck shot. According to medical records, 30 students were struck, nearly all of them in the back or side as they were fleeing. Some were shot in the feet or legs while prone on the ground. Three men, Delano Middleton, Samuel Hammond Jr., and Henry Smith, died as a result of their injuries. A later FBI investigation concluded that the only gunfire had come from the police and state troopers.

The All-Star Lanes bowling alley was forced to integrate following a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, but no one has ever been prosecuted for the deaths of Delano Middleton, Samuel Hammond Jr., and Henry Smith.

This film screening is part of  the Henry Hampton Minority Documentarian Series which aims to share documentary films made by minority filmmakers or that depict the stories of often underrepresented groups with a focus on the African-American experience. Co-sponsored by African and African-American Studies Department, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, and Cinema St. Louis.

This event is part of the Law, Identity and Culture Initiative, in the School of Law, (Un)Civil Mediations: A Civil Rights and Visual Culture Symposium, co-sponsored with the Washington University Libraries System; African & African-American Studies and the American Culture Studies programs, the Department of Art History & Archaeology and the Center for the Humanities in the College of Arts & Sciences; the Missouri History Museum and the Post Race? Interrogations, Provocations & Disruptions Lecture Series with support funding from the Office of the Provost, Diversity & Inclusion Grants.

Screening of Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968 with producer Judy Richardson

10 Apr
Still from Scarred Justice

Still from Scarred Justice

Screening of Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968 with producer Judy Richardson

Free Screening
April 23, 2015
7:30 PM
Etta Eiseman Steinberg Auditorium
6465 Forsyth Blvd., Danforth Campus

Join us for a free screening of Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968.

Followed by a Q&A with producer Judy Richardson.

SCARRED JUSTICE tells the story of South Carolina’s 1968 Orangeburg Massacre, an incident often termed the Kent State of the South. In 1968, police opened fire near the campus of South Carolina State University, leaving three young African-American men dead and 27 people wounded. Unlike a similar incident at Kent State, the incident did not make national headlines, and there has never been an official investigation into what occurred that night. Scarred Justice investigates the continued cover-up of the tragedy and follows ongoing efforts to seek justice.

The Henry Hampton Minority Documentarian Series aims to share documentary films made by minority filmmakers or that depict the stories of often underrepresented groups with a focus on the African-American experience.

This event is part of the Law, Identity and Culture Initiative, in the School of Law, (Un)Civil Mediations: A Civil Rights and Visual Culture Symposium, co-sponsored with the Washington University Libraries System; African & African American Studies and the American Culture Studies programs, the Department of Art History & Archaeology and the Center for the Humanities in the College of Arts & Sciences; the Missouri History Museum and the Post Race? Interrogations, Provocations & Disruptions Lecture Series with support funding from the Office of the Provost, Diversity & Inclusion Grants.

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

20 Feb

In partnership the African and African-American Studies Department, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, and Cinema St. Louis, the Washington University Libraries will host a FREE screening of “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution,” which premiered last month at the Sundance Film Festival, as part of its Henry Hampton Minority Documentarian Series.

Feb. 26 at 7:00pm
Etta Eiseman Steinberg Auditorium on the Danforth Campus

The screening features an introduction and post-film Q&A with producer Laurens Grant. Her credits include “Jesse Owens,” which she both produced and directed, and “Freedom Riders” and “The Murder of Emmett Till,” which she helped produce.

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, directed by Stanley Nelson of Firelight Media, takes an in-depth look at the revolutionary culture of the 1960’s and the group that emerged from the civil rights movement of the 1950’s and early 1960’s.

In the 1960’s, ready or not, change was coming to America. A new revolutionary culture was emerging and those seeking to drastically transform the system believed radical change was not only feasible, but imminent. The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense would, for a short time, put itself at the vanguard of that change. Whether they were right or wrong, whether they were good or bad, fact is, more than 40 years after the Black Panther Party was founded in Oakland, California, the group, and its leadership, remain powerful and enduring figures in our popular imagination. THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION weaves the varied voices of those who lived this story — police, FBI informants, journalists, white supporters and detractors, those who remained loyal to the party and those who left it. –Firelight Media

The series is named in honor of Henry Hampton (1940-98), a St. Louis native and 1961 graduate of Washington University, where his 35,000-plus-item collection is housed in the libraries’ Film and Media Archive. Hampton’s works chronicled the 20th century’s great political and social movements, focusing on the lives of the poor and disenfranchised. The best known of Hampton’s 60-plus major film and media projects was his epic 14-part PBS series “Eyes on the Prize.” More than 25 years after its release, it is still considered the definitive work on the civil-rights movement.

The Hampton Collection contains numerous interviews and primary source material about the Black Panther Party. In the episode, Power! (1966-1968) and A Nation of Law? (1968-1971) in Eyes on the Prize II, told the story of the origins of the Black Panther Party and interviewed many party members and others connected to them, including Bobby Seale, Bobby Rush, Huey Newton, Elaine Brown, Deborah Johnson–girlfriend of Fred Hampton, Black Panther leader who was under surveillance by the FBI and killed by the Chicago police in 1969–William O’Neal, FBI informant, Angela Davis, Stokely Carmichael, and many others.

Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People

19 Nov
A photograph by Lyle Ashton Harris as seen in Through a Glass Darkly. [Photo: First Run Features]

A photograph by Lyle Ashton Harris as seen in Through a Glass Darkly. [Photo: First Run Features]

Announcing the premiere of The Henry Hampton Minority Documentarian Series

Washington University Film & Media Archive is excited to announce the premiere of The Henry Hampton Minority Documentarian Series. The series seeks to share documentary films made by minority filmmakers or that depict the stories of often underrepresented groups with a focus on the African-American experience. We aim to screen 4-5 films a year as well as bring in at least two of the filmmakers.

In partnership with Cinema St. Louis and the Department of African and African-American Studies, the series will kick off this Saturday, November 22, 7:30pm at Brown Auditorium with a free screening of Through A Lens Darkly with filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris in attendance. The film explores the role of photography in shaping the identity, aspirations, and social emergence of African-Americans from slavery to the present.

“Inspired by the book “Reflections in Black” (2000), Deborah Willis’s groundbreaking and thorough excavation of a vital and neglected photographic tradition, Mr. Harris’s film is a family memoir, a tribute to unsung artists and a lyrical, at times heartbroken, meditation on imagery and identity. “

A.O. Scott,  New York Times Aug. 26, 2014

Henry Hampton - Photo by Dave Henderson.

Henry Hampton – Photo by Dave Henderson.

Henry Hampton (1940-98) was a St. Louis native and 1961 graduate of Washington University. In 1968, he established his Boston-based company Blackside, Inc., which quickly became the largest African-American-owned film production company of its time. Hampton’s works chronicle the 20th century’s great political and social movements, focusing on the lives of the poor and disenfranchised.

Hampton originally aspired to be a fiction writer but the circumstances of his life and upbringing in the segregated city of St. Louis led him to his great subject: the civil rights movement. Hampton’s involvement in the protests in Selma, Alabama in 1965 created the idea for a film in Hampton’s mind. It would take twenty years to bring that story to the twenty million viewers who saw Eyes on the Prize. The series chronicled the epic struggle of unknown heroes, as well as the leaders of the movement. Hampton interviewed key people who had previously been unknown to historians, and he used innovative documentary film techniques to present the story. Decades after its release, Eyes on the Prize is still considered the definitive work on the civil rights movement. The Boston Globe praised the series as “one of the most distinguished documentary series in the history of broadcasting.” Those sentiments were echoed again when Eyes on the Prize was re-broadcast in the fall of 2006, attracting a new generation of viewers.