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African-American History

               African-American History Film Clips


The Dying Underclass... (Pageant Magazine, 1964)

This article chronicles the poor health that had been a constant companion within the African-American communities and how it differed from their white counterparts.

"To the men who count the living and the dead - the statisticians, discrimination against the Negroes carves a picture in their death charts as clear as an inscription on a new tombstone, as pathetic as a dead child's forgotten doll... There is no question in any public health expert's mind that to get a real improvement in the death rate picture among Negroes, they must be able to improve their diet, housing, education, and living standards, including medical care. And that can only come about, it seems, by removal of all the discriminatory barriers on the economic and social level."

 

Origin of the Term ''Jim Crow'' (Pathfinder Magazine, 1937)

The first three paragraphs of this article explain the 19th Century origins of a moniker that represents the most hideous institution born on American shores. The term in question is "Jim Crow" - a sobriquet that came into use decades before the American Civil War but was refashioned into a synonym that meant institutional racism. The article goes on to recall one African-American Congressman and his fruitless efforts to "clean up Jim Crow".

 

The Power of the African-American Press (Pageant Magazine, 1952)

"President Truman was re-elected in 1948 by a slender margin of 52,000 votes in the circulation area of the CHICAGO DEFENDER, which almost alone of all the newspapers of all kinds in that area, supported Truman. After the election it published a boastful full-page advertisement - "

"What is the Negro press? Primarily it is a protest press demanding the correction of injustice to colored people. 'We are organs of protest,' explains Thomas W. Young, publisher of the NORFOLK JOURNAL AND GUIDE, 'born more than a hundred years ago in righteous indignation over the institution of slavery

••Watch This Film Clip About the History of the Black Press••

 

''The Tenth Man'' (Pathfinder Magazine, 1939)

This is a light history of the African-American people; weak in some spots, informative in others, it's greatest value lies in telling the story of Blacks in the Thirties.

"Because the colored race comprises almost a 10th of the population of the United States, sociologists sometimes refer to the Negro as 'the Tenth Man.' As such, he is little known to the other nine. Yet there are 12,500,000 colored persons in the nation - black, brown and some so white that 10,000 pass over the color line every year to take up life as whites."

 

The Backdrop of the Harlem Renaissance (The Independent, 1921)

The excitement that was 1920's Harlem can clearly be felt in this article by the journalist and Congregational minister, Rollin Lynde Hartt:

"Greatest Negro city in the world, it boasts magnificent Negro churches, luxurious Negro apartment houses, vast Negro wealth, and a Negro population of 130,000..."

 

The Negro's Northern Exodus (The Literary Digest, 1931)

 


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